4 Books to Help You Market Halal Products
The Halal industry has become a new economic sector as more companies are offering more inclusive options. There are now 8 million Halal consumers in the U.S., but there is also a growing global demand for U.S. consumable products — and being Halal-certified opens opportunities for you to reach the 1.6 billion Halal consumers worldwide. However, an expanding industry also means that you’re competing with other businesses for attention from your target market. Getting Halal-certified should be your priority since there are specific processes and requirements for you to be able to claim that you're serving Halal products. You'll have to register with globally recognized institutions such as the Islamic Services of America (ISA) that also provide knowledge and expertise to those who are curious about various aspects of Halal accreditation, such as which ingredients are allowed, not allowed, or doubtful, and how the certification will go.
Alongside getting Halal certified, there are also a number of resources that can help you market your Halal products so you can stand out from the competition. Below are a few books to get you started:
Halal Business Management: A Guide to Achieving Halal Excellence by Prof. Marco Tieman, PhD
Halal business management is more than getting your company certified. It also involves supply chain management, branding, marketing, and risk and reputation management. Prof. Tieman explains in his book that the Halal industry is complex and dynamic, one reason being that there are still no uniform international Halal food standards. This is a reader-friendly but comprehensive guide that will help newcomers decide if they want to integrate Halal certification into their business plan and guide those who are already Halal-certified into improving their practices.
Halal Branding by Prof. Jonathan A.J. Wilson, PhD
One of the first things you learn in Prof. Wilson’s Halal Branding book is that your whole brand shouldn't rely on simply being Halal. Instead, you can use it as a descriptor, such as “Sugar-Free” and “Organic.” But simply putting “Halal” on the menu may lead some people to assume that you only cater to Muslims, which may not always be the case. Instead, businesses should be more aware of how they portray their Halal branding. This is particularly true today since younger Muslims are more culturally diverse as they're becoming more influenced by globalization. Some may want to fit in with their peers in terms of lifestyle and are also looking for higher-end products that don’t typically target just the traditional Muslim market. This book will help you build a brand that empowers the Muslims you want to cater to.
The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind by Jonah Berger
Halal products are usually being marketed to Muslims. However, “Halal” is simply the Arabic word for “permissible,” and what is allowed in Islam may also be good for your general target market. For example, while meat isn’t a problem for most people, Muslims can only have it if it’s killed in a manner called dhabiha. To successfully market your products to Halal-consumers, you’ll need to provide information that shows that anyone — not just Muslims — can enjoy them. More than this, Jonah Berger says in his book The Catalyst that you should remove obstacles that are stopping the general public from seeing your perspective. Instead of asking how you can change their minds, you should think of why they’re not changing their minds and try to pinpoint what’s stopping them. In this case, people might look at Halal foods as strictly associated with the Muslim faith, so you’ll need to think of how you can remove that bias from their minds.
Building A Storybrand by Donald Miller
Donald Miller discusses in his book that sometimes, the problem isn’t the product, but how you market it. You need to present your product in such a way that a customer sees how it can add value to their lives. In your case, you need to answer how your Halal products can fit into your target market’s lifestyle. For one, you can focus your messaging on how Halal meat can taste better and be more tender than other meats because it's prepared by having the animal's blood completely removed from the body. You should also answer why they should choose your products over those from other companies.
picture credit: istock, Goodreads, Scribd
Written by Aileen B Clarke
Exclusive for isahalal.com