By: Saif Alam Siddiqui for Maeeshat
Simply Halal can be translated as permissible, it’s not just the use of Arabic calligraphy or semiotics strongly associated with Islam such as a star and crescent moon, although it might evoke a response, acknowledgement or association with the brand however there is little empirical evidence as to what degree it elicits the desired ROI. It’s all about the complete involvement of physical and intellectual.
Around twenty-five per cent of the world population is hungry for Halal It’s trending – everyone wants halal action. If it’s for rewards in the hereafter or revenue generation, nowadays achieving halal status is the core marketing strategy for many businesses. From FMCG, Health sector or tourism 1.8 billion demography of world population is demanding for halal, globally halal products and services market is currently valued at US$2.3 trillion with the most significant market lying in the Asian countries. Halal help is delivering competitive environment, expand operations, creating new markets and attracting more consumers. In the Economic slowdown too, halal has been able to increase brand value, mitigate entry barriers, and stabilize fluctuating markets. Muslims, nowadays are seen to exhibit stronger signs of loyalty towards religious sentiments and trans-nationally has acted as a catalyst to draw in non-Muslim communities too.
If halal is treated as a brand, the absolute use of term Halal should be adopted. Its usage positions as an ingredient brand or co-brand. As a co-brand, there is a need for a global organization creating a corporate division which utilizes the term halal. This would bring more of an organization’s practices under further scrutinies, such as the treatment of employees and their working environment.
New business has to comply with halal specifications and more efforts would have to be made to preserve Islamic values it could be an effective strategy when entering Muslim countries by reducing mistrust and consumer distance. The organization which are individually branding each products offering halal will reduce the term’s efficacy. Such approaches would be misleading from the Islamic principles “where everything is halal unless stated otherwise”.
The challenge of producing halal commodities on a wide scale will be challenging, better quality products can be delivered more quickly at lower costs and with a stronger brand presence. However, this does not constitute what is considered halal according to Islam. The concept for creating halal commodities lie in Muslim involvement, correct thinking, intentions and ethical practices.
This can be better understood by the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW):
“All actions are judged by intention.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
“Allah’s Messenger (Prophet Muhammad) cursed ten people in connection with (alcoholic) wine: the winepresser, the one who has it pressed, the one who drinks it, the one who conveys it, the one to whom it is conveyed, the one who serves it, the one who sells it, the one who benefits from the price paid for it, the one who buys it, and the one for whom it is bought.” (Tirmidhi)
The drinking of alcohol is itself a haram, the step involved in any of its stages is also prohibited, and the hadith clarifies about each step of right from production to marketing till consumption all are prohibited for any haram products and services, to encourage commoditization of halal it should be treated as processes where behaviour and intentions of parties involved should come under scrutiny.
In appraising halal branding, connected terms such as “Islamic Marketing “and “Islamic Branding”, have to be considered. It’s an emergent phenomenon which stretches across the Muslim world and beyond, its interest and applicability have attracted a wider community irrespective of faith.
Muslims like any other consumer love fashion, need health care entertainment, cosmetics and tourism – and they are potentially demanding for being complete halal.