Gould Studio’s workshops teach mainstream and global brands about the dos and don’ts of Ramadan marketing strategies.
Dubai: A new workshop programme will guide global brands in their communication strategies with Muslims during Ramadan.
Led by award-winning brand designer and digital artist Peter Gould and his creative team at Gould Studio, the Designing for Ramadan 2022 workshops will educate marketing teams and design & innovation staff on how to avoid the most common mistakes when engaging Muslim audiences.
The intensive sessions will also show brands how to develop culturally appropriate creative strategies, and how to support their Muslim employees during Ramadan.
A major American multinational technology company is one of the first companies to sign up for the newly launched workshops.
“The workshops are aimed at mainstream and global brands that aren’t necessarily familiar with Ramadan, or Muslim audiences in general, and want to learn about communication,” Peter Gould, founder and CEO of Gould Studio, told Salaam Gateway.
“Some brands want to learn the foundational dos and don’ts, and the good practices other organisations work towards, while others like to explore emerging trends, and how they can best engage their Muslim team members,” he said.
The workshops are being arranged privately for brands based on their needs and availability.
“We have an upcoming workshop with an American multinational, looking at how significant Ramadan is for the App Store and their Muslim employees,” said Gould.
Gould Studio is a Sydney, Australia based team that creates brands, products, and experiences for Muslim audiences. With offices in Dubai and Jakarta, and a team in Beirut, the studio has previously worked with LaunchGood and Greenpeace to help with their Ramadan strategies.
“We’ve taken several learnings from these experiences, and others, which we would now like to share more widely,” said Gould.
Ramadan is the longest-celebrated religious festival of the year and usually sparks high levels of consumer activity, according to Middle East industry platform consultancy-me.com.
With three distinct phases – in addition to the pre-Ramadan and post-Ramadan Eid phase – the holy month represents an enticing opportunity for brands to engage with Muslims. Spending goes up, people are online more, and they tend to be more social and charitable.
But with a diverse population of more than 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide, it is impossible to understand everybody’s habits and approach them with one marketing campaign,
“Being present during Ramadan isn’t as simple as adding a crescent moon to your marketing campaign and sending out a generic ‘Ramadan Kareem’ on the first day of the month. It’s important to learn what people need, what people care about, and how you can be of service, suggests Gould Studio’s ‘Designing for Ramadan’ report.
Ramadan should not be approached as just a money-making opportunity, but rather a chance for brands to connect meaningfully with potential or existing customers, the report advises.
This is easier said than done as most brands will look at the bottom-line and take that as their primary metric of success.
“If at the very least we can encourage some of these companies to look at their own Muslim team members and consider how they might be more thoughtful and aware of their needs, then I think that’s a great start,” said Gould.
“We’re not naive enough to think that selling isn’t important to brands, but ultimately consumers will decide whether these brands are doing enough to connect with them and making a genuine effort to reach them as they would any other demographic,” he said.
If Muslim audiences feel the right intention is there, then it makes a difference, according to Gould.
This effort can be a fine balance, he added, as Muslims are very diverse, so brands will get a wide variety of responses to what they are doing.
“Take Nike as an example. When they launched their range of sports and swimwear for Muslim women, many Muslims welcomed the inclusion efforts of such a global, mainstream brand, while others saw it as a purely commercial decision that disregarded the Muslim-focused sportswear brands that already existed,” said Gould.
“Understanding this wide diversity of people, cultures and opinions is one of things we’d like to help brands with – helping them be better informed before they start making decisions,” he said.
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