An interesting article on marketing from Forbes:
Of course, niche marketing is nothing new. Focusing on specific demographics – women between the ages of 20 and 30, say, or gray-haired men who play baseball – is an enormous part of how marketing is done. But the latest such trend has some people seriously worried – and for good reason.
On October 30, marketing executives from companies like Pepsico, Ogilvy & Mather, and Best Buy will convene to absorb the wisdom of speakers like Safaa Zarzour, Secretary General of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an organization withknown affiliations to terror groups like Hamas. The goal: to raise awareness of the buying power of the Muslim market, and to encourage sharia-compliant branding through the creation of halal products–products which conform to the tenets of sharia (Islamic) law. (Though usually understood to refer to meat, “halal-compliance” can include other foods, as well as bath products and even clothing.)
Is this smart?
Ogilvy & Mather think so, as do many corporate giants: KFC has introduced halal chicken in many of its U.K. franchises, and Campbell’s recently introduced a halal-compliant soup (are you listening, Andy Warhol?). Other companies on the halal bandwagon include Nestlé (one of the pioneers in the market), Domino’s, and Subway. According to the Web site for the October 30 American Muslim Consumers Conference(AMCC), “the consumer preferences of the world’s nearly 1.5 billion Muslims are faith-based, and largely non-negotiable.”
* Jews who follow kosher laws may not consume halal foods, which are blessed with a prayer to Allah. Sharia-compliant Muslims, however (despite the AMCC claims that they can eat nothing that is not halal), are in fact permitted to consume kosher foods, providing that they otherwise conform to halal rules, such as being all-natural and alcohol-free.
It just goes to show that when we’re talking about marketing, whether it’s chicken or sexual health, providers care very little about the social impacts so long as it doesn’t effect their bottom line.by