How do you see the conversation shifting between brands and your audience?
Brands and agencies will see their growth coming from audiences they don’t understand. The Amaliah audience represents one of the ways that the face of who holds influence is rapidly changing. Increasingly, we are being brought into briefs which may be trying to speak to women aged 16 to 32, whereas before it was specifically a “Muslim brief” or a “diversity brief.”
We see the conversation shifting from having a token image of a Muslim to working with brands like ours to create meaningful moments and value for these audiences.
Our food festival is about creating an elevated food experience which just happens to be halal [with Halal Gems, Amaliah hosted London’s 2019 Street Eats food festival]. The halal food market is worth over $1 trillion and there are still so many opportunities there, in particular around creating great, meaningful experiences. In the future, I see our work just being seen as great work that is inclusive, rather than Muslim work and Muslim ideas.
Brands will simply become irrelevant to huge audiences if they don’t keep up with diversity. There is so much choice that it is increasingly easy to make the switch—and to unapologetically reject a brand that does not speak to you.
Are there any industries which you believe need to rethink how they are approaching and marketing to this audience?
Where do I start?
Minorities—otherwise known as the global majority—are unapologetically refusing to acknowledge and engage with brands and institutions who do not authentically represent the diversity of society today. The future of businesses, brands and institutions lies in being able to speak authentically to audiences like ours.
Food, fashion, wellbeing, fitness, travel, finance, entertainment, going out—all these verticals need to rethink the audiences they are speaking to. The stats are also out there in terms of what opportunity is being missed. For example, by 2020 Muslims are expected to spend over $150 billion annually in the travel industry. Yet, overwhelmingly, travel in particular has struggled to be relevant to young minority audiences.
Often when brands are trying to be inclusive of Muslim women in particular, the cookie-cutter Muslim woman they have curated can exclude Muslim women who don’t resonate with that ideal.
We need to see inclusion as a feeling rather than a checklist, and recognize audiences as multilayered, rather than ticking one box at a time.