A recent study by the nation's largest advertising firm shows that the Muslim American community has an estimated purchasing power of about $170 billion. JWT Advertising conducted the study, and it is now working with a wide variety of companies to develop strategies to attract Muslim American customers. VOA's Mohamed Elshinnawi examined the new trend in Dearborn, Michigan, near Detroit, where there is a dense population of Muslims.
JWT Advertising says companies in the Detroit area are leading the way in using the cultural aspects of the Muslim faith to expand their share of the Muslim American market.
Ann Mack is JWT's director of trends spotting. "Some marketers -- I am not going to name them specifically -- are having Ramadan advertisements," she says, "and because they are speaking specifically to these populations, they will appeal, they will resonate and those consumers will tend to gravitate towards these brands."
The study shows that the six to eight million Muslims in the United States are looking for recognition and respect, and that companies should make sure they are not neglecting or offending their community.
One company that is not is the Swedish furniture company IKEA. It has a store near Dearborn that initially attracted few Muslim shoppers. So the company consulted with Nasser Baydoun, Chairman of the American Arab Chamber of Commerce. He recalls, "What we were able to do was to teach them how to market to our community -- how does our community get its information, how do they choose which store they go to and how does IKEA create a working staff that is friendly to the community." (MORE)