Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion, with Pew Research forecasting it to grow from 1.9 billion followers today, to over three billion by 2060.
With volume comes spending power. According to Salaam Gateway’s “State of the Global Islamic Economy Report,” even during a global pandemic, Muslims globally spent a collective $2.2 trillion in 2021, set to grow an additional 9.1% in 2022, and potentially reach over $2.8 trillion by 2025.
A snapshot of younger western Muslims will show they’re ambitious and career-focused, tech-savvy, and self-empowered. An analysis of YouGov data suggests that in the U.S., 54% of the Muslim population claim to have influence on the communities around them (compared to 19% for non-Muslims). They’re also incredibly diverse. According to 2020 U.S. Census figures, Muslims split as 25% Black, 24% white, 18% Asian, 18% Arab, 7% mixed race, and 5% Hispanic.
Like others their age, they respond to those who represent them, specifically by the values they choose to live by. As such, we see a rise of celebrities and influencers like Bella and Gigi Hadid, Riz Ahmed, and Hasan Minhaj all becoming more vocal about the role Islam plays in their lives. And mass channels are getting in on the act, with Disney+ launching shows such as “Ms. Marvel.”
But most western Muslims will tell you they feel undervalued and under-served by the brands they admire, follow and consume. So this is a fairly big problem to willingly ignore.
Where to show up
While Muslims consume media on par with the wider U.S. public, our analysis of YouGov data shows that specific channels—print, cinema, radio, streaming services and podcasts—are on average more than twice as attention-catching for them compared to non-Muslims.
Now, it’s relatively easy to find cities where generations of Muslims have congregated over time (think Illinois, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, and others). But taking it a step further, agencies can ask their media teams to work with urban planners to understand how communities use physical and digital spaces—as well as the mindsets and intentions of those communities—to help build a brand presence using those channels relevant to their audience.