Eid Mubarak – a happy and blessed Eid-al-Fitr to all our Muslim friends and customers!
Eid is not the Muslim Christmas…
Eid al-Fitr takes place this week, kicking off three days of intense celebrations, family gatherings, feasting and general merriment. Also known as Eid ul-Fitr or simply Eid, it marks the end of Ramadan, a month of daily fasting and strict religious observance across the Muslim world.
For Westerners raised in a Christian tradition, it’s tempting to understand Eid as a type of Muslim Christmas. On the face of it, they seem similar. They both have roots in religion. They are both celebrated by billions of people around the world. They both involve family gatherings and, increasingly, present-giving.
However, as we emphasized in an earlier blog about marketing during Ramadan, brands should be wary of drawing too many parallels between Muslim and non-Muslim festivals. Eid celebrates a new beginning after a hard month of fasting, whereas Christmas traditionally celebrates the birth of Christ. And although a Christmas-like commercialism is starting to creep into Eid celebrations, there is fierce resistance to this.
… but it does offer marketing opportunities for brands…
Eid does represent opportunities for marketers who can (sensitively) tap into this important cultural event. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Walmart Canada has seen success with a simple Eid recipe on Facebook, and are planning to apply the lessons they learned from this to other cultural festivals later in the year.
Why don’t more Western brands make a similar effort to reach out to their Muslim customers?
… like many cultural festivals around the world
Many Western brands are trying to reach out to customers in new, emerging markets around the world, and festivals are one way to do this. Thanks to the internet, this has never been easier—and in some ways, never been more difficult. Festivals are celebrated and marketed around the world, but if brands want to take advantage of them successfully, they need to understand the local and cultural differences of each event and each region.
Last year, in collaboration with Axonn Media, we released a white paper entitled A Christmas Story: Content marketing for ecommerce success in a multicultural world. We used Christmas as an example to illustrate how brands should approach this festival in very different ways to appeal to different markets.
Based on the numerous comments and feedback we received from this white paper, this year we’re expanding the scope to consider other important festivals around the world. We’ll be running a series of blogs through October focusing on multicultural content marketing around important cultural events.
Do you want to learn more about how to reach new international markets with high-quality, targeted and culturally sensitive content? If so, watch this space!
Eric Ingrand – Director of Business Developmen