Crescent marketing, Muslim geographies and brand Islam: reflections from the JIMA Senior Advisory Board

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Wilson, Jonathan A.J. ; Belk, Russell W. ; Bamossy, Gary J. ; Sandikci, Özlem ; Kartajaya, Hermawan ; Sobh, Rana ; Liu, Jonathan ; Scott, Linda (2013)

Purpose – To bring together the thoughts and opinions of key members of the Journal of Islamic Marketing’s (JIMA) Editorial Team, regarding the recently branded phenomenon of Islamic marketing - in the interests of stimulating further erudition.\ud \ud Design/methodology/approach – The authors adopted an ‘eagle eye’ method to investigate this phenomenon: Where attempts were made to frame general principles and observations; alongside a swooping view of key anecdotal observations - in order to ground and enrich the study. We participated in an iterative process when analysing longitudinal and contemporary phenomenological data, in order to arrive at a consensus. This was grounded in: Triangulating individual and collective researcher findings; critiquing relevant published material; and reflecting upon known reviewed manuscripts submitted to marketing publications – both successful and unsuccessful. \ud \ud Findings – We assert that a key milestone in the study and practice of marketing, branding, consumer behaviour and consumption in connection with Islam and Muslims is the emergence of research wherein the terms “Islamic marketing” and “Islamic branding” have evolved – of which JIMA is also a by-product. Some have construed Islam marketing/branding as merely a niche area. Given the size of Muslim populations globally and the critical importance of understanding Islam in the context of business and practices with local, regional and international ramifications, scholarship on Islamic marketing has become essential. Western commerce and scholarship has been conducted to a limited extent, and some evidence exists that research is occurring globally. We believe it is vital for “Islamic marketing” scholarship to move beyond simply raising the flag of ‘Brand Islam’ and the consideration of Muslim geographies to a point where Islam – as a way of life, a system of beliefs and practices, and religious and social imperatives – is amply explored.\ud \ud Research limitations/implications – An ‘eagle eye’ view has been taken, which balances big picture and grassroots conceptual findings. The topic is complex – and so while diverse expert opinions are cited, coverage of many issues is necessarily brief, due to space constraints.\ud \ud Practical implications – Scholars and practitioners alike should find the thoughts contained in the paper of significant interest. Ultimately, scholarship of Islam’s influences on marketing theory and practice should lead to results which have pragmatic implications, just as research on Islamic banking and finance has.\ud \ud Originality/value – The paper appears to be the first to bring together such a diverse set of expert opinions within one body of work, and one that provides a forum for experts to reflect and comment on peers’ views, through iteration. Also the term Crescent marketing is introduced to highlight how critical cultural factors are, which shape perceptions and Islamic practises.
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