How can brands break through the noise?

Lightblue's Simon Walsh explains how brands can connect with consumers authentically

Crafting messages that truly resonate during Ramadan calls for a delicate balance, where global brands must navigate a space filled with cultural and spiritual significance. 

Authentic engagement during this period means moving beyond commercial objectives to genuinely connecting with the community in a manner that respects the sanctity of the spiritual season.

Brands that have effectively embraced this challenge show that success hinges on a deep understanding of what Ramadan’s essential values mean to today’s audiences and how to engage them through the season’s pivotal moments. 

This approach not only aligns with the modern audience’s expectations but also fosters enduring bonds rooted in respect and mutual appreciation.

Ramadan is not just the daily cycle from Suhoor to Iftar; it’s a comprehensive month-long experience that presents a prime opportunity for brands to connect with consumers through well-thought-out strategies during significant moments. The period is marked by distinct phases, each characterised by unique behaviours, emotions, and needs.

Simon Walsh, Creative Director at Lightblue

Forward-thinking brands

The most forward-thinking brands have advanced well past the conventional theme of the moon and stars; this approach may look like Ramadan but immediately gets lost in the sea of generic Ramadan décor that floods the region. 

Instead they are crafting thoughtful and diverse activations that bring people together where brands seamlessly weave their identity into the fabric of the experience, prioritising the moment, not the product. This approach enables brands to embed their messaging and creative concepts within communities’ more personalised Ramadan narrative. 

Brands will embrace the traditional fragrance collections or limited edition abayas that are deep rooted in the culture, but for brands looking to create further impact with younger audiences we need to focus on what the spirit of the season is all about for them. 

For example over the last year we have seen many brands take over resorts and restaurants across the region. During Ramadan this type of takeover would lend to luxury retreats specifically designed for the season, focusing on spiritual and physical wellbeing.

These retreats could offer programmes that include pre-dawn yoga sessions and meditation guided by local DJ’s, and experiential Suhoor and Iftar meals prepared by experimental top local chefs. These retreats would offer brands an authentic and unique way to observe Ramadan’s fasting and spiritual practices while indulging in luxurious self-care.

Embracing tradition with contemporary flair

Ramadan is rooted in centuries-old traditions, yet each year brings opportunities to infuse these traditions with new life and relevance. Utilising a blend of tradition and innovation, brands can create unique digital-led experiences that honour the past while looking to the future. 

By embracing technology that connects people across the globe, allowing them to share their experiences with others, brands can promote a more personalised experience that creates unprecedented global connectivity.

By adopting a more modern strategic framework, global brands can craft messages that resonate with today’s audience during Ramadan. This nuanced and respectful engagement strategy not only allows for meaningful community connections but also enhances brand presence and relevance throughout this holy month.

By maintaining authenticity and honouring the cultural and spiritual subtleties of Ramadan, brands can cultivate a sense of trust and loyalty that lasts well beyond the season.

By Simon Walsh, Creative Director, Lightblue