AoEJ: Academy of Education Journal
Vol. 14 No 2 Tahun 2023
Yudha Dwi Nugraha
Department of Management, Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitas Islam
Jl. Tamansari No.22-24, Tamansari, Kec. Bandung Wetan, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat
Islam as a religion has been found to impact the ethical beliefs and behaviours of Muslim
consumers from different countries, as well as consumers’ choice of services and some taboo
products on the basis of Islamic Shariah law. The emergence of Islamic marketing and Islamic
branding in various parts of the world and the increasing middle-class Muslims in Indonesia are
interesting phenomena to study. Using the qualitative approach, this study aims to explore the
development of Islamic marketing, Islamic branding, and middle-class Muslim in Indonesia. The
results showed that Islamic marketing is still new in the literature and the definition of the
true meaning of Islamic marketing is still being developed. In addition, Islamic branding is
closely related to the halal concept. The behaviour of Muslim middle-class in Indonesia is
very challenging and it has enormous potential. The discussions are explained further.
Keyword: Islamic Marketing; Islamic Branding; Middle Class Muslim.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 CC BY-SA International License.
Pew Research Centre (2017) reported that the Muslim population is expected to
reach 2.99 billion by 2060 or approximately 31 per cent of the world population.
According to Ogilvy Noor (2010), Islamic marketing can offer something promising
namely the Muslim consumer market, which consists of 1.8 billion people and is
undeniably the next important global opportunity which is largely untapped. The halal
market alone is worth US$2.1 trillion annually and is increasing by US$500 billion
annually due to the significant growth of the global Muslim population. Furthermore,
Alserhan (2010) stated that it is expected that the global Muslim consumer market will
reach $30 trillion in the coming 2050. (2021) reported that Indonesia is home to the world's largest Muslim
population, and most Muslims are digitally native, young, and highly loyal to domestic
brands. However, they are also price-sensitive, creating significant opportunities for
newcomers in the market to gain substantial profits. In 2020, Indonesia is the largest halal
consumer market in the world with consumer spending by Indonesian Muslims reached
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$184 billion (, 2021). Therefore, it would be interesting to further exploring
phenomena in relation to this market segment.
For Muslims and non-Muslims alike, this is an enormous business opportunity to
create new products and services according to the needs and nuances of the Islamic
Muslim market, such as swimwear that caters to the needs of Muslim women, or
accommodation services that address family issues. and gender relevant to the Muslim
context. For Muslims involved in business activities, Islamic marketing is expected to
remain true to the beliefs and principles as Muslims, in the context of marketing. On the
other hand, there is an obligation as a Muslim to fight for this new social science which is
rooted in the Quran and Sunnah so that it can make Islam come alive in the field of
However, the type of marketing or market orientation strategy to be adopted for
engaging in Muslim majority markets remains subject to multiple standpoints. In that
respect, the international development and definitions of marketing models addressing
those specific markets, has given rise to research themes including Islamic marketing and
branding in the lead (Tournois & Aoun, 2012). To the authors knowledge, there is no
research that discusses the phenomenon of the development of Islamic marketing, Islamic
branding, and middle-class Muslims in Indonesia.
Islamic marketing is a new field in marketing science. According to Ramadan
(2009), much of the current discussion is based on the application of Islamic principles to
contemporary Western marketing ideas. Although applying the principles of Western
marketing ideas is important, it does not address the root of the problem because such ideas
are based on things that may not be in accordance with the ethics and principles of the
applicable Islamic tradition. Therefore, more in-depth research also needs to be carried out
so that new models and frameworks can emerge, namely what Ramadan (2009) calls
transformational reform based on Islamic teachings and principles.
The emergence of Islamic marketing occurred in 2010, when the Journal of Islamic
Marketing was created to lay the foundation and advance Islamic marketing as a new
scientific discipline. Even well-known international marketing agencies like Ogilvy and
Mather founded Ogily Noor to get into Islamic branding in 2010. Moreover, the first
Global Islamic Marketing Conference was started in 2011. Furthermore, Islamic marketing
cannot be separated from Muammalah, including doing business or trade. In business,
knowledge about business, including Islamic marketing, is very crucial, especially for
Muslims. The consequences of doing business without knowing Sharia law are fatal and
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will result in many bad things due to falling into haram things such as usury, fraud,
speculation and others (, 2010). Moreover, this study aims to explore the
development of Islamic marketing, Islamic branding, and middle-class Muslim in
Islamic Marketing
Kotler and Keller (2016) stated that to become a marketer, marketers must
understand what marketing is, how marketing works, who does the marketing and what is
being marketed. Kotler and Keller (2016) also explain that marketing is identifying and
fulfilling human and social needs. In the context of Islamic marketing, the principal
opinion of Malik and Khan (2016) is that in providing halal item rates and administration
globally for Muslim consumers, companies in the world must execute different procedures
than procedures in selling merchandise to non-Muslim consumers. Their marketing system
must be adapted to Islamic values, norms and regulations.
The aim of defining marketing procedures that are suitable for both hierarchical
societies and consumers who have different tendencies. In Islam, marketing is a strategic
business discipline that directs the process of creating, offering and changing values from
one initiator to its stakeholders. According to sharia principles, marketing activities must
be based on the spirit of worshiping God, the Supreme Creator, and trying as much as
possible for the common good, not for the interests of the group, let alone their own
interests. According to Wilson (2012) and Alserhan et al. (2016), Islamic marketing is a
growing and well-known subject of research. Islamic marketing research is becoming more
and more popular, yet it has long been "an untapped and viable market segment"(Sandıkçı,
2011, p. 246), according to contemporary literature. The fact that Islamic marketing has
mostly remained a uniform and localized marketing niche is also important to note.
The scholarship on Islam and marketing has also been divided into two parts by
Sandikci (2011): omission and discovery. Muslims are referred to as traditional and Islam
as incompatible with contemporary consumer behaviour by omission, whereas Muslims
are referred to as a potential market sector by discovery (Sandıkçı, 2011). In terms of
categorizing how marketing fits into the disciplinary field of teaching and research, it
appears that the literature is still up for debate. Islamic marketing is being debated as a
potential new and distinct field. Besides, the definition of Islamic marketing is also up for
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debate (J. Bin Abdullah et al., 2015; Sandıkçı, 2011; Wilson & Liu, 2011; Yusof & Jusoh,
Since Islamic marketing is a relatively new field of social science, its exact
description is lacking. According to Wilson (2012), Islamic marketing is frequently
described as a God-conscious method of marketing that seeks to "[...] strike a balance
between material and spiritual needs in any situation of human existence" (Bouzenita &
Boulanouar, 2016, p. 77). Islamic marketing is the study of marketing phenomena in
relation to Islamic principles and practises or in the context of Muslim societies (Jafari,
2012). Islamic marketing can refer to practises used by businesses, whether Muslim or not,
in their dealings with Muslim consumers. Islamic marketing can also refer to religion-
based marketing, when marketing operations are governed by the guidelines of Islamic
sharia (Alserhan, 2017).
Islamic Branding
The concept of Islamic branding can be regarded as branding that is sympathetic to
sharia ideals, with the ultimate objective of integrating Muslim consumers. It goes beyond
the basic sharia-hospitality concept to fully include sharia into every aspect of the brand
character (Alserhan, 2010). Subsequent research gradually developed interest in a
comparative between traditional and Islamic financial services (Ahmad et al., 2011;
Al‐Ajmi et al., 2009; Amat Taap et al., 2011; Butt et al., 2011), and in Muslim consumers’
perceptions towards the predisposition of firms to integrate Islamic Law principles (Sharia-
compliance) to their marketing mix (K. Abdullah & Ahmad, 2010; Bin Yusuf, 2010), and
specifically to halal products or Islamic branding challenges (Alserhan, 2010; Ireland &
Rajabzadeh, 2011; Wilson & Liu, 2010, 2011). On the concept of Islamic branding, Ogilvy
Noor (2010) define it as [. . .] branding that is empathic to Shariah values, in order to
appeal to Muslim consumers, ranging from basic Shariah-friendliness to full Shariah
compliance in all aspects of a brand’s identity, behavior, and communications.
Several academic circles concur that Istihalah's point of view can be modified. Term
has two distinct meanings. A change from something's original essence is one of them. An
unclean substance that transforms (with word) into a new substance is considered to be
holy, notwithstanding scholarly dispute on the subject. Religion can be viewed as a catalyst
for human advancement, ranging from devotion (Halal) to denigration (Haram). These
beliefs and principles serve as the building blocks of Muslim society. Regarding the use of
Muslims, this religious obligation and acknowledgement affect people's feelings and
mental health. The implicit laws, way of life, and explanation of existence in Islam are also
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predetermined by Allah 'azza wa jalla. Organisation of the Islamic Conference countries
have given halal items a lot of thought, helped along by the sharia framework. The world's
Muslim population is a potential market for halal goods, and as the largest Muslim nation
in the world, Indonesia has the potential to grow both as a consumer and producer of halal
Middle Class Muslims in Indonesia
Consumer behaviour among the middle class is particularly fluid and movable today.
They can also swiftly switch brands and are required to keep moving to keep up with
consumer mobility. In addition, the product must be improved, new ones must be invented,
and the price strategy, distribution, and promotion must all be altered in a certain way.
Companies must avoid monotony when promoting their products (, 2013).
The Muslim market in Indonesia is very challenging because not only does it have
enormous potential. The number of Muslim consumers reaches 87 percent of the entire
population of Indonesia. On the other hand, the dynamics of changes in Indonesian Muslim
consumers have increased in recent years (, 2014). Therefore, the Muslim
consumer market is stretching and marketers should be more prepared to reap it. According
to Yuswohadi (2014), the following are some of the visible changes in the phenomenon of
the development of the Muslim middle-class market in Indonesia that is the rapid growth
of Sharia Banking, hijab revolution, development of the Muslim cosmetics market,
regularly perform Umrah, development of Sharia Hotels, excitement of Islamic Culture,
Muslim Entrepreneurship, the richer the more charity, and increased use and understanding
of the Halal label.
This study uses a qualitative descriptive method, because the use of this method can
help researchers to describe facts, data, and substantive objects rationally and theoretically
in the form of language or discourse through accurate and systematic explanations. This
research uses a non-interactive qualitative descriptive method because it does not consider
the assumptions or opinions of the informants or informants (Sukmadinata, 2011).
Moreover, this research uses a qualitative descriptive method because the use of this
method can help researchers to describe facts, data, and substantive objects rationally and
theoretically in the form of language or discourse through accurate and systematic
explanations (Sukmadinata, 2011).
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Data collection was carried out by literature study and document study. This study
uses auxiliary data obtained by researchers from related articles and books. Data analysis
by reducing data obtained through library research. In addition, data reduction is done by
categorizing the data so that it makes it easier for researchers to verify data and determine
conclusions based on research results. The data analysis used by the researcher refers to
Sugiyono’s (2016) data analysis, namely data reduction, data presentation, verification, and
conclusion drawing.
Basically, Islam allows its adherents to participate in business activities as long as
they pay attention to the prohibitions and principles of trade that have been written in the
Qur'an and Sunnah. The concepts of usury, haram, and halal must be considered carefully
in making business strategies. Therefore, trading is important in Islam and the procedure in
it is in accordance with Islamic instructions in working with other people. In addition,
Islam is also a way of life and one can encourage the rationality that Islam must consist of
an ethical code of conduct in working with others.
The Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam has taught his people throughout the world
to trade while upholding Islamic ethics. In economic activities, Muslims are prohibited
from committing false acts, but Muslims must carry out economic activities on a mutually
agreeable or voluntary basis, as the word of Allah Ta'ala, which means, "O you who
believe, do not consume each other's wealth. in a false way, except by means of commerce
which is carried out consensually between you. And do not kill yourselves; Verily Allah is
Most Merciful to you." (QS. An-Nisaa: 29).
Based on this verse, Islam strongly encourages its people to become traders so that
trading becomes very important in Islam. So important, that Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala
appointed the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam as a very successful trader
before he was appointed a prophet. This shows that Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala taught
Muhammad bin Abdullah with honesty when he was a trader that his merchandise did not
make a loss, but instead made him a successful businessman. Therefore, Muslims
(especially traders) should follow his example when carrying out trading activities.
Al-Quran also regulates life activities or muamalah. Also trade, sales or marketing
ethics. One of the verses of the Al-Quran which is guided by marketing ethics is QS. Al-
Baqarah. This second letter in the Al-Quran consists of 286 verses, 6,221 words and
25,500 letters, and is classified as a Madaniyah letter. In verses 1-2 Al-Baqarah means:
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“This Al-Quran has no doubt about it; guidance for those who are pious.” This verse is
very relevant to be guided by in carrying out marketing tasks, because marketing is a very
important part of the company's machine. From this verse we can understand three things,
namely; Companies must be able to guarantee their products, What Allah explains in the
Al-Quran are the benefits of the product, and explanation of the targets or customers of the
company's products.
Nowadays, marketing methods that are unethical, fraudulent, and unprofessional are
often encountered. Therefore, marketing activities should be returned to their true
characteristics, namely religious, ethical, realistic and upholding human values. Ethical
marketing principles should be applicable, whether it's a large or small scale company.
Marketing according to Islam has interesting values and characteristics. Sharia marketing
believes that a person's actions will be held accountable in the afterlife. Apart from that,
sharia marketing prioritizes moral values and moral ethics in its implementation.
Therefore, sharia marketing is important for marketing personnel to penetrate the market,
especially the Muslim market.
If marketers carry out the marketing activities that are ordered and ignore the
prohibitions that are prohibited, marketing becomes an activity permitted in the Islamic
religion. Therefore, from a sharia perspective, marketing is all activities carried out in
business activities in the form of value creating activities which enable anyone who does it
to grow and utilize its benefits based on honesty, fairness, openness and sincerity in
accordance with the process. which is based on the Islamic muamalah contract or business
transaction agreement in Islam.
According to Alserhan (2010), Islamic branding can be interpreted in three different
ways. First, Islamic brands by compliance (Islamic brands by religion or halal brands) and
these brands aim specifically to attract Muslim consumers as these brands are faith-based.
Second, Islamic brand by origin in which these brands are originating from Muslim
countries, such as airlines Emirates Airlines, Emirati Etisalat, Egyptian
telecommunications company Orascom and Saudi industrial company SABIC. Third,
Islamic brand by customer that originating from non-Islamic countries but they are
specifically designed to target Muslim consumers.
Many companies that comply with sharia requirements reveal that not all of their
customers are Muslims. Halal means “permissible” and refers to a set of rules that defines
permissible and forbidden activities. More specifically, halal products should not contain
haram (prohibited) ingredients, incur the exploitation of labour or the environment or be
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harmful (Rehman & Shahbaz Shabbir, 2010). Islamic religious brands or halal brands are
created according to the principles of Islam which provide instructions on what is
permissible not only in the food industry but also in various industries, such as cosmetics,
pharmaceuticals, logistics, clothing, finance, hospitality, and banking (Minkus-McKenna,
It's fascinating to comprehend the economic makeup and moral principles that make
up Muslim society, particularly middle class Muslim Indonesia. The principles upheld
have a significant impact on Indonesia's future stability and growth. Muslims in the middle
class typically have solid financial standing and significant purchasing power. They are
also well-versed in knowledge, which makes them attentive to changes in the economy,
society, and politics (, 2023). Middle class and Islam are two concepts
that must be understood in order to fully comprehend the face of middle class Muslims in
Indonesia. The middle class has distinct traits, and Indonesian Muslims also have
distinctive traits. Most members of the middle class reside in urban areas that are hubs of
commerce and industry. Islam was accepted as the official religion by the Muslim
community (, 2023).
Muslim society is viewed from a religious perspective, where religion acts as a set of
ideals governing human interaction with one another and with their creator. Islam does in
fact differ from other religions in its specific doctrines (, 2023). The
Muslim community looks to Islam's ideals as well as its distinctive attitudes and
ideologies. Islam is practised in a wide variety of ways, from conservatives and moderates
to liberals and radicals, just in Indonesia. Religious teachings have a significant influence
on people's attitudes and behavioural patterns. Since Islam has concepts like zuhud
(modesty) and the doctrine of halal (allowed) and haram (forbidden), religious teachings
also influence people's spending and consumption habits (, 2023).
Islamic guidelines ensure that the interest of all parties in a transaction, that is, the
buyers, sellers, business partners and the community are safeguarded (K. Abdullah &
Ahmad, 2010). As such, Muslim businesses are able to maintain a balance between their
profit making responsibilities to the company, providing safe and quality products to the
consumers, and ensuring the welfare of society (K. Abdullah & Ahmad, 2010). To
maximize the opportunity for success in targeting the Islamic market, both Muslim
entrepreneurs, non-Muslim entrepreneurs, Muslim multinational companies and non-
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Muslim multinational companies must implement marketing strategies in accordance with
the values, rules, norms in Islam and what has been exemplified by the Prophet
Muhammad. 'alaihi wa sallaam. They are also required to be able to build branding
localization competencies.
According to Williamson and Zeng (2004), in general multinational companies have
higher managerial competence in terms of marketing and branding. These multinational
companies are equipped with sophisticated marketing and brand building skills that far
exceed their local competitors. However, it does not rule out the possibility that local
entrepreneurs or companies can take part in capturing and enjoying the Muslim market
share, even though the amount is not as large as the market share of multinational
Local companies or entrepreneurs have the advantage of knowing more about the
region and culture in which they live and therefore, multinational companies wishing to
enter the Islamic market must deepen their understanding of Muslim culture. Islamic
markets are fundamentally different from other conventional markets, especially in terms
of motivation, structure and behavior. In addition, religious factors have a key role in the
decision-making process for Muslim customers and any form of neutralizing this effect on
the decisions of Muslim consumers would be a boomerang in itself.
Ultimately, multinational companies wishing to enter Islamic markets such as
Indonesia must be more careful about offering a wide range of products and brands aimed
at Muslims. Indonesia's title as the largest Muslim country in the world can be a soft
market for all marketers. Therefore, the strategic choices made by the company must be in
accordance with sharia principles, deep understanding of Muslim consumers and the
implications of the Halal concept in various aspects of the company's marketing.
The Islamic Marketing phenomenon is relevant in understanding and studying the
characteristics of Muslim consumers and how to create marketing strategies that are
suitable for the Muslim market share. Muslim consumers have differences with non-
Muslim consumers, especially in terms of sensitivity to religious beliefs, norms and values.
Companies dealing with Islamic products must understand consumer perceptions that are
influenced by the use of the halal label and the moral values of Islamic society and Islamic
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To engage in the halal market, companies must implement a brand-Islamization
strategy based on information obtained from the Islamic market, including customers,
competitors and the business environment. With the information obtained, companies can
further develop their organizational values, norms, practices and organizational structures
with the aim of appreciating the novelty that exists in the Islamic market.
Companies that want to target Muslim consumers must have a marketing strategy
that is different from marketing strategies that target traditional consumers. Marketing
strategies aimed at targeting Muslim consumers must comply with Islamic values,
standards and guidelines. In addition, these companies also have to consider several factors
that can affect the success of their operations in the Islamic market. According to Nooh et
al. (2007), these factors include promotion, location, quality, certification and cleanliness
in operations.
Finally, There is a rising consumer power of Muslim millennials, which signals the
importance of religious lifestyle (Izberk-Bilgin & Nakata, 2016). Thus, future research
could investigate on this consumer power using quantitative methods. Previous researchers
are in agreement that religion remains an under-studied area in consumer behaviour and
wider marketing literatures (Essoo & Dibb, 2004; Muhamad & Mizerski, 2010; Sandıkçı,
2011). Thus, it would be promising to investigate and explore Islam, consumer behaviour,
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