Generation M, a group of middle-class millennial Muslims, is rapidly expanding worldwide. They are actively pushing for social progress and seeking products and services that align with their faith while embracing modernity. This influential group of trendsetters is embracing innovation and working together to redefine the perception of Muslim women globally and redefine modesty. Generation M seeks more than just being noticed in various industries. They want to see themselves represented by brands.
To connect with this community, brands are gradually blending Islamic culture with technology and contemporary style. Globally, industries have been slow to respond to the needs of the expanding Muslim youth. As a result, Generation M has taken matters into their own hands by starting their own businesses. This generation embraces a conservative religious ideology while keeping their modern lifestyle in mind. Their efforts have given rise to a global Muslim market, catching the attention of large multinational corporations and companies who recognize its growing potential.
For example, Nike’s Pro Hijab caused a lot of buzz when it was introduced in December 2017. It received great promotion from Ibtihaj Muhammad, a US Olympic fencer, and Amna Al Haddad, an Emirati weightlifter, among others. The Pro Hijab gained popularity and was ranked as the seventh most desired item in the Lyst Index Q1 2019 for Hottest Women’s Products. It was also recognized as one of the most significant designs of 2017, winning the General Excellence category in the Innovation By Design Awards organized by Fast Company magazine.
Understanding Generation M
Generation M refers to the young Muslims born in the past three decades. This diverse and culturally rich demographic, comprising mainly millennial females, comes from an economically strong background. These young individuals are highly innovative. As their education levels increase and their countries witness a growing middle class, they are creating new businesses, products, and services. These businesses are tailored to cater to the needs of the expanding middle-class segment, reflecting the evolving landscape of Muslim consumerism overall.
These young Muslims embody a unique blend of faith and modernity, embracing the best of both worlds. They approach life with positivity, optimism, and a deep engagement with the world around them, actively seeking brands that cater to their needs. They comprise a vast and youthful global Muslim demographic with consistent values, brand awareness, and customer loyalty. They are technologically savvy and globally connected, often at the forefront of emerging consumer trends such as eco-friendliness and sustainability, aligning with broader consumer movements. They also possess the ability to leverage collective power within the ummah, the global Muslim community, as well as in other sectors.
Generation M represents a diverse community consisting of a vast array of ethnicities, nationalities, and cultural backgrounds. From South Asia to North America, Africa to Europe, Generation M transcends geographic boundaries. It embraces individuals with roots in Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey, and most Muslim countries, each contributing their unique traditions and customs. This diversity is reflected in their languages, clothing, cuisine, and practices, creating a rich tapestry of Muslim identity. Generation M’s diversity not only enriches their community but also promotes cross-cultural understanding and creates a discourse that celebrates the nature of human differences.
The Rise of Generation M
Generation M has grown over the years due to population growth, higher education, and digital connectivity. The world’s population has been steadily increasing, resulting in a larger chunk of young individuals who form Generation M. This demographic shift has significant implications for cultural, social, and economic dynamics.
Higher education has become more accessible globally, empowering young individuals with knowledge and skills. This has led to a surge in young people seeking personal and professional growth, contributing to the rise of Generation M. The widespread availability of digital connectivity has also revolutionized communication, information access, and opportunities for collaboration, shaping the behavior and aspirations of this generation.
There are a lot of significant social, economic, and cultural implications that come along with the rise of Generation M. Socially, this demographic’s increasing popularity challenges stereotypes and fosters greater diversity and inclusion. It encourages dialogue on religious tolerance and interfaith understanding. Economically, Generation M’s consumer power drives the halal industry, influencing sectors like fashion, food, and travel.
This demographic’s entrepreneurial spirit contributes to the growth of Muslim-owned businesses, promoting economic empowerment. Culturally, Muslim millennials shape art, literature, and media, presenting their unique perspectives and narratives. Their digital savvy enables a global Muslim identity to emerge, forging connections and creating a sense of community across borders.
More specifically, their strong entrepreneurial spirit, coupled with a growing global Muslim consumer market, presents opportunities for innovative halal products and services. In technology, Muslim Millennials are making their mark by developing apps, platforms, and online communities catering to their religious and cultural needs. Fashion is experiencing a revolution as Generation M embraces modest fashion, redefining trends and influencing mainstream brands. Generation M is also breaking barriers in the entertainment industry, producing diverse narratives that challenge stereotypes and promote inclusivity.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
Consumer Power and Cultural Influence
Generation M is the first generation to grow up with widespread access to the internet and digital technologies. They rely heavily on online platforms for research, reviews, and purchasing decisions, forcing businesses to establish a strong online presence and adapt their marketing strategies accordingly.
They are characterized by a strong emphasis on social and environmental consciousness. They prioritize sustainable and ethical products and expect companies to align with their values. As a result, businesses that embrace social responsibility and demonstrate a commitment to sustainability are more likely to attract and retain Millennial consumers.
Generation M also values experiences over material possessions. They are more inclined to spend their money on travel, dining out, and other experiential activities. This has driven the growth of industries such as travel and hospitality, restaurants, and event management. They’re known for their preference for customization and personalization, seeking unique and tailored experiences, products, and services.
Understanding the preferences of Muslim millennials can provide valuable insights for businesses and marketers targeting this demographic. One significant aspect of Muslim millennials’ preferences is their emphasis on halal products and services. Muslim millennials actively seek out halal-certified products and are willing to pay a premium for them, indicating their commitment to adhering to Islamic principles.
Based on a report from Further – The Objective Magazine, it was projected that Muslims will allocate $1.9 trillion towards purchasing halal food and drinks by 2023. This interest extends beyond mere consumption. Several Muslim influencers proudly identify themselves as Haloodies (a fusion of Halal and foodie).
In terms of fashion and lifestyle choices, Generation M tends to prioritize modesty and modest fashion trends. They seek clothing options that align with Islamic guidelines regarding modesty while reflecting their style. This has led to the emergence of numerous modest fashion brands and influencers who cater specifically to this market segment.
Mango & DKNY have now started launching Ramadan collections for their Muslim consumers, with luxury brands such as Dior and Bottega Venetta following suit. Along with this, the Burkini (a bikini targeted for Muslim women that wear the hijab/burka) has been the latest example of this, launched by Marks & Spencer in 2016, creating global awareness for the product and increasing Muslim consumer needs.
If brands are to target this segment, they need to come up with more festive targeted marketing. This includes focus on campaigns that revolve around Ramadan, Eid, and other festive/religious important days. Most brands have been doing this, with one of the biggest examples of Coke doing annual Ramadan campaigns. Last year, Meta launched their #MealsforReels campaign aiming to raise money to provide meals in the month of Ramadan to combat the issue of malnutrition and hunger.
Ramadan-focused content is already part of the marketing strategy for most bigger companies, and if your brand caters to Generation M, it should be a no-brainer to add this to your current strategy as well.
Activism and Social Change
Generation M has harnessed the power of social media to mobilize and amplify their voices. They challenge traditional norms, demanding equality, justice, and sustainability. Generation M is unafraid to confront systemic issues, advocating for human rights, climate action, and inclusive governance. Their activism unites diverse individuals for common causes. By leveraging their digital prowess and interconnectedness, Generation M is reshaping the political landscape, forcing institutions to adapt to their demands and reimagining a more equitable and inclusive future.
Driven by their Islamic values and a desire to address societal inequalities, Muslim millennials are actively engaged in advocating for social justice. They draw inspiration from the teachings of Islam, emphasizing compassion, justice, and equity. With their strong sense of community and connectivity, they utilize grassroots organizing to raise awareness, challenge stereotypes, and promote positive change. By blending their faith with activism, Muslim millennials strive to dismantle systemic barriers, fight against discrimination, and build a more just and inclusive world that aligns with their deeply held beliefs.
For example, in response to rising Islamophobia, #IAmMuslim was a viral campaign led by Generation M on social media, empowering individuals to share their stories and dispel stereotypes. The Muslim Youth Helpline, a pioneering online support platform, provides counseling and advice to struggling young Muslims. Organizations like MPower Change and MuslimGirl.com amplify Muslim voices, advocating for social justice issues. Additionally, community-led initiatives such as interfaith dialogues, food drives, and refugee assistance programs showcase Generation M’s commitment to building inclusive societies.
Shaping the Digital Landscape
Generation M utilizes online platforms to express their identity, foster interfaith dialogue, and challenge misconceptions. As seen from the examples above, social media plays a pivotal role, allowing them to share personal stories, amplify Muslim voices, and build supportive communities. Digital platforms also provide opportunities for activism, advocating for social justice and combating Islamophobia. Generation M leverages technology to access Islamic resources, connect with scholars, and navigate religious practices. Their digital engagement showcases their diverse experiences, aspirations, and commitment to shaping a more inclusive and understanding world, highlighting the power of the internet in fostering positive change.
They utilize digital platforms to express their religious identities, connect with fellow Muslims globally, and challenge stereotypes. Social media enables them to share Islamic teachings to combat Islamophobia. Online platforms also provide spaces for Muslim millennials to discuss contemporary issues, seek religious guidance, and promote social justice causes.
Digital content creation empowers them to produce meaningful content that showcases diverse Muslim experiences and counteracts misrepresentations. However, while these platforms offer numerous opportunities, Muslim millennials must navigate challenges such as online harassment, misinformation, and maintaining authenticity in a virtual landscape.
Promoting Understanding and Inclusion
Understanding and embracing the values, experiences, and perspectives of Muslim millennials is crucial in today’s diverse and interconnected world. By recognizing and respecting their unique cultural, religious, and social identities, we foster inclusivity and promote harmonious coexistence. Muslim millennials bring fresh perspectives, innovation, and a wealth of knowledge that can contribute to the betterment of society. Their experiences can challenge stereotypes and bridge cultural gaps, developing understanding and empathy. By actively engaging with Muslim millennials, we promote diversity, social cohesion, and strengthen the fabric of our global community. Embracing their values empowers them to navigate the modern world while maintaining their identity, creating a sense of belonging and acceptance for all.
Muslim millennials are often subject to misconceptions and stereotypes that can lead to misunderstandings and biases. One common misconception is the belief that all Muslim millennials are conservative and strictly adherent to religious practices, overlooking the diversity within the community. Stereotypes also associate Muslim millennials with terrorism or extremism, ignoring the vast majority who are peaceful and law-abiding individuals. These generalizations overlook the complex identities and varied experiences of Muslim millennials, who are diverse in their beliefs, values, and lifestyles.
Rising in Popularity: Growing Segment of Society
The rise of Generation M marks a significant cultural and social shift in today’s world. We have delved into the various aspects that make this generation unique and influential. From their diverse identities and empowerment through education to their reliance on technology and entrepreneurial spirit, Muslim Millennials are reshaping the narrative and challenging stereotypes. Their commitment to social justice, inclusivity, and cultural expression further emphasizes their importance in shaping a more tolerant and inclusive society. As Generation M continues to grow and make its mark on the world, it is important to recognize and celebrate their contributions, creating a future that embraces diversity and understands their significance.
If you’re thinking about connecting with this young audience, it is essential to keep these things in mind while formulating your strategy. Implementing these pointers will help you connect with this growing segment and accelerate your brand growth.
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