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Lowe’s: 3 Facts About The Muslim Consumer That Should Scare The Crap Out of You

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If you haven’t already heard, Lowe’s recently decided to pull their advertising from TLC’s “All-American Muslim,” a new reality show about American Muslims living in Dearborn, Michigan, due to backlash they received from a conservative Christian group called the Florida Family Association.

The result? A whole lot of pissed American Muslims.

Although I don’t watch the TV show or shop at Lowe’s, I thought I’d give you what I see as the 3 most important facts about the American Muslim consumer that should concern Lowe’s as a mainstream company.

Fact #1: There’s 7 million of us with a spending power of $200 billion

“Two-thirds of Muslim households make more than $50,000 a year and a quarter earn over $100,000. The national average is $42,000. Two-thirds of American Muslims have a college degree, compared with less than half of the general population.” – The Economist

Estimates of the American Muslim population vary from 5 million to 7 million, with Muslims active throughout society as entrepreneurs, doctors, engineers, lawyers, educators, athletes, and musicians. (Source: JWT, Ogilvy Noor, DinarStandard)

Studies from the past few years suggest American Muslim’s have an annual spending power of $124-$200 billion just in the U.S. alone. This is similar to the Hispanic market in the early 90s, which today is worth a whopping $1.2 trillion (a punch in the face for any company who ignored it then).

Fact #2: Our highest expenses are in housing & housing services

As I was going through the Executive Summary of DinarStandard’s recent study, “American Muslim Market 2011: Business Landscape & Consumer Needs Study,” I came across something that tickled my fancy.

According to DinarStandard, when consumers were asked, “How does your household budget breakdown?” the highest expense category was the housing and housing services market, estimated at $33 billion in 2010, followed by food and education.

I’m no expert, but that sounds like a scary number for a company who’s primary market sector falls under housing services.

Source: DinarStandard, American Muslim Market 2011: Business Landscape & Consumer Needs Study

Fact #3: We just need a little bit of empathy, man

Here’s the fact of the matter: Muslim consumers want to engage, but they feel ignored.

In September 2010, Ogilvy Noor conducted research into how American Muslims were feeling about brands and businesses that they interact with today. This study titled, “A little empathy goes a long way: How Brand can engage the American Muslim Consumer” reveals the following:

  • 86% of American Muslim Consumers believe that American Companies “need to make more of an effort to understand Muslim values” but at exactly the same time they are feeling largely ignored by American brands.
  • 98% feel that “American brands don’t actively reach out to Muslim consumers”.
Source: Ogilvy Noor, A little empathy goes a long way: How brands can engage the American Muslim Consumer

Here’s where it gets real juicy:

“This despite these consumers showing the potential to be an extremely loyal customer base, with over 80% saying that they would prefer to buy brands that support Muslim identity through promotion and celebration of religious festivals, for example. And it’s not just that these are great consumers to have on your side — it’s also that they can be potentially vastly damaging to have against you. When faced with a brand that has offended Muslims, almost 99% of consumers said that they would stop using it, 65% doing so even if the available alternatives were not
as good. “

Lowe’s, if you’re reading this and want to know how you can earn back the loyalty you’ve lost in the past few days from American Muslims, here’s a break down by DinarStandard from the results of the 2011 American Muslim Consumer Advocacy Survey that should help you.

Source: DinarStandard, American Muslim Market 2011: Business Landscape & Consumer Needs Study

Conclusion

Lowe’s, it’s not easy to please everyone, we get it. But it’s time to get real. American Muslims are young, educated, and have a serious purchasing power which will only grow for the years to come. As Ogilvy Noor put it, a little bit of empathy goes a long way.

Until then, we know who’s going to get some serious street cred…

via @uncleRUSH

P.S. For those of you who don’t know, I’m one of the organizer’s of AMCC, an annual conference which focuses on understanding and marketing to American Muslim consumers. I encourage you to check out the website and reach out to the team if you’d like to learn more.

  • http://twitter.com/KashifPasta Kashif Pasta

    Great post, Saad. Love all the stuff that’s happening in response to the Lowe’s situation, as someone said recently on Twitter, Muslims aren’t about to let another “Ground Zero Mosque” happen again.

  • Nihal

    Saad Malik is on fire, once again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/omarmasry Omar Masry

    The irony of this is most American Muslims thought the show was a bit silly and weren’t all that interested. Now they’re riled up and will strike fear by using their powerful weapon;….. not spending at Lowe’s! Doesn’t Lowe’s realize American Muslims can be just as consumerist as any other American, if not more. Bad corporation! Bad Corporation!

    • http://www.facebook.com/murujan Giovanni Galluzzo

      asSalam aleikum, I noticed that as well, I also reject the idea of “Muslims Consumer”, sorry but that is an oxymoron in the modern sense of the word consumer, What has happened to us? Are we not ashamed that we proclaim our value in terms of “spending power” ?? Make du’a!

  • Yamalek

    Great article Saad.  I am a Muslim, but am not religious.  Nevertheless, this bigotry against Muslims should stop in this country.  We have been the punch bag for all bigots, quadrupling in quantity and quality since 9/11.  I already threw away my Lowe’s card.  HomeDepot………..you won for now………until you also come up with your own new anti-muslim genius bigotry.  I am sure, as long as Fox News exists, they will be no lack of bigots coming up daily with new sick ideas.  A Jewish friend of mine once said:  “We will never ever allow in this country or anywhere in the world the repetition of the  Holocaust”.  My answer was:  If God forbids another 9/11 occurs, you will know then how wrong you are.

  • Karen M.

    Thanks for sharing this. It’s so insane to me that people are actively against a religious group that accounts for 1/5 of our world’s population! Education and understanding of the realities of Islam are in short supply, sad to say. 

  • gosu

    whens the last time you saw a muslim at lowes anyway??

    • Ayesha

      how do you know you’re looking at one?? do we all look like… oh, i dunno, terrorists or something?

      • Anonymous

        Actually, it’s not a bad point. Even if we ignore the fact that visually a Muslim would not be distinguishable from a Christian, Muslims represent 0.6% of the US population as compared to 78.5% Christians and 1.7% Jews. So if 0.6% stop shopping at Lowe’s and the percentage of bigoted Christians and Jews start shopping there more… what do you think will be the impact on Lowe’s bottom line?

        • http://www.saadmalik.net Saad Malik

          Two words: Social Responsibility.

          • Anonymous

            Of course, but the fact remains that some people have such a skewed sense of “social responsibility” they would take it to mean they should now support Lowe’s rather than exactly the opposite. I’m not defending them, just bringing up their existance and suggesting Lowe’s may have thought the same thing. The variable, as you allude to, is what will the remaining moderate non-Muslims (like myself) do?

        • Amina soliman

          Where do  you get your numbers from Muslims are 2 to 3 times  as much as Jews in this country.

          • Syber

            So now we are engaged to the Jews?  Its the Christians that need adressing.  Please leave the poor Jews alone.  They have a lot on their plates already as bombs fall on them and Pals wearing bombs climb aboard buses.  Enshallah they will too get the message.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1171038371 Christopher Callihan

            U.S. Muslim population 5 million to 7 million

    • Amina soliman

      Mr Gosu ,
      what is a muslim look like?

    • http://www.facebook.com/alkh3myst Musa Ibraheem

      Yeah, gosu. We all wear “Death to America” t-shirts. Even me, and the millions of other Muslim veterans. 

    • Peace2

      Yes- many!

    • Anonymous

      yesterday, and he was RETURNING $2600 worth of appliances he bought a week before.  

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  • http://www.facebook.com/mgarciaojeda Marcos Garcia-Ojeda

    This significantly reduces the likelihood that I’ll shop at Lowe’s.  

  • Ibaad Sadiq

    Saad Malik, well done mashaAllah

  • Imam Yusef

    As Salaamu Alaikum people, Sometimes it takes an incidence like this to happen to realize the buying power that we have as just plain Americans, but as a minority with a special market ready to explode, the Halal Market, but meanwhile lets put a little pressure on Lowes and spend our money somewhere else.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alkh3myst Musa Ibraheem

    Masha’ Allah.

    • Hard worker

      I work for Lowe’s.  I do not agree with my company’s response for pulling advertising from this program.  I aslo got extremely worked up that we would do something so disgusting.  However, have we all missed the fact that a total of 60 other businesses followed suit and pulled advertising also? Some of which are McDonalds and Target.  They were, however, wise enough to not go public.   As I see our company closing stores, and laying off hundreds of hard working people regardless of race or religion due to the state of our economy, it scares me that one person’s words could destroy the hard working American’s that work for Lowe’s chances of making a living.  I get it.  Blast the dumbass that made the statement for their wrong doings.  But maybe we should also consider the employees prior to turning our dollars another direction.     Lowe’s response was not right.  But go into a store sometime and tell me if any of the many thousands of employees have any control over our P.R. people.  We are responding to a real issue in the wrong way.  The last thing we need is boycotts and de-stimulating the economy.  Politicians should, for once, do the right thing and hold the very few accountable for their bigotry.  If you stop shopping at Lowe’s, I assure you, and I’m 100% positive, that the people who do not deserve punishment will be put out on the street.  Think about it, please.

      • Syber

        Watch out you are not protected by the whistle blowers protection act in this case.

  • http://twitter.com/thebrandbuilder Olivier Blanchard

    Always liked Home Depot better anyway. 

  • Dalalatris

    I am not naive but really is there that much haters of Islam.  Why are they scared?  AllAmericanMuslim seemed normal to “them” and they have to go cry to Lowes to pull their ad.  Thats fine as an American I have right to not shop at Lowes anymore and boycott any haters along the way!!

  • MG80

    Beyond the reaction of the Muslim community, there are millions of non-Muslims who are horrified and disgusted by Lowes’ relenting to bigots. This former Catholic, now agnostic girl won’t go near there and doesn’t know anyone who would.

  • Doctor Truth

    Maybe Lowes has some other, equally valid reasons for not wanting to advertise:
    http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Muslim_Statistics 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=502289757 Rabyya Abdulmumin

      We can find plenty of Negative statistics on every country and religion. We are in America because we are “American”. Many people are here for those 5 amendments. So all of those statistics don’t pertain to us. 

    • Anonymous

      who supplied that filthy rag wikiislam—with the idiotic “facts?” Stupidity is all around us and dr. truth is it’s leader.

  • ryan lyell

    DO YOU HONESTLY THINK MUSLIMS KNOW HOW TO RUN POWER TOOLS??? WHAT THE HECK ARE THEY GONNA BE DOING IN LOWES. AMERICA IS NO LONGER WHAT IS USED TO BE CLEARLY BECAUSE WE LET OUR LEADERS CATER TO NON CHRISTIAN BELIEVERS AND COUNTRIES.  COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED ON CHRISTIAN BELIEFS AND NOW WE HAVE A MUSLIM IN OFFICE.

    • http://twitter.com/KashifPasta Kashif Pasta

      Ryan, Ryan, Ryan. The Sears Tower was built by a Muslim engineer. Let’s focus all that hate energy on something productive, shall we?

    • MJS

      Ryan, I hope, no I PRAY that you are being snarky and sarcastic.  Read your constitution again, and you will see NO reference to Christianity, and only ONE reference to religion in the Bill of Rights.  Again.  Know your facts before you start spewing hate.  We fear what we do not understand, and if you post is sincere, then you are completely clueless and stumbing around in the dark ages.

    • Anonymous

      ryan, I’ll show you how to run a power tool……………..

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1171038371 Christopher Callihan

      Two-thirds of Muslim households make more than $50,000 a year and a quarter earn over $100,000. The national average is $42,000.
      Two-thirds of American Muslims have a college degree, compared with less than half of the general population.
       American Muslim’s have an annual spending power of $124-$200 billion just in the U.S. alone. All of this came from the piece above, read it !

  • Lwbinfinity

    So, let me get this straight, Christians are up in arms, because of a program depicting the average life of a group of Americans, who happen to be Muslims?  So, is this an example of the Christian right dictating what I am allowed to watch on the television?  If they do not like, then it’s bad?  I would like to pose this question, how can one group of people have so much power over the media?  ,  but then I remembered that they use the most influential tool available, fear.  Xenophobia, paranoia and peer pressure.  Where i the Bible does it say that Christians have the right to dishnor, and disrespect other people’s religeons and way of life?  I’m a CHristian, and I believe that to be a Christian, you should act Godly and celebrate EVERYONE’s faith and cultures without prejudice.  Christians (not all, but most), have this “Do as I say and Not as I do”, mentality to anything they don’t agree with.  This ceased making me angry years ago.  I can only pity these people for their blindness., and ignorance. 

  • Kathy Fischer

    I am not Muslim I am Catholic , I watch the show I for one will NEVER shop at Lowe’s again what is wrong with people??

  • Mckniffj

    From Florida, raised Catholic; have called and written to Lowe’s to say I’ll not shop there until they apologize and change their position,

  • http://www.facebook.com/sammy.ayyad Sammy Ayyad

    Unless we as a Muslim  consumers in the US  shows our financial muscles to those who do not respect us, they will never value us as a valid a community in the US. Let us show our purchasing power by not buying from LOWE’s,  Also, let us use all media outlets (the way others use it) to express our civilized protest and our outraged against LOWES action.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Juliet.Cox.Galloway Julie Galloway

    Time to shop at the smaller hometown store screw the big box companies!

  • F Gregg Meagher

    Please note: Florida also murdered Terri Schiavo years ago; so you can pretty much understand the mentality there. What bothers me most about the issue of the Lowe’s advertising is not so much their knuckling under pressure; instead, it is the fact that, once again, economics (money) comes into play with regards to Human Beings (those virtual realities created within the mind of True being) be able to live together in unity and the Oneness that is necessary to balance out the Planet’s Population in Peace, harmony, joy, and well being. Beyond consumer buying power, I would prefer to see a push towards balancing the budgets of understanding just what Life is all about… learning from each other the reality of whom we truly are as individuals… going beyond man-made religions and together finding our True Original Foundations of Being and Life’s True Natures and Structure… working together as ‘One’ to bring to an end to inflicted (via politicians, industrial-commercial interests, religious empires) differences… wars… hatred… fear… and the like. Beyond the almighty “Money” there exists Life.

    Within the comments here, I saw repeatedly the aspect of “fear” brought in as being the barrier between Muslims and Catholics. Ironically, fear exists within “human” with regards to all or any differences: job or career titles; income classes; educational degrees, and on… and on. Pathetic as it is “fear” has been intentionally programmed into the management of humans by those most place into the category of “Conspiracy Theories”, when they are mentioned.

    My lifestyle has been kind of an encyclopedia of challenges and changes. Among the chapters and editions, I have found myself in geographical areas and small local populations that were, by their surrounding fellow citizenry, considered closed to foreigners. Foreigner, for these people is defined as being anyone who was not born and raised in this precise area :-) The further away you have come from… the term gets more ominous and frightening for them. I am, after a brief period of time, accepted by the majority in a special and enjoyable manner. By those who manipulated the people of this town, I am less appreciated. Why? I became a part of these people and fought for their rights to live Life, even though I was a “Foreigner”. I guess someone could say, I eliminated differences that had been historically and intentionally created… by not being different and respecting Life’s Values and Natures. The later, a Common Factor!

    In closing, I believe what I am attempting to stress here with regards to fear, is that difference alone seems to harvest fear. On top of that, we need only watch the media and listen to the presidents, ministers, dictators, rich and powerful, and Popes… Imams… Rabis… and, with respect to Florida’s Headquarters > Scientologist… and on. We all have been, through time, history, and generations, manipulated by factions who use the “weapon” of fear to divide us… control and manage us… profit from us… and in brief build their empires of self-interest of one nature or another.

    The key to Our Uniting is crossing that line of fear. Sometimes just saying “Hi!” can do that; other times, it takes a more concentrated and well thought out plan. In the end, once we have found ourselves on the same side of that line? We can come, in time, to understanding that we are profoundly all the same underneath our diverse garments woven with shades of varying experiences… our mental indoctrination or better ‘brainwashing’ from political… and religious… etc. institutions… our own individual misconceptions… and our own fears of changes.

    Have a Great Day Everyone!
    Gregg

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=597756226 Rosalie Clinton

    Very well said!

  • redhand32

    I am also a Catholic. There is a Lowe’s within walking distance of my house. I will now be driving to Home Depot or Ace Hardware. BTW. to give you an idea of how the store responds to pressure, over last summer they had very effective speed bumps installed in front of the store where vans and pickup trucks used to speed past people (elderly and disabled too) pushing lumber and shopping carts from the store. I guess they got a lot of flak from the yahoo pickup truck community and others who could care leass about safety which limits their flag-waving it’s all-about-me “freedom.” So, they took out the speed bumps. Now there are these low grade depressions masquerading as speed bumps. I tested these late at night by going 50 mph past the store with hardly a rise in my seat. The other things might have popped the fillings out of your teeth and broke an axle at that speed. PROFIT WHORES !

  • Adam A

    You know, ultimately this whole fiasco is making me happy. Why you ask? Because just when I see bigotry, ignorance and hate spreading to levels you would have never thought possible, I stumble open the comments here and the actions and statements of every day Americans and see open mindedness, understanding, and solidarity on the basis of our common humanity, irrespective of religion or race. To everyone here: Thank You! My faith in humanity is reinvigorated after reading your comments. To all celebrities and Senators and Congressmen who have also voiced their outrage, thank you too!

  • Andyjr1971

    get over it.  get over yourselves, get into the american society, befcome a free muslim

    • Anonymous

      “get into American society?”  Like your mom and sisters and wife and daughters are walking around half-naked and “free”.  Jesus would be proud of them lounging on the beach tanning their boobs next summer.

      • http://www.saadmalik.net Saad Malik

        @anaimadam:disqus & @cdf6ca40a356d48cd6bd65e95226b3f8:disqus : Please do not make any disrespectful comments. I wrote the post above to encourage a healthy and constructive discussion. Let’s keep it clean. 

  • Elijah

    And when company’s decide for that promotion to the Muslim Community, then I will expect the same respect towards the Christian Community…..it’s called Freedom of Religion…..because if a company decide to promote in anyway towards one specific religion, this is called “Bias”……

  • Average Joe

    Are you purchasing your products as a Muslim or as an American ?

    • Syber

      Both as Americans who happen to be Muslim and Average as you are!  Well maybe a bit brighter though.

  • Hard Worker

    I work for Lowe’s.  I do not agree with my company’s response for pulling advertising from this program.  I aslo got extremely worked up that we would do something so disgusting.  However, have we all missed the fact that a total of 60 other businesses followed suit and pulled advertising also? Some of which are McDonalds and Target.  They were, however, wise enough to not go public.   As I see our company closing stores, and laying off hundreds of hard working people regardless of race or religion due to the state of our economy, it scares me that one person’s words could destroy the hard working American’s that work for Lowe’s chances of making a living.  I get it.  Blast the dumbass that made the statement for their wrong doings.  But maybe we should also consider the employees prior to turning our dollars another direction.     Lowe’s response was not right.  But go into a store sometime and tell me if any of the many thousands of employees have any control over our P.R. people.  We are responding to a real issue in the wrong way.  The last thing we need is boycotts and de-stimulating the economy.  Politicians should, for once, do the right thing and hold the very few accountable for their bigotry.  If you stop shopping at Lowe’s, I assure you, and I’m 100% positive, that the people who do not deserve punishment will be put out on the street.  Think about it, please.

    • Anonymous

      While I feel for you….tell it to your bosses who have a say in how this all works out. Apologize to us, for “dissing” us, and TAKING SIDES.

  • craig wortham

    I think you are a stinking idiot….don’t shop at my store either  you premote terrorism

    • Anonymous

      please let us know the name of YOUR store.  I’d love to meet you there just once so I can spit…….

  • Mohd Al Hammad

    Dear Brothers & sisters,

    Just saw this link off a retweetnon twitter. I would like to tell you my opinion. Boycotting never helps the economy; hence, it kills it. We as Muslims are people of peace, we work hard nowadays to unite the Omah and discriminating us from other is an old school tactic to divide us. We see this everyday but be strong by being united. To conclude, I would like to say if I’m in your shoe and even if it kills the economy I will boycott any company the tries to discriminate our Islamic beliefs.

    Follow me @mohdalhammad

  • F Gregg Meagher

    The ‘Real Issue’ here, is that obviously in Florida there exists some biased, ignorant, and (other adjectives could be injected here). These types of ‘individuals’ exist all over the World; and, in every industrial-commercial, political, religious, sport, or other sector. They do not represent America, or the Nation in which they live. They represent only themselves. And believe me, they are not worth even discussing.

    America is a wonderful mixed salad of Human Life’s diversities. It is a Family. Only individuals can create individual diseases called ‘differences’ that can deteriorate the Spirit of this Family. These later individuals? They haven’t understood anything about America! They live and thrive on their passion to destroy… to be superior instead of seek equality… they live within their mind’s limitations to break through indoctrination… brainwashing of one type or another.

    America is People. It is not religious… political… economically structured by class… or the like. These are the  doings of ‘Individuals’. It is ‘Unity’ in resolving issues that is critical to America’s Profile. Journalists, are the 1st ones in line that must demonstrate fairness in ‘Uniting’ People based on facts … and reasons. I have not read either here with regards to the actual occurrences and the reasons for Lowe’s, or any other business’s decision. I have not read about the ‘individual or individuals’ who initiated this action either. The only thing I noted here, was a mediati assault to provoke the Islamic Peoples against Lowe’s decision. This is defined as ‘One-sided Journalism”. This type of journalism provokes the World’s problems and violence in many ways.

    As ‘Americans’, I would suggest we maintain, or acquire, unity in fully understanding and resolving all issues that provoke divisions within our borders… or abroad. If ‘People’ stay together, Humanity will win! There are courts that handle bias… individuals can file lawsuits if they feel injured by decision-making policies of another. In this particular case, the problem obviously focuses, not on Lowe’s, but on the Floridian entity, which put pressure on Lowe’s and other seemingly major businesses to drop their advertising.

    I have never watched the ‘show’ in question. Thus, I would wisely question if religious background was the issue; or, as many TV Shows in America have been historically boycotted by advertisers: Is the nature or content of the show the real issue; and not, the fact that it is an Islamic Show? The later “Islamic Show”, I find also awkward. Due to the fact that it is an American TV Show, if it is being broadcasted in America :-)

    Have a Great Day Americans! And, Everyone else within the Universe too!

    :-)
    Gregg

  • http://www.facebook.com/gayle.fleming Gayle Fleming

    I am heartened by all of the Americans who are outraged at Lowe’s. I don’t know anyone who isn’t outraged.  As a Realtor and member of NAR I can give all of my clients a discount of 10% over and above any other promotion.  Sadly I will not be giving this discount until Lowe’s changes it’s bigoted position.  Someone on Lowe’s FB page said they thought I might lose a lot of business by taking this position.  Well I don’t think I’m going to be the one losing business.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Willis/100000200417130 Jason Willis

    From Louisiana, atheist, and WILL NOT shop @ Lowe’s!

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm.  So now the left is all on the side of the theocrats, ey?  Well, as long as they are anti-Christian, anti-Western, kick-America-and-Israel theocrats.  What’s next?  A call to boycott all things Jewish in America?  It’s coming.  It’s coming.  They just haven’t had time to worm their way into enough political influence, but it’s coming.

  • Richie20

    All american muslim and all muslims can kiss my american ass. GO HOME¡!!!!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/ecachette Ellie Cachette

    I really like how you view your role as a consumer, its very powerful. Most consumers should be paying closer attention. This post from today actually reminded me of your sentiment, though it was geared at product recalls http://bit.ly/Aqar9g 

  • Sicboy

    I will always shop at Lowe’s. They have clean wide aisles, good prices and selection, and they know the truth about Islam. I for one am tired of seeing women walk around in Burkas. If you’re going to act like you live in Saudi Arabia just go live there. P.S. Does anyone know how old The profit Mohammed’s favorite wife Aisha was when they married? She was nine. Check it out.

  • Azra

    i agree what lowes did was wrong. but i dont think that they should make halal foods everywhere and languages because this isnt an muslim country.