In this day and age where brands are valuable, part of a Halal product’s branding is its company’s stance on Halal. This means, what are the company’s Halal goals, what are the Halal procedures and most importantly how is the company communicating these to its customer?
Like all brands it needs to be of substance, otherwise the consumers will not respect the brand and ultimately the product and company. With this in mind, a Halal statement needs to be well thought out and reflective of a company’s practices and vision.
Why bother with a Halal statement? Simple – competitive advantage. People identify themselves with certain brands; some people buy certain soaps just because it doesn’t harm the environment or animals. Consumers of Halal products too will start to make purchasing decisions based on the fact that you pay close attention to the details of Halal. Some consumers refuse to buy meat that has been stunned, for example. Soon all companies will have Halal statements that go hand in hand with an Environmental Statement, Mission Statement, Community Statement and the like.
If your company does not have a Halal statement, you better be thinking about getting one, because your competitors are going to have one and the leaders in the industry have already got one. Who is ahead of the curve? Companies that pay attention to detail, like Nestle and McDonald’s, and other MNCs, all have Halal statements. They are easily found too – McDonald’s in Malaysia, for example have them on the door as you walk in their restaurants.
It is not just the statement, you have to be what you say you are or it will flop, or even worse. This is also how consumers can influence how big corporations deal with the Halal issue. Large companies are always willing to follow the standards and Halal standards are no different. In the case of Halal standards they may just need to be educated or shown the correct procedure to follow. This is up to the Muslims to educate people and corporations alike about Halal.
**This article was first published in The Halal Journal Jul/Aug 2005 edition.