Faith Trumps Fear this Ramadan as Consumer Confidence Grows in Indonesia

    Brands must ride the wave of consumer optimism to build a strong resonance with the people says M&C Saatchi Indonesia.

    By The Staff - Apr 12, 2021
    Faith Trumps Fear this Ramadan as Consumer Confidence Grows in Indonesia

    M&C Saatchi Indonesia has released their second annual Ramadan report, detailing the state of business sentiment in the Southeast Asian nation.

    The holy month comes at a time when the country is feeling optimistic with the arrival of vaccines, the opening up of the economy, and freedom of movement.

    “The last year has seen consumer behavior change dramatically, as they coped with the pandemic,” said Anish Daryani, Founder and President Director, M&C Saatchi Indonesia. “However, what’s unique about Indonesia is that business sentiment is low, while consumer optimism is higher than ever.

    “Fear and Fearlessness are the two key pillars that drive this sense of optimism. Following a great response to our Ramadan white paper in 2020, we wanted to present some bold insights to brands so that they could ride this wave of consumer optimism. The ideas presented in the white paper can serve as a shot in the arm for businesses to align with consumer expectations.”

    According to the report, there’s a general sense of optimism percolating up through consumer behavior.


    After a year of painful separation from loved ones, the festival of spiritual reflection will make the teachings of Ramadan of caring and compassion all the more relevant.


    The season of gift-giving will continue to see strong e-commerce activity that exploded last year, further buoyed by the prospect for income to improve.


    Social distancing has become a part of consumers’ daily lives and many will continue to adopt safety consciousness to not only protect themselves but also others.


    Indonesia’s response to Covid has built confidence among its people that the government is doing the right thing – whether through job creation or the rollout of vaccines

    Bold Predictions:

    • Freedom from fear has renewed faith in spirituality and this will mean an increase in digital donation.
    • Food, which is at the heart of celebrating and spending time with friends and family, will see dependence on delivery apps with 55% of families ordering food, a habit that was formed from pre-pandemic times.
    • Media consumption for entertainment, which typically increases during Ramadan, will remain core to gatherings during Sahur and early mornings. Streaming services saw a 41% increase while TV viewership increased by 372% during Ramadan.
    • After a year of restrained spending, Indonesians are ready to indulge in shopping. Food & beverage, household, health, and electronics categories were the four most popularly searched for online.
    • Indonesians will continue to use video streaming to connect with their loved ones
    • Domestic travel will resume, though cautiously, as private cars will be preferred over buses or trains
    • Brand engagement with their consumers will be in focus as consumers will expect companies to demonstrate generosity and acts of charity.

    Brand messaging:

    Gratitude, a definitive theme: Brands must guide consumers through the use of relevant stories and must prove they themselves are charitable in their actions

    Giving back to the community: The lessons of Covid can strongly resonate with people who have collectively suffered from the pandemic – be it emotionally, financially, or socially. Brands too must adopt and support causes consumers care about.

    Connecting people: With 79% of people staying connected with their family and loved ones online, brands must find ways to bring families together and create conversations that spread positivity and hope. By leveraging the right media channels, brands can build content to connect with consumers in more meaningful ways.

    Creative solutions: The past year saw an increase in digital adoption due in large part to quarantine and lockdown measures. Platforms like TikTok became an escape from the world. Creative solutions that connect families, bring joy, or make lives more comfortable, will win customer loyalty.

    Measured celebration: After a year of restrained spending and celebrating, consumers are more cost-conscious than before. Expenditures on consumables may not immediately increase and brands that offer guidance in finding the right kind of gift as well as through discounts will be valued.

    Entertainment is the glue: Lively programs have captivated audiences for years during Ramadan. Consumers’ time on mobile devices has increased and content offerings have skyrocketed. Gaming has exploded in popularity. Multi-screening will remain popular among youngsters who will use their mobile devices to stream music, check-in on social media and read emails while watching TV.

    Shopping: Some 79% of consumers are planning to buy goods only during the Ramadan month, up from 33% last year. Online shopping accelerated during Covid and further peaks during Ramadan with consumers visiting e-commerce sites during Sahur hours of 4 am until 10 am.

    Brands and retailers should find ways to keep their prospects engaged throughout, establish their relevance, and leverage impulse purchases by offering discounts as well as by aligning with consumers’ media consumption and online search patterns through moment marketing.

    Assurances of return to normalcy: Virtual communications have kept people connected during the lockdowns though most can’t wait to meet with their friends and family in person. Brands who share assurances of a safe return to normalcy while also emphasizing the need to maintain safe distancing will help people feel more optimistic.


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