Ramadan Insights Report Highlights Importance of Authenticity for Brands in Indonesia

Though concerns with inflation linger, the joy of a physical Ramadan, the first in a long three years, is palpable in Indonesia says a new report from M&C Saatchi Indonesia.

Image by shohib tri

According to M&C Saatchi Indonesia’s annual Ramadan White Paper, this year titled “Prayer and Pragmatism”, the joy of a physical Ramadan, following three years of restrictions, is palpable across Indonesia, while noting that brands looking to engage with consumers there need to do so with authenticity.

This year’s findings show that despite inflationary pressures, “families are making plans for mudik, loosening their wallets even as they remain mindful, and are ready to leverage technology for their faith,” says the agency.

The report takes a closer look at GenZ, noting that although they may not possess the purchasing power of millennials, they hold significant influence in many aspects – especially in Indonesia where they are the largest demographic group comprising 27.94% of the population.


“For a generation of Muslim Gen-Zers, Ramadan is important as they use it to embed habits that are true to the enlightened values of their religion— empathy, spirituality and kindness,” says the report adding that starting young helps to ingrain these habits and values as the ones they keep for life.

“We know how vital authenticity is for GenZ, and it is no different in this arena. They don’t want the odd ‘Happy Ramadan’ post on social media but genuine engagement with the experience.”

M&C Saatchi Indonesia also notes that authenticity is vital for Gen Z, and significant during Ramadan.

“They don’t want the odd ‘Happy Ramadan’ post on social media, but genuine engagement with the experience,” says the report, highlighting that in 2023, the GenZ experience of Ramadan is augmented by their connectedness to each other through the virtual world.


Inflation remains a concern

According to the report, inflation and the rising cost of living are causing Indonesians to be more conscious about sending and looking for answers to financial questions.

In Indonesia, 46% of consumers said they were “very much affected” by price increases, says the report, adding that the product categories felt by the majority of Indonesian consumers experienced significant price increases, namely food (87%), gas (68%), and beverages (52%), says the report.

It also notes that “on secondary/pleasure expenditures, consumers began to save in domestic and international travel, cultural activities, and others.”

The data showed that search interest in “harga turun” (price cuts) and “kenapa harga naik” (why prices are increasing) rose by 60% and 120% year over year respectively.

However, optimism for the future is high with the majority of Indonesians being optimistic that the nation’s economy will grow stronger in the next six months. The people’s optimism at 77% puts it at the highest rank compared to other Southeast Asian countries, said M&C Saatchi Indonesia data.

Engaging with the right content

In its advice to brands looking to more effectively engage with GenZ during the season, the report notes that while traditional Ramadan content like food, cooking, and religion matter, GenZ resonates more in beauty, fashion, technology, finance, and gaming, specifically pointing to comedy and pop culture content to virtual concerts and shopping events as several content opportunities for brands to tap into to cut through the noise.

The 47-page report is based on a quantitative consumer survey across cities, listening into conversations over the last two months, exploring cultural and technology movements of the present, and an analysis of successful Ramadan campaigns in past year. The report provides advice to marketers and technology creators to fan the optimism, leverage passion points and social norms – all in the context of Ramadan traditions and behaviors, with a particular focus on how Indonesia’s Gen Z balances traditional values with new forms of expression during Ramadan.

“Our approach towards accelerated commerce leading to audacious results requires us to have sharp insights on significant consumer segments that impact brands,” said Anish Daryani, Founder and President Director, M&C Saatchi Indonesia.

“Our Ramadan outlook through the eyes of the Indonesian GenZ is aimed at achieving the same purpose. We’ve used specific category examples to demonstrate how these insights can be leveraged by brands to maximize the Ramadan marketing opportunity.”

You can learn more about the report’s findings here.


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