What lies behind the veil

Date of publication: March 30, 2003


NFO WorldGroup Middle East and Africa has developed alternative methodologies and approaches to help mine consumer minds and tap into the Gulf Arab society that is seemingly inaccessible to marketers and marketing researchers. This paper reviews the conceptualization of these approaches into a philosophy called Al Taqarub ('Getting Closer'). Al Taqarub is the result of working closely with Gulf Arab housewives for several years and over many projects, understanding the conflicts and paradoxes that govern their lives and the behavioural mechanisms they use to resolve tension and find an acceptable balance. Al Taqarub helps understand the psyche, personality and lifestyle of Arab women as well as to identify broad emotional themes that brands can tap into to become more successful. It does not limit itself to segmenting the market into homogenous clusters, but drills into each cluster, segments consumers' minds and identifies emotional hot buttons that brands can leverage. It is all about understanding the paradoxes, inconsistencies and apparent contradictions that characterize the Gulf Arab housewife.

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