Strategy | Branding | B2C | E-Commerce | Illustration | Marketing
DJ Basbousa’s mission is to bring Middle Eastern pop culture from the Middle East to the Arab diaspora that is starved for safe spaces & to build community in Washington DC and vicinity.
What started as the rising female Arab resident dj in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, turned into an Arab & feminist curation for dance parties, events, & culture festivals supporting local Middle Eastern businesses in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area.
How a popular Middle Easter pastry is becoming DC’s favorite dj set.
Naming a business can be one of the most challenging steps. For DJ Basbousa, it became almost too natural, given the transparent nature of the project: to curate art, music & culture.
It’s simply what the dj’s nickname as a child used to be called by her father and a basic descriptor of her primary objective: to be a dj of Middle Eastern music.
While the “DJ + Name” seems all too played out, DJ Basbousa isn’t a one-trick pony in that the brand continues to champion its curation of Middle Eastern art & culture through its online shop, in addition to dance parties, private events, and culture festivals.
Our dj has a background in anthropology, which is an excellent explanation of how this project is gaining traction. She continues to explore human behavior and curate those experiences through community, music, art & design.
The base typeface is Cairo. While it addresses main principles in good type design: readability, clarity, presence, & font weight range, it also includes a great font set for Arabic glyphs, which play an integral role in lending to the authenticity of the brand name and its ability to support a bilingual narrative. Not to mention, the client’s hometown.
The website is powered by WordPress, running on WooCommerce. It is a robust funnel that is clear and concise from brand awareness, education, and conversions.
It may appear simplistic, but the product page has several subtle user experience features that make it an exceptional sales machine.
- Eliminated drop-down selectors for colors & variants so shoppers can immediately see their options;
- Buy with Google Pay or Apple Pay that renders specifically for the user’s connected web browser to reduce friction in the checkout process;
- Flexible payment options with PayPal for premium product price points;
- Non-intrusive Size Guide to not overload shopper with information they don’t yet need.
- Share icons to easily encourage users to become brand ambassadors.
What we didn’t want the brand to be was an orientalist expectation of the Western gaze. It would’ve been a disservice to the Arab diaspora if we were to just design desert & camels.
We wanted to reach the intelligent cleverness of what Arab pop culture can be.
It’s current events, nostalgia, and the self-deprecating humor of what it was and continues to be living in the Middle East and dealing with Arab family and friends as an expat. Not to mentioned all the conflated assumptions by the West as to what being Arab means.
One of the biggest challenges for DJ Basbousa was to have the flexibility to segment audiences that were there for her dj-ing skills and dance parties in addition to the shopping experience.
Through dynamic opt-in forms, the brand can navigate its regional dj sets audience in the DC area while still engaging her growing online presence that can ship worldwide.
It’s nearly impossible to be a person-of-color that isn’t affected by politics; it’s even a more daunting challenge being an Arab woman in the United States that isn’t affected by politics.
Celebrating and enjoying Middle Eastern culture comes with a social responsibility to speak up for the injustices many disenfranchised Middle Easterners, specifically Palestinians, have endured and continue to in the face of occupation.
It’s why, in addition to the products and services that the brand offers, it also hosts benefit gatherings such as the “Open Mic for Palestine”, donation drives with other local businesses such as “Fava Pot”, and protest art available to the community.
DJ Basbousa is a unique combination of intent, familiarity, and sentiment that had the good fortune of having all necessary online domain names and social media profiles.