This article at Tech Central
makes the point that Al Qaeda has estaliblished a "brand name" in the media, but that it can't protect that brand. In strategic terms, the brand of Al Qaeda terrorism is "open territory" where whoever makes the most progress the fastest in fact will own the brand. Osama Bin Laden was the brand at first, but today Zarqawi owns it. However, a brand is not only a territory, it is a position. When a brand is open territory, it become an spread-out position as many organizations claim leadership. Spread-out positions are inherently weak, as openings between its parts (such as Zarqawi's and Kawahiri's) create opportunities for opponents.
Link was sent by Will Brown, makes this point:
The media as a counter offensive tool? Simply put, by flooding the information avenue's (web, print, broadcast) with competing messages and appeals for support, a power could seriously dilute a terrorist groups appearance of effectiveness at the least. Such would have to be credably done, of course, although even such efforts becoming common knowledge would have an overall delitrious effect, I think. Doing so as a domestic action would be troubling (to put it mildly), but seem worthwhile for clearly identifiable foreign threats.
I happen to be doing a book on marketing strategy right now (and update of Art of Marketing
, which is almost sold out) and its analysis shows that Sun Tzu's strategy favors publicity over advertising because of the difference in cost. It costs billions to build a worldwide brand through advertising. However, Al Qaeda did it virtually for free though publicity events that played to the media's interests.
Since my new book is called "Warrior Marketing" I may use the Al Qaeda example in the book's publicity campaign.