Al Qaeda and the Corporate Brand

Corporate branding is not a phrase we ordinarily would associate with Al Qaeda and yet, somehow, news of the putative $1 billion fine for Intel from the EU and Justice Department rumblings about renewed vigor in anti-trust enforcement all come together in the Valley of Swat.  According to today’s New York Times, the Jihadists are momentarily setting aside their plans to create havoc in the West to lick their chops over the prospects of a Taliban- controlled Pakistan.  They are actively engaging in that country but making a few adjustments says Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert from Georgetown cited in the article.  “If you look at Al Qaeda as a brand, they know when to broadcast the brand, as the group has done in North Africa,” Mr. Hoffman said. “And they know when to cloak the brand, as it has done in Pakistan.”

In recent years, having a strong and visible corporate brand has been regarded as an essential component of corporate strategy.  However, as corporations contemplate the new anti-trust environment, it could be a worthwhile exercise to examine where and when to broadcast the corporate brand and where and when to play it down.  Once again, an unexpected lesson from a surprising source.  Thank you, Mr. Hoffman.

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