Canavan, Brendan (2016) Why Islamic State’s ‘brand’ is weak and vulnerable. The Conversation. ISSN 2044-5032

Islamic State (IS) is the most notorious terror group in the world. Its name and values are known and feared globally, and it provokes, inspires and incenses to an extent most terrorist groups can only dream about. It owes a lot of that power to what superficially seems like a strong and consistent “brand” – a collection of recognisable cues that define and control the group’s identity and embody its appeal to its chosen audience.

But scratch the surface of the IS brand, and its deep flaws soon become clear. Its appeal is limited to the marginalised and already likeminded, and it is deeply vulnerable to any competitor with the wherewithal to dismantle and ridicule it powerfully enough. The problem is that no-one has managed to do this yet.

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