Reverse branding is a critical part of branding in the social media era. It is something that a social media marketer must be aware of. Reverse branding occurs when customers themselves brand the entrepreneurs. The brand for entrepreneur creates the brand for the product.
Reverse branding revolves around repositioning the market. Repositioning revolves redefining a market. Many times when markets are repositioned, the paradigm shift is not noticed by the general public. Game changing entrepreneurs, such as Henry Ford and Steven Jobs, do understand when there have been sudden changes in the ways that markets operate. The only way that a new, repositioned market can be created is because customers have great confidence in the entrepreneur—that because this entrepreneur is so talented, the new product must be all right. In 1908, Henry Ford realized that the auto market had repositioned itself around lowest cost. In 2007, Steven Jobs realized that the telecommunications market had shifted from a place that centered on communicating voice messages to a market in which data is communicated.
Water is more than a $12 billion market. Actor Matt Damon is creating a brand in water by positioning the market around “the least of these”—people in Third World countries who are dirt poor, who at first glance seem to have no resources to either create or consume at a level that is needed to create a world class brand. Matt is devising a world class brand in water by linking stakeholders. He is linking consumers and developers of water in the Third World. These people are the same. They are citizens of third world villages. Matt is creating jobs in villages to create water. His is arranging for microfinaniers to invest in the villages. This is an ironic combination.The people in the villages are economically destitute and the financiers are hardened businessmen with a cold eye for the bottom line. Matt is bringing these two seemingly disparate groups together because, together, they have the ability to create a world class brand in water.
This water brand is being created through reverse branding. Both groups have great confidence in Matt Damon. The fact that Matt Damon is involved creates credibility in the minds of the two disparate groups. Each has created, in their minds, a brand for Matt that allows this project to move forward. The poor villagers have motivation to create a good product. They cannot live without good water. Neither can their families, especially the children.
Because of the quality of the workers, they are an excellent investment target for financiers, who want to become involved in a major contemporary market. Matt Damon is an excellent bench mark for philanthropy. Almost all Fortune 500 companies “give back”. This is a wonderful thing. Matt Damon is developing clean water in destitute villages in Africa by creating significant jobs for good people. He has created a major investment opportunity for private banks. He has created the potential for a major brand in water to be created. He has done this because the confidence that the two separate and disparate groups have in him. He has created a brand in water through reverse branding.