Reverse Branding

This interesting post from Living Light Bulbs (hat-tip to the Get to the Point Newsletter at for the link) essentially talks about identifying an experience with a brand rather than vice versa.  The takeaways that Get to Point identifies from the piece are:

Make a personal connection essentially by treating your customers as individual rather than demographics;

Give people a reason to talk about you by focusing on creating dialogues rather than controlling messages; and

Tell a story with your product or brand rather than trying to be clever with corporate buzzwords and abstract slogans.

The key takeaway for me is essentially to broaden your marketing mix.  The public relations discipline has been doing this kind of thing for a long time – we exist to tell stories.  It is unfortunate, in my opinion, that a lot of people still seem to think that we are the people who control the media; the hounds who you set on a reporter if you don’t like what they wrote.

Used properly, PR has an unmatched capacity to build and develop these sorts of brand relationships.  It may mean doing some things a little differently.  It may mean taking the lawyers out of the room for a while.  It may even mean recognizing that communication is a strategic function of your business that can actually have an impact on the bottom line.

The alternative is essentially to stand in the market and shout your brand name as loud as you can.  Unfortunately, thousands of other brands are doing that as well.

And no-one is listening.


3 Responses to Reverse Branding

  1. Thanks for the shout-out Steve. I also think PR plays a major role in the ‘mix.’ Not necessarily the traditional form of “I talk, you listen” PR, but the kind where people and conversations become the catalyst. In fact, if your brand is doing things right, your customers will actually do all the PR work you’ll ever need.

    Thanks again,


  2. Steve Bowen says:


    Thanks for dropping by. PR has for a long time been headed away from the old mass communications model. Smart companies realise that stakeholders want to be talked with, not talked to – that’s why Edelman’s research shows that the most trusted opinions about an organization come from “Someone Like You.” It’s always been true that customers (and other stakeholders) will do the job for you if you get the brand thing right – what is often overlooked is that your PR and communications team need to be involved at a strategic level to ensure that communications between the company and the stakeholders are managed in a way that compliments the brand itself.



  3. Thank you for any other excellent post. The place else may just anybody get that kind of information in such an ideal way of writing?
    I have a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the look for such info.

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