A guy walks into a bar. He designs 20 logos, a website template and a social media presence. The guy employs his creative genius and crafts an entire brand from the ground up. So where’s the punchline?

Well, this guy has no client. That’s right – he spilled blood, sweat and tears in an audacious attempt to reinvent the branding process. Now he’s sitting at the bar with the shell of a brand and a handful of business cards, comfortably lying in wait to pitch his hard work to the highest bidder.

The guy’s name is Ben Pieratt, and what he’s done here is no joke. The graphic designer and co-founder of Svpply created his make-believe brand Hessian from scratch and has now placed it on the market. For $18,000 you can buy his domain name, social media presence, collection of logo designs, an app interface and 30 hours of creative manpower to tweak the brand to your liking (and more).

Image from hessian.tv

This design would conceivably be a great match for a clothing brand, and Pieratt recommends this among various routes to take his sculpted brand (including a restaurant, mobile application or furniture line). He wisely created a design concept that’s versatile in its possible uses, leaving the opportunity for subsequent purchase wide open.

Images from hessian.tv

So is this a stroke of genius or utter folly? For starters, it’s certainly not the first time someone has created a predesigned logo or brand identity.

Web service Brandbucket creates and sells unique brand identities to prospective businesses for one-time payments that vary, seemingly based on the design and anticipated demand. Each branding bundle sold here comes with both a logo and domain name, two essential ingredients that any germinating business requires. This sort of sales approach is nowhere near as ambitious as Mr. Pieratt’s package, but it’s far more affordable for entrepreneurs jumping into a risky pursuit.

Image from Brandbucket

The more modest investments featured on Brandbucket are, in this case, also easier to adapt to. Instead of sealing yourself into an all-inclusive branding suite with website themes, apps and social media, the road ahead is much more open-ended.

And for businesses going the a la carte route for pre-branded designs, there are happy mediums such as logo design middleman Brandcrowd that do the trick. Giving freelance designers the opportunity to showcase their creations, they provide thousands of custom logos (some of which are paired with domain names) to choose from.

Image from Brandcrowd

The big advantage to Brandcrowd is that they offer the ability to customize the text in a logo to accommodate any given brand name. This makes the predesigned options much more practical for businesses that have already committed to a name. Coupled with significantly lower prices, the standalone logo option seems to be a safe bet for new companies and has evidently become a popular alternative to more expensive commissioned branding.

With these reverse branding business ventures, successful sales boil down to a tradeoff between price tag and marketing malleability. Sites selling ready-to-go branding packages have proven elements of the preloaded marketing platform to be worthwhile and realistic. But will self-confident startups really shell out five figures for the whole kit and caboodle? Could Ben Pieratt’s ballsy new model of backwards branding make a splash in the marketing industry?

Once our joke’s proverbial guy saunters from the bar with a deep-pocketed smirk, we should know for sure.