“Clean Comedian for corporate, government, or personal events. Contact me for rates and availability.” That’s what the post said on the professional speakers and entertainers group that I am a part of on Linkedin. I was intrigued, not because I am looking for a corporate comic, but because I wanted to see the face of the person who would break etiquette and blatantly advertise on Linkedin. I googled the name and found a youtube clip of a comedy show that he did a couple of years ago. “Clean Comedian” is how this person branded himself and 28 seconds into his act, he dropped the F Bomb. THE F BOMB! Now don’t get me wrong, I am not easily offended by profanity as long as it’s not around my kids, but I AM offended by a misleading branding statement. If you say your book is a best seller, you’d better not mean within your mother’s bible study. If you say you are the toughest man in the world, there had better be a line of broken and battered bodies littering your wake, and if you say you are a clean comedian then you’d better not drop the F bomb. If I were to have a conversation with this gentleman and express my opinion he would probably tell me that he modifies his language based on the event, or he may just tell me to ‘F’ OFF. I would then tell him “you can’t call yourself a vegeterian and have your tofu wrapped in bacon”. Unlike in years past, we no longer have control over our brand. Major companies such as Nike, Apple, and McDonalds spend millions of dollars on creating a branding statement which is nothing more than four or five words that come to mind when you hear a product name. Nike=swoosh, sports, running, football. Apple= Mac, sleek, fast, elite. McDonalds = easy, tasty, kids, cheap. For years, corporations were able to control their brand with advertisments and commercials. This is no longer the case. Thanks to social media and youtube, the control of our brand has transferred to the consumer. If I receive bad customer service, I tell my online community. If I do it in a funny or interesting way then it will ripple into their communities. Videos of me speaking and performing are all over Youtube and Vimeo. Some were put up by me and some by others. Because the internet provides immediate access into our brand, there is a transparency between us and the customer that has never before existed. The best way for us to promote and protect our brand is to simply…BE THE BRAND.