Welcome to the first full day of the promotional products industry’s premier show— The PPAI Expo 2016. Whether a distributor or supplier, no doubt you’re ready to rub elbows with the best and the brightest this industry has to offer. So prep your personal brand with this advice from one of today’s speakers, Patrick Henry. If you’re at The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas, you can hear Henry live during today’s keynote luncheon as he presents Becoming Remember-able.

“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 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 better not mean within your mother’s bible study class. 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. I would then tell him “you can’t call yourself a vegetarian 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 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 advertisements 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 brands, 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.

Here more from Henry at today’s luncheon from 11:45 am to 1 pm at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Ballroom J. Purchase tickets at the registration booth in the lobby area. PPAI Member: presentation only $25 / with lunch $55. Nonmember: presentation only $50 / with lunch $110.

Source: Patrick Henry is a motivational humorist and customer service speaker who believes “If you can’t create an emotional connection with your customers … you’ll lose them.” As a featured performer on the SiriusXM Radio Family Comedy Channel, Henry delivers hilarious keynote presentations that show how to create extraordinary customer experiences. His book The Pancake Principle: Seventeen Sticky Ways to Make Your Customers Flip For You can be found on Amazon.com.