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Why We Get to Say “Fuck” and You Don’t

Let’s be clear: Your brand wasn’t built on your belief to always tell clients the truth even if it means dropping the occasional F-bomb to get your point across­. You know whose was? Ours.

The New York Times doesn’t try to be The Onion.

Unfortunately, it seems many people and companies are taking advantage of the opportunity social media offers to fail their brands in real time.

Here’s where you went wrong:

  • You pushed the boundaries of your brand on social media. You weirded people out. You bastardized your brand. Shame on you.
  • You think social media is your opportunity to go rogue. It’s not.
  • You forgot, but the Internet didn’t. Companies like Chrysler learned the hard way that every touch-point counts and should be representative of your values as a person or a company.
  • You left out the human piece. I get it — you’re different from the rest: You love people, long walks on the beach and snuggle time. Your brand was built on the idea that people matter. But do you really love people? Are you different? No. Instead, you automated your entire online presence and assified the Internet.
  • You treated the symptoms, not the source. Your tweets or status updates have very little to do with your brand. Those are symptoms. The brand itself is the source. If your mission, values and customer experience have little to do with what your culture is really like, it will be impossible to have a consistent voice in any form of media.

Even conservative brands can be bold by staying true to their message and their voice. The boldness comes from telling the truth, not from the words themselves.

Trust that your brand will benefit from authenticity, not shock and awe.

Journalist Edward R. Murrow once said, “To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful.”

Tell the truth. Quit imitating and know thyself.

If you’re going through a “what does it all mean?” phase and you need some guidance on who you are, you know who to call. (Hint: It’s not Ghostbusters.)