We’re so glad you could make it! Brad and I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome our precious little content-generator into the world and see what type of engagement they’ll inspire. There’s just no telling what type of media will end up being the best way for our gift from heaven to spread their message of positivity, love, and corporate synergy. That’s what makes it all so exciting!

We’ll be cutting the cake in a few minutes. The flavor inside will reveal which initial brand strategy we’ll be implementing for our bundle of joy. Vanilla means we start with a mommy blog with cute stories about their development that tie in specific product placements. Chocolate means aggressively-posed “candids” of their childhood, starting from birth and ending whenever they find out that we’ve been commodifying their daily existence and demand that we delete the account or they’ll emancipate themselves and sue us for exploitation of a minor. Red velvet means toddler dance videos.

Have we thought of names? Of course! Though we want to be careful not to pin our tiny bundle of joy down to any one particular brand identity right from the start. Still, we were thinking “Marsden” if they seem like an Instagram Model, “Carsden” if they’re more of a style influencer, and “Blarsdryn” if they’re vibing like a YouTube conspiracy theory video-type. But we have lots of time to think about all that before our wee one comes into the world and starts driving that sweet, sweet sponsored social media traffic for Mommy and Daddy, don’t we?

We’ve been planning for a while, now, of course, even before we knew for sure we were expecting. You can never be too prepared to welcome a new personal brand into your family. We’ve already started paying into their 529 plan, as well as investing in relationships with administrations at several reputable private schools where our tiny blessing will have access to the best teachers, the brightest peers, and the most flattering lighting. Like any responsible parent of a future brand, we’re already in preliminary negotiations for college sponsorships with several major corporations — Target, PetSmart, Bass Pro Shops, etc. — but in the end what’s most important is that our child is happy, healthy, and well-compensated for their image and likeness.

In the end, we know a personal brand is just a starting point. Because, as loving, compassionate parents-to-be, we’re prepared for our new arrival to need time to explore their identity and come to their own choices about the brand expression that best fits them. Maybe they’ll start as a meme-generator and develop into more of a “first-person-to-reply-to-famous-people’s-tweets” kind of brand. Or maybe they’ll be a late bloomer who doesn’t really make anything of their brand at first only to appear on The Bachelor, Survivor, and Dancing with the Stars in consecutive seasons. Perhaps there’s a personal brand identity we haven’t even thought of, or one that doesn’t even exist right now, on a platform that’s yet to be invented. And that’s fine. We don’t want little Marsden/Carsden/Blarsdryn to feel pinned down to a restrictive, normative notion of a personal brand. We’re just here to support them and give them a start. What they choose to do from there — presuming that at some point it generates positive cash-flow and is easily leveraged to industry-adjacent side-projects — is entirely up to them.

Ooh, Brad’s letting me know it’s time to pop the balloons! Inside one there’s a rolled up piece of paper indicating our baby’s hashtag, which we encourage you to use for all your social media posts from the event. This will help us aggregate everyone’s individual experiences today into a subscription-based immersive lifestyle product which will help defray the investment costs incurred by us in the start-up phase of our baby’s brand life-cycle. Every little bit helps!

And please, don’t forget to take a gift bag before you go. Each one has a copy of my latest ultrasound, which you’re free to keep or sell on eBay or your auction site of choice once it appreciates in value. And thanks so much for coming! As they say: It really does take a village to monetize a child!