We all spend a lot of effort towards shaping our brand image. Truth is, we are not the decision makers. Consumer perceptions and opinions are the ultimate barometer of this. Look at the Tiger Woods brand. Yes, a lot of effort was put toward carefully conducting a press conference. Personal image consultants were obviously coaching the script so it could speak to the various audiences effected by Tiger Woods. In my opinion, they did a decent job. But the true measurement of all of this orchestrated circus will be the people's perception.
Consider your own branding efforts. You may desire a particular image for your company, or even your own personal life. But your reputation is dependent on how others see you. Reminds me of high school. One truth I firmly believe is what people really think about you is not what they say while you're speaking with them, it's what they say about you when you're not around. Wow. It really is like high school.
Lesson learned? You can spend all the time and money in the world trying to control how others see you, but people know marketing spin. They want authentic people and products. Not some spun story. Maybe the best way to deliver a strong brand is to be a brand of character, instead of being a character.