Beards, or facial hair in general really, have enjoyed a renaissance in the past 10 years. Many young men have embraced the idea of facial hair as a way to shed their childish look; to feel like a adult. This is nothing new. However, recently it’s become more the norm to see beards and mustaches in places other than just art galleries and coffee shops. A lot of young professionals (not just hipsters) have accepted a beard life along with their professional life. While many people view this trend as a distasteful one, I have found there are lessons to be learned that apply to growing your brand. I myself have been a beardsman since I could grow a fully functioning beard. I take pride in it. In a way, it’s become a part of my own personal brand. I’m known as the beard guy. That didn’t happen by accident. I followed some rules- the same rules that can help your brand grow.
1. Think About It
When it comes time to brand your company, you can’t jump in with no pre-planning. You need to decide what kind of company you are and how you want to be perceived. Same goes with facial hair. Will you go with a full beard? Goatee? Epic mustache? Whatever you decide on, you have to think it through from all angles. And, you have to figure out a plan for moving forward. If you don’t, your brand will fall short and you’ll have to start over, much like the end of No Shave November for a lot of people.
Once you’ve decided on what you are going to do, you have to commit to it, and give it time. A good brand, much like a good beard, doesn’t happen over-night. It may be patchy at first and a little rough around the edges, but that’s how every venture starts out. Over time, lessons are learned and a comfortability is reached. That’s when things really start to grow.
3. Give It Love
Many people think once a brand/beard is created, the work is over. Once you have a beard, you’re set! No more shaving or worrying about anything. But that’s not true. You have to give your brand love. Take care of it every day. Give it what it needs. A good beard isn’t grown and left on its own (it requires shampoo, conditioner, combing, lumber scented oils, etc.). Your brand is no different. It needs to be nurtured and cared for.
One thing that many people don’t think about is the importance of not going too far. Just because you can grow a three-foot long beard doesn’t mean you should. You might have a great idea that everyone is excited about personally, but if it doesn’t fit your brand, it’s best to revisit the idea and see what changes can be made. It’s okay to bring out the clippers to make sure everything is in line.
5. Don’t Be Something You’re Not
This is the umbrella rule over all others. Don’t be something you’re not. Some people can’t grow a beard, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We’ve all seen a patchy beard (looking at you Keanu) that should just be shaved. Find your beard, whatever that may be, and grow it. Your beard may be car parts, or women’s shoes- it doesn’t matter. As long as you are true to it, the beard rules apply.