The brand barbershop: how good is your hair?
The correlation between good hair and brand manager success
I can name, off the top of my head, the three biopharma marketers with the best hairstyle: John, Pat and Bill. (And Bill is all but bald, so all you hair haters out there can just stop now.) All three have successful brands. Is this coincidence? Let's examine each.
John is a young guy, an up-and-comer at a northeastern biotech. He's recently made a smart move from some kind of Bieber-inspired mess to a classic swept back with the 2-inch sideburn. Suddenly everyone is seeing him as the young, but serious and passionate guy he is. He's recently been promoted, and he's poised to lead his brand through a difficult time and on to glory. His longer, but meticulous hairstyle reflects his intense focus on this goal, but looks natural. I'm pretty sure John uses some product to achieve his look, but it's hard to tell. That's good.
Hair: A Brand: B+
Pat, by now, is probably CEO of a large medical device company, mainly because he's a West Point grad with incredible skills and drive. But he is rocking what may be the best hair in the business. A bit wavy, well styled, but with some subtle reckless quality the ladies love. Think of a cross between Superman's doo and that McDreamy dude's on Grey's Anatomy. With a little Robert Mitchum thrown in for a touch of menace. Combine all that with a fresh-scrubbed face like that of a choirboy, and his look has been a strong corporate weapon for Pat.
Hair: A+ Career Path: A+
Bill is the industry veteran, with a baritone profundo voice and the gravitas of a few decades in the pharmaceutical sales and marketing business written all over his face. And on his head is…almost nothing. Sure, he's succumbed to the male pattern baldness that will befall many of us, and he's not tried the comb-over or plugs or scrubs we might be tempted to try. And, to boot, the little hair he has is as white as your grandpa's backside. But did Bill despair? No–he just shaved the dang thing close, keeps his tan up with regular trips to the links, and cuts the fine figure of one who is respected in the industry for his experience and presence.
Hair: A Brand: A+
Successful guys, good hair. Successful brands and careers. Coincidence? I think not. There are too many commonalities for this success to be just coincidental. In fact, one common element may explain the phenomenon.
All three of these guys have barbers they trust to maintain their powerful personal brand images. These barbers will shape it, maintain it, and keep it looking up to date and fresh. And every once in awhile, they'll be the ones trusted to experiment a little, to try something a bit different. But they'll never let you lose your hair's essence. This is key. For example, Donald Trump has a consistent brand hair look, but it's a joke. His brand barber should be ashamed of himself.
Successful brand managers will treat their brand like their hair. Like good hair, a brand needs a foundation style, then regular upkeep from an experienced, trusted hand. This makes your brand agency much like your barber. So, when deciding on an agency, choose one with the creative imagination and experience to help you establish your brand essence, one you can also trust to be the guardian of your brand. And it doesn't hurt if your agency is the kind with people you don't mind shooting the breeze down at the brand barbershop.
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