If you walk down one of the many busy thoroughfares of East London, you will come across examples of the Marketing Beard. You will most likely find it worn by a burly fellow behind an artisan coffee stall, possibly a mobile one, and he will usually be wearing an apron.
Five years ago, he didn't have a beard; not because he was young, but because beards were just emerging as de-rigeur facewear for East London checky-shirt technology chaps on bicycles.
It has become a useful marketing strategy to wear a beard in order to mimic the desired clientele who stroll past on a Sunday, encouraging them to think: 'Look! Coffee! Served by a Person Just Like ME!'. They can't wait to interact; teeth smile out of mirroring beardy faces in knowing recognition and hirsute bonhomie as one East London hand presents money to the other, which passes him a steaming cup of exotic liquid.
Those at the absolute cutting edge, however, have been seeking out truly disgusting instant coffee served by a lady over the age of 70 in a flowery apron, helped by a little old chap in a bobbly acrylic cardy and a flat cap. You read it here first- don't get left behind!