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I'm a marketing consultant specializing in consumer behavior which I learned a lot about raising six kids.
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Teach Me to Fish©, a special ongoing series of marketing insights Invoking the timeless wisdom, "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime." Sponsored by Immersion Active, a communications agency for the 21st century. _______________________ Two weeks ago, the world of experimental physics was rocked to its core by one of the most explosive events in memory,... Continue reading
Teach Me to Fish©, a special ongoing series of marketing insights Invoking the timeless wisdom, "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime." Sponsored by Immersion Active, a communications agency for the 21st century. _______________________ I am part of a group that first came together nearly 20 years ago. It's made up of people who have some... Continue reading
Teach Me to Fish©, a special ongoing series of marketing insights Invoking the timeless wisdom, "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime." Sponsored by Immersion Active, a communications agency for the 21st century. __________________ I read about a disturbing set of statistics last week. The U.S. now ranks ninth among industrialized nations in the share of... Continue reading
Teach Me to Fish©, a special ongoing series of marketing insights Invoking the timeless wisdom, "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime." Sponsored by Immersion Active, a communications agency for the 21st century. ________________ I’m excited! A friend questioned me a short while ago, “You’ve been in the marketing game for more than 30 years. What... Continue reading
From this posting forward, I plan to intermittently share with readers thoughts drawn from a new book that I will publish later this Fall, Brave New Worldview: The Path to Infinite Possibilities in the 21st Century. How we view the world and try to make sense of it is based on a worldview that was inspired by Newtonian science three centuries ago. However, just like a modern-day car couldn’t be... Continue reading
I am asked from time-to-time about what I mean by “ageless marketing” and how is ageless marketing different from boomer marketing, senior marketing, or as the Japanese often refer to marketing to older people, “Silver marketing.” A speech by CBS Executive Vice President Dave Poltrack is a good place to start talking about what ageless is. He enlightened his audience about the origins of age-based marketing: In the early years... Continue reading
As people move into the higher levels of personality development they become increasingly “resistant to enculturation,” Maslow said. In the context of marketing this means that older customers tend to become less influenced by traditional advertising. Having seen and listened to tens of thousands of ads over their lifetimes it is not likely that you are going to come up with an ad that an older person views as startlingly... Continue reading
This post is a modification of one that ran originally May 25, 2007. It fits within the theme of the current thread, Maslow 101, because one of the most important claims he made about self-actualizing personalities is that they experience changes in value systems. I’ve heard marketers tell audiences from the podium that values remain constant throughout life. That’s necessary to retain a personality that behaves in consistent fashion. Well,... Continue reading
I dedicate this post to a friend whose last name will go unmentioned to preserve his privacy, but he will know who he is as he reads on. In talking to my friend on the phone the other day he said to me, “ I recently turned 73 and you know – I’ve changed. Things don’t bother me like they used to. I’ve gotten more patient and time doesn’t mean... Continue reading
UC San Diego neurologist V. S. Ramachandran has mapped some of the most mysterious regions of the mind. A few years ago announced that he had discovered what he called the “God spot ,“ a tiny spot in the frontal lobes of the brain that became hyper active when people have a strongly felt spiritual experience. Now it seems that strong brand experiences activate the same spot. In fact, brands... Continue reading
Sixty-two year-old Kathy Sparks is not simply a 30-year older version of her 32-year-old self. In many respects she’s a different person. That poses a problem for the 32-year-old copywriter or ad creative trying to fashion a marketing message aimed at Kathy and her age peers. A true story illustrates the point. While conducting a workshop in 1996, the year the first boomers turned 50, I asked for two volunteers,... Continue reading
Odds are that nearly every reader of this blog has at least a fuzzy familiarity with Maslow’s famous Hierarchy of Basic Human Needs. To recall, they are: Self-actualization Self=esteem and esteem of others needs Love and belonging needs Basic safety and security needs Basic physiological needs Maslow’s said that a person must experience “substantial gratification” at one level before advancing to a higher level. For example the newborn infant’s basic... Continue reading
I think that few people in the marketing game really understand the art and science of branding. If that were not true we wouldn’t see the biggest and sharpest agencies in the country launching a New Coke or “It’s not your father’s Oldsmobile” campaign. But one person who does understand what branding is all about is Howard Schultz, the co-founder of Starbucks. In his new book Onward, Schultz clearly shows... Continue reading
You and I don’t think alike. No two people do. How we think is as individualistic as our fingerprints. How we think is influenced by our unique genome, unique life story, our current circumstances, our environment, our worldview and finally, the level of maturation we’ve attained. All in all too many sources of variables for a perfect match between how you think and how I think. Of course we may... Continue reading
In my book, Serving the Ageless Market (McGraw-Hill 1990) I went out on the proverbial limb: I said that as we age more mental activity is taken over by the right hemisphere of the brain. I found myself in that arboreal perch because A) no one had ever studied the matter and B) I am not a brain researcher. If I were right, however, it would mean that in marketing... Continue reading
Your surmise about a stronger shift among men toward increased use of the right hemisphere is correct. BTW, it's not that women use the right hemisphere more and left hemisphere less. It's that they have more connections in the commissure that connects the two hemispheres. Thus females have more cross talk between the two hemispheres which tends to render more balanced perceptions of reality (save for when emotional or other factors arise to distort perceptions -- as happens in male brains as well, I should add).
Today's’ markets have a stronger right brain orientation than younger markets of the past. This is because the majority of adult consumers are now over the age of 40, when mental activity in the right hemisphere of the brain tends to increase. This is a critical factor in creating messages for older markets because the brain’s right hemisphere sees things differently than the left hemisphere does. The left hemisphere sizes... Continue reading
Mr. Braun,your comment on its face is fairly taken. Nevertheless, my statement that began, "if you are a woman..." was not meant to slight men who have care giving responsibilities. I was merely recognizing the fact that at age 70 women outnumber men by about 73 men to every 100 women. This means that at age 70 women greatly outnumber men in both total number of caregivers and care recipients. Also, studies sponsored by Metropolitan Life have found that aside from absolute numbers, the percentage of the female population that serves as caregivers is significantly higher the percentage of the male population that provides caregiving. Also, the "for example" posture of my statement does not mean it is a generalization. It was simply an "as if" statement. Actuarially you are significantly less likely to be performing caregiving duties at age 70 than you wife at the same age. Thanks for your comment DBW
In the last several posts I have challenged the “hucksters of longevity” as Judith Viorst calls those who purvey “the untruth that no one need fear growing old anymore because science - any day now - is going to fix whatever it is that ails us.” Viorst makes that statement in a review of Susan Jacoby’s new book, Never Say Die. Jacoby’s book is a broadside indictment of the legions... Continue reading
Several years ago personal products marketer Dove kicked off a campaign that stunned the marketing world. It featured models sporting freckles, birthmarks and even wrinkles. One model was a 93-year-old African American woman. It was called the Real Beauty campaign. The Real Beauty campaign was an instant success, pushing sales into the double digit column first in Europe where it was launched, followed by the UK and ultimately in the... Continue reading
Back around 20 years ago there was a successful lifestyle magazine for the older crowd called 50 Plus. Readers Digest took notice of America’s aging population and the beachhead that 50 Plus had established in older markets and bought 50 Plus’s from its founding owners. Certainly no slacker in magazine marketing, Reader’s Digest announced ambitious plans to run 50 Plus’s circulation up from about 550,000 to over a million in... Continue reading
Remember the widespread outrage over the change in the GAP logo a few months back? Changing logos is always a chancy action, the more so for brands that have a strong market presence. Imagine the revolution on Nike's hands if it decided to turn in its iconic swoosh for a "new and improved" geometric graphic stroke. Last week Starbucks released a new version of its logo. While there were a... Continue reading
Twenty-two years after people 40 and older became the adult majority marketers everywhere are finally paying rapt attention to aging markets. But there seems to be a dearth of consistency in how marketers view these markets. A sizeable consensus does exist on one point: aging is a problem that can be solved by changing how people think about it. That’s how Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council of Active... Continue reading
The list of industries radically transformed and even destroyed by disruptive technology continues to grow. Remember the newspaper business before Craigslist stemmed the flow of classified advertising revenues. And think about the billions that Skype has drained out of the telephone business. Then Apple’s iPod came along to destroy the retail music industry as we had known it for decades. Now, another industry appears to be teetering on the edge... Continue reading
You better watch out, You better not cry, Better not pout, I'm telling you why: Santa Claus is coming to town. He's making a list, And checking it twice; Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice. Santa Claus is coming to town. It’s that time of year, when at least when I was a kid you best minded your p’s and q’s lest the red-capped visitor soon to arrive from... Continue reading