26 April 2008

Beers and Innovation: Coming of Age

Hi Chuck

I thought you would be interested to hear about the upcoming NMK (New Media Knowledge) Coming of Age event on Tuesday 27th May 2008 in London, UK, as it focuses on communicating with, and creating content and websites for, the mature market online. We’d be very pleased for you to mention it on your blog if you think it’s appropriate ....

For full details, speaker information and booking, visit:
Beers and Innovation: Coming of Age


Elizabeth Varley
Events Consultant

Elizabeth -

.... Sure, I'll mention it. I know Dick Stroud, and Kevin Lavery of Millennium. I spent some time with them last year in England while on a speaking/consulting tour. Before that, we'd met in New York and Chicago, respectively.

I might've called it Warm Beers & Bloviators. (Just kidding, my friends across the pond ...) I wish I were going - and bloviating. And drinking.

25 April 2008

Bookmarked Brains: The International Longevity Center

Second in a series:

One of my regular stops in the ether is The International Longevity Center. It’s a site that’s easy to navigate and filled with all sorts of goodies. The Newsroom is often updated, and I like their blog – where I’m often introduced to other worthwhile blogs/sites by people leaving comments.

Some of their publications are downloadable at no cost, others are reasonably priced. Here’s a freebie I sent to a bunch of people recently.

And their varied and impressive Projects makes the ILCUSA not merely a Think Tank but a Do Tank.

Founder and CEO Robert N. Butler has and is having an interesting life (if you can believe Wikipedia). He’s written a new book: The Longevity Revolution: The Benefits and Challenges of Living a Long Life. Bob Moos of The Dallas Morning News has a wonderful piece on the book and the man:
The Longevity Revolution
Dr. Robert N. Butler, who has spent his career studying older people and caring for them, calls the extraordinary human accomplishment "the Longevity Revolution" and says that "what was once the privilege of the few has become the destiny of the many."

Dr. Butler's 50-year career has been one of firsts. A pioneer in the field of aging, the gerontologist became the founding director of the National Institute on Aging in the '70s, created the first geriatrics department at a U.S. medical school in the '80s and established in the '90s the International Longevity Center, the first policy research organization devoted entirely to aging.
And a few weeks ago Ronni Bennett of Times Goes By interviewed Dr. Butler:
The TGB Interview: Dr. Robert N. Butler
I discovered Robert N. Butler, M.D. when I first started researching aging a dozen years ago through his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Why Survive? Being Old in America. My copy, even in hardback, is tattered and worn now, Post-It noted and marked up to within an inch of its life, as it is one of the “bibles” I regularly use to think about aging and as a reference for this blog.
I’ve written about casually flinging around the concept of ‘longevity’ in advertising and marketing. Be careful. However, using it to position a product or service - and the excellent work of The International Longevity Center - are apples and oranges. Don’t confuse them.

24 April 2008

A Deep, Download-Worthy Report on Global Branding

BrandZ and Millward-Brown have released a deep, download-worthy report on worldwide Brands:
Top 100 Most Powerful Brands (PDF)
The BrandZ Ranking is the result of Millward Brown Optimor’s robust brand valuation methodology. Ours is the first brand ranking to combine analysis of financial data with primary research findings. We do this because brand value depends on consumer sentiment as well as on a company’s ability to translate that sentiment into shareholder value.
Nigel Hollis unpacks it on his blog:
What do McDonald’s, Colgate, and Tide have in common?
To my mind, while the numbers may sound less impressive, the performance of brands like McDonald’s, Colgate and Tide is even more compelling. They are a testimony to the fact that innovation and adaptation are the lifeblood of successful global brands.
I have a thick, lumpy chapter about branding in my book. It’s not anti-branding, but warns readers about so-called branding experts who give you the impression that they wield some sort of wizardly 'branding wand' and can brand your new product out of thin air.

This report shows you that with few exceptions it’s hard work – requiring research, advertising, marketing, PR. All the grubby stuff. For example, McDonald’s has slowly and meticulously branded their restaurants. Different marketing/advertising techniques are used in different parts of the world. While every so often, as if by magic, a brand appears – as in the case of Google, of Starbucks. The real story is that they had unique products – and these two brands built themselves with very little input from branding ‘experts’. Down the line, they refined and molded their brands using standard branding techniques.

Read the Press Release.

Read the report.

22 April 2008

Bookmarked Brains: MIT AgeLab

I have too many bookmarks (can you tell I use Firefox?) in too many folders. And being easily awed, I love clicking the "open all in tabs" tab. It astounds me every time they magically spill out and line up.

One folder in my business browser is Think Tanks. There are about twenty sites tucked in there – not all technically think tanks. If the term has a precise definition, I’m not sure what it is anyway.

At the moment I’m thinking of featuring four Think Tanks – but maybe this will become an ongoing series of posts and I’ll be surprised what TTs I pick to profile.

The first:
MIT AgeLab
The MIT AgeLab was created in 1999 to invent new ideas and creatively translates technologies into practical solutions that improve people’s health and enable them to “do things” throughout the lifespan.

Based within MIT’s School of Engineering’s Engineering Systems Division, the AgeLab has assembled a multi-disciplinary and global team of researchers, business partners, universities, and the aging community to design, develop and deploy innovations to improve quality of life.
While the web site is rich with info – you really have to attend a presentation by AgeLab’s Founder and Director, Dr. Joseph Coughlin. I co-presented with him at a private corporate event in 2006. Even back then, as an old, jaded conference attendee and presenter at 50+ events, I was sure there was nothing I hadn’t seen. Dr. Coughlin’s presentation was (for me) mind and body boggling. I want the car he talks about, the amenities he talks about. I hope I never need the pill boxes he talks about.

Afterwards, Joe and Yours Truly shared a cab to the airport. We've kept in touch through a handful of emails. Nice guy. Do I need to add wildly intelligent visionary guy?

In a scribble a few weeks ago he invited me to join a new Facebook Group: MIT AgeLab. If you have a Facebook account, search for it - and if you think you can keep your head above water (mine's bobbing up and down) feel free to sign up.

A recent article: AgeLab Designs Products For Baby Boomers By David Ho, COX NEWS SERVICE