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Archive | Generation Reinvention with Brent Green
In 1987, at age 26, Chip Conleystarted Joie de Vivre (JDV), a hospitality company based in San Francisco. He began by transforming a squalid 1950′s Tenderloin District motel into Phoenix Hotel, a celebrated rock ‘n’ roll destination catering to celebrities such as David Bowie, the Rolling Stones and Nirvana.
JDV then expanded into a collection of nearly 40 award-winning hotels, restaurants and spas, with more than 3,000 employees — with each property conveying a unique persona often influenced thematically by a popular magazine.
After 24 years as JDV’s CEO, Chip is now a Strategic Advisor to the company he founded, and a successful author and international speaker for organizations from TED to PIXAR to GOOGLE. He has been honored with the highest accolade in the American hospitality industry, the coveted ISHC Pioneer award, and the San Francisco Business Times named him the Most Innovative CEO – and JDV the “2nd Best Place to Work” – in the Bay Area.
He is author of several business books. His most recent New York Times best-seller is entitled “Emotional Equations: Simple Truths for Creating Happiness + Success.” He is also an ambassador for an important new movement in business called Conscious Capitalism, joining other leaders such as John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods.
Several years ago I read a controversial book entitled “The Greater Generation: in Defense of the Baby Boom Legacy.” The book presents an articulate argument in support of the Baby Boomer generation, and it is an incisive offense aimed at the generation’s many critics. This book presents a provocative journey into a generation’s soul with tightly-crafted pattern recognition, consensus validation, memory restoration, and achievement exaltation. It is defiantly uplifting while cautionary, weaving historical insights with perceptive, sometimes stinging commentary.
And that’s the focus of this episode of Generation Reinvention. The book’s author is my guest today, and I promise you an engaging conversation, whether you embrace what Boomers have accomplished or you are disgusted with the generation.
Jed Diamond, PhD, LCSW, is founder and director of MenAlive, a health program that helps men live long and well. Here’s what Jed wrote as his mission statement: “My passion in life is to support men, and the women who love them, in eliminating the stresses that undermine their health and wreck their relationships.”
Jed’s newest book, “MenAlive: Stop Killer Stress with Simple Energy Healing Tools,” brings together the wisdom accumulated in 40 years helping more than 20,000 men, women, and children. This book teaches men and women four simple, yet effective, practices that can be used to prevent stress-related problems all of us face in this chaotic world.
Jeff Zimman, this week’s guest, is the co-founder and Chairman of Posit Science, the leading provider of brain fitness software. More than 60 articles in peer-reviewed science and medical journals have shown that the company’s patented technologies significantly increase processing speed, improve memory and attention, and enhance quality of life. Brain training can improve your overall mood and handling of daily activities such as driving.
Steve Demos is the natural foods pioneer and visionary behind NextFoods and its GoodBelly brand.
A progressive entrepreneur with more than 30 years experience in creating and marketing environmentally and socially-conscious foods, he is also the founder and former president of White Wave Inc., the largest producer and marketer of soy-based products in the U.S (Silk Milk Brand). He founded White Wave in 1977, where he led all aspects of strategic planning, operations, product conception and development, and branding until the company was sold to Dean Foods in 2005 for $296 million.
As a carpenter and contractor, Louis Tenenbaum completed his first home access modifications in 1988. Excited by the significant impact he had on the family whose home he made accessible, Louis focused his design/build remodeling company on Aging in Place in the early 90s, which continues today. Though everyone agrees Aging in Place is a good idea, it has not become successfully mainstream, leading Louis to study housing and care systems for older Americans. Today Louis speaks, writes and consults on Universal Design and Aging in Place for developers, builders, health professionals, communities and wide ranging business interests.
Joop Koopman is a multilingual writer, marketing and publishing professional with significant experience developing editorial content and marketing materials across multimedia channels and formats for institutional, corporate and non-profit clients. His expertise spans full range of media, including print, television and digital. Joop served as senior marketing, sales, research and editorial liaison for Plus Magazine, the leading magazine serving the 50 year-old+ audience in the Netherlands and other European countries. He also provided public television network executives and programmers in the Netherlands with advance U.S. market analysis on drama and comedy programming under development.
Next Avenue is a new national pubic media website that launched May 15, 2012 by PBS stations across America. It is focused on America’s growing 50+ population.
Next Avenue provides information and perspectives with articles and blogs written by staff journalists and expert contributors; curated content from government and nonprofit agencies and commercial media sources; video from PBS stations and independent producers; and community discussions in which users connect and share stories.
Next Avenue topic areas include:
• Health & Wellness
• Money & Security
• Work & Purpose
• Living & Learning
Next Avenue is targeting people who are starting to think about or are living what the producers call “adult part 2”—a new lifestage being largely defined by the Boomer population, the 80 million Americans born from 1946 to 1964 who are living longer and living their “older” years differently than generations before them.
Executive Producer and Director Keith Famie is a nine-time Emmy Award winning filmmaker and founder of Visionalist Entertainment Productions, which he established in 1997.
Keith is a renaissance man, with a rich history of entrepreneurial adventures. He began his career as a chef, lived in France, owned restaurants, and won food and wine awards. He became a celebrity chef on The Food Network and produced thirty-two segments of “Keith Famie’s Adventures.” He also ended up on “Survivor: The Australian Outback.” As testament to his tenacious personality, he was the last survivor voted off the show.
My guest is Dr. Sara Honn Qualls, professor of psychology and aging studies, and Director of the Gerontology Center at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
She led the development of the doctoral program in clinical psychology that emphasizes Geropsychology. We’ll talk about geropsychology and its implications for you as a caregiver or for yourself as you age. She also helped found the CU Aging Center where students learn to provide mental health and family interventions for older adults.
My guest is Ira Bahr, Chief Marketing Officer for Inspirato. He oversees customer acquisition, customer communications and channel marketing activities. Prior to joining Inspirato,
Ira was the CMO at DISH Network, the third largest provider of pay television in the U.S. with more than 14 million subscribers. Previously, he served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing, Alliances and Communications at Sirius Satellite Radio, where named the company after the brightest star in the night sky.
Ira began his career at BBDO, a global advertising agency, rising to the roles of Senior Vice President and Worldwide Account Director. He worked with many clients such as FedEx, Pepsi-Cola and General Electric. Ira earned a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University.
This show’s guest founded a popular website and blog several years ago entitled “Aging in Place Technology Watch.” After a stellar career as a market research analyst in the technology industry, she has recently been establishing a respected reputation in the business of aging by focusing her attention on myriad new technologies that are changing the way Boomers will age, whether more frequently at home or even in traditional assisted living or skilled care institutions.
Laurie M. Orlov is a certified Florida long-term care ombudsman and the author of “When Your Parents Need Elder Care: Lessons from the Front Lines.”
As the owner of Aging in Place Technology Watch, Laurie analyzes research and trends in the aging-in-place technology market, which includes technologies that help the elderly to remain in their home of choice.
She has 34 years of experience in the technology and market research industry, including nine years as an analyst, and she has been research director at Forrester Research.
Assaf Wand is founder and CEO of Sabi. He has been a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Prior to that, he was Foris Telecom’s Vice President for Business Affairs. In the past, he has held senior roles and was part of the founding team of Arcadian Networks in NYC. Arcadian is the first broadband wireless carrier for utilities and industries with dispersed assets in rural areas.
Assaf worked in McKinsey Consulting’s New York office where he consulted Fortune 100 clients. He was a member of Intel Capital in Israel focusing on early stage investments. He holds both a BA in finance and LLB from The Interdisciplinary Center and an MBA focusing on Finance, Strategy and Economics from the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business.
ou may have watched AMC’s Emmy Award-winning series Mad Men and wondered: “Who were those people … really?”
This time my guests are two creative talents who worked for the legendary Doyle Dain and Bernbach, the advertising agency credited for launching the Creative Revolution of the 1960’s and 1970’s … the agency that influenced the creative direction of the Mad Men series.
They have just launched a new advertising agency with two other partners called “Senior Creative People.” This agency’s mission is to help advertisers create better ads targeting Boomers and seniors.
Don Blauweiss began his career as a graphic designer, achieving international recognition for his package designs. Then he became an advertising Art Director at Doyle Dane Bernbach where he worked on historic and legendary campaigns for Volkswagen, Coffee of Colombia, Lufthansa, Uniroyal, and Avis.
He has taught design and advertising concepts at Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute and Cooper Union for a total of 25 years.
Chuck Schroeder also started his career in the advertising business at Doyle Dane Bernbach as a copywriter working on Alka-Seltzer, Volkswagen, Polaroid, Mobil, American Airlines, Stroh’s Beer and other accounts.
He established Schroeder Advertising in 1978. The agency has worked for The New York Stock Exchange, Fiduciary Trust International, The British Tourist Board, American Airlines, and Japan Airlines. Schroeder Advertising created Saratoga Lager, a new micro brew, and developed the positioning and formulation for the brand.
He was an advertising instructor from 1974 to 1992 at The School of Visual Arts in New York.
In this episode of Generation Reinvention, we examine critical and action-oriented insights into today’s Boomer Consumer. Our conversation also explores actions that organizations need to take to become fully age ready as Boomers are turning 60 at the rate of 10,000 per day.
Matt Thornhill started the Boomer Project, a marketing research and consulting firm to help marketers gain a better understanding of Boomer consumers. Insights based on the Boomer Project’s national surveys among Boomers have earned Matt an international reputation as an authority on marketing to Boomers.
His opinions and insights are sought by media around the world, and he’s appeared on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, CBS Evening News, CBS Sunday Morning, CNBC, and even Panamanian TV. He’s appeared in stories on Boomers in BusinessWeek, Newsweek and US News & World Report, and newspapers such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and countless others.
His first book, Boomer Consumer, co-written with his business partner, John Martin, was named one of the best business marketing books the year it was published. He writes several columns on Boomers for both online and traditional media. In addition, he edits and publishes a monthly newsletter on marketing to Boomers for over 6,000 subscribers.
Matt is putting the finishing touches on his next book, entitled Age Ready. It is about the coming and unprecedented demographic age shift and what that means for all of us.
Matt spent over 20 years in the advertising business, working at national agencies Ogilvy & Mather and Ted Bates in New York, and the Martin Agency in Richmond. His client work includes Mercedes-Benz, Kraft, Marriott and Coca-Cola.
Generation Reinvention 47: Journey of a World Champion Public Speaker and Lessons for Boomers Reinventing
Toastmasters International is an organization that focuses on developing public speaking and leadership skills through practice and feedback in local clubs since 1924. I have been a member for almost 20 years. I remember one early morning when Ed first appeared at a Cherry Creek Toastmaster’s meeting in Denver.
I could see right away that Ed was friendly and had a great sense of humor. He was also quite gregarious; yet, he expressed a lack of confidence about public speaking – which is the case for many who start this journey. His earliest speeches before the club included some stumbling and uncertainty.
GARY ZUKAV is the author of “The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics,” winner of The American Book Award for Science; “The Seat of the Soul,” the celebrated #1 New York Times bestseller; “Soul Stories,” also a New York Times bestseller; and many others. His books have sold millions of copies and are published in twenty-four languages. Gary has appeared on the Oprah show 35 times, more than any other guest. He is a graduate of Harvard University and a former U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Beret) officer with Vietnam service. He lives in Oregon with his spiritual partner, Linda Francis.
LINDA FRANCIS has been practicing the creation of authentic power since she read “The Seat of the Soul” in 1989. In 1993 she met Gary Zukav and they created a spiritual partnership which is in its eighteenth year. During this time, she co-authored with Gary two New York Times bestsellers, “The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness” and “The Mind of the Soul: Responsible Choice.” Linda has been in the healing profession for three decades, first as a registered nurse and then as a chiropractor. At the present time, she is involved fully in co-creating curricula and events with Gary, while guiding the Seat of the Soul Institute.
Wendy Boglioli, a former Olympic swimmer and Gold Medalist, is a motivational speaker and spokeswoman for Genworth Financial. She is best known for winning the gold medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay in world record time at the 1976 Montréal. The gold was particularly crucial to the U.S. women’s team as it was the only gold medal awarded to American women during the games. Wendy then served as assistant coach of the Yale University Swim Team, before embarking on a career as a motivational speaker and spokesperson.
Chris Kilham is a medicine hunter, author and educator. The founder of Medicine Hunter Inc., he has conducted medicinal research in over 20 countries. He is the FOX News Medicine Hunter and appears on FOX News Health online in the US and international television markets. He is Explorer in Residence at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where he teaches the popular ethnobotany course The Shaman’s Pharmacy through the Department of Plant & Soil Sciences.
John Zweig is Chairman, Healthcare and Specialist Communications for WPP, the world leader in marketing communication services, with more than $14 billion in annual sales and 153,000 employees worldwide. His role is to develop the Group’s capabilities and coordinate client services on behalf of WPP’s firms specialized by discipline, audience and industry. With a particular emphasis on healthcare clients, John provides access to these resources and capabilities around the world.
The Arlington Institute (aka “TAI”) is a non-profit specializing in predictive modeling of future events or futures studies. Founded in 1989 by former naval officer and military expert John L. Petersen in Arlington, Virginia, TAI is a futurist think tank.
Petersen has been widely recognized as one of the most informed futurists in the world. He is best-known for writing and thinking about high impact surprises—called wild cards—and the process of surprise anticipation. His current professional involvements include the development of sophisticated tools for anticipatory analysis, surprise anticipation, and helping leadership design new approaches for dealing with the future
In the United States, the spa industry is comprised of nearly 14,000 facilities generating $9.7 billion in annual revenues. Spas are a leading leisure industry and well suited to be at the forefront of the green movement. Spas are also of high value to aging Boomers as a path toward greater health and emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
Green Spa Network (GSN) is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit, trade association. Their purpose is to bring sustainable operating practices to the spa industry, and to promote the natural connections between personal wellbeing, economic sustainability, and the health of the planet.
The goals of GSN are:
• To bring sustainable operating practices to the spa industry.
• To facilitate education, research and alliances in sustainable business practices.
• To promote the natural connections between personal wellbeing, economic sustainability, and health of our planet.
This program examines intersections between the spa industry, sustainability and the priorities of a generation determined to explore all paths toward healthier aging, with emphasis on profound transformational experiences.
Steve Hoffman is co-owner of Best Organics LLC, a leading organic gift company, and serves as chair of Naturally Boulder, an economic development initiative established by the City of Boulder to promote the growth of natural and organic businesses in the region. Steven is also cofounder of LOHAS Journal and the annual LOHAS Forum. He brings 30 years of expertise and contacts within the natural and organic industry as managing partner. He is a wordsmith and marketer fueled by a passion for all things green and sustainable. Since I’m now on his email list, I receive a parade of press releases about myriad natural products and special industry events.
Dr. Ken Dychtwald is a leading expert on the ways that Baby Boomers are aging differently than any generation in history. He is widely regarded as North America’s foremost visionary and original thinker regarding the lifestyle, marketing, healthcare and workforce implications of the age wave.
Andy Cohen is Chief Executive Officer and a co-founder of Caring.com. He oversees the company’s operations and finances, with the goal of establishing Caring.com as the premiere website for people taking care of their parents and other aging loved ones. Andy has launched four successful web businesses, taking them from start-up to tens of millions of dollars in revenue.
Helen Dennis calls upon Boomer and older women to shape a new kind of retirement, one that she refers to as “renewment” to emphasize the possibility of positive change, enlightenment, and adventure. Now is the time for today’s career women, who led the women’s movement of the late sixties and seventies, to create a new and empowering vision for their retirement years. During this program we’re going to speak with Helen about women, careers, retirement, ageism and the future.
Paul Kleyman is the Director of the Ethnic Elders Newsbeat at New America Media (NAM), a division of Pacific News Service reaching 60 million ethnic audience members in the United States. From 1988 through 2008, he was the editor of Aging Today, a newspaper of the American Society on Aging. He co-founded and is National Coordinator of the Journalists Network on Generations and edits its e-newsletter, Generations Beat Online. He is also an invited blogger for The Huffington Post.
Mutually participatory dialogue has been embraced as a key to evolving and transforming consciousness, evoking a flow of meaning – a dia (flow) of logos (meaning) — beyond what any one individual can bring through alone. My guest this week is an expert at creating these dialogues, and he has done so with hundreds of the world’s most imaginative and intelligent visionaries.
Generation Reinvention 34: Turning on Your Bright Light: Spiritual and Life Lessons for a Generation
In the three decades since her first day of work on the film, those questions have been answered. In her new book, Bright Light,Dee Wallace shares her touching story and wisdom that can help each of us rekindle and nurture the heartlight that guides us home to our true self.
Joe Pine and his partner Jim Gilmore wrote The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage (Harvard Business School Press, 1999). This best-selling book demonstrates how goods and services are no longer enough; what customers want today are experiences – memorable events that engage each customer in an inherently personal way. Realizing that in a world of increasingly paid-for experiences people no longer accept the fake from the phony, but want the real from the genuine, so Pine & Gilmore wrote Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want, with Harvard Business School Press in October 2007.
Joe Pine also wrote the award-winning Mass Customization: The New Frontier in Business Competition. It details the shift companies are making from mass producing standardized offerings to mass customizing goods and services that efficiently fulfill the wants and needs of individual customers.
Generation Reinvention 32: Boomers and the Future of Computer Software, Hardware and Online Technologies
My guest this time is Gary Moulton, Ph.D., a product manager in Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Group. He is responsible for the company’s strategic initiatives that focus on the use of technology by older adults (50+). In this role he is in charge of all efforts the company is making in the aging market segment. This includes product innovations for Baby Boomers.
Recent business stories—including a significant article by The New York Times in May 2011—underscore growing importance of marketing to 50+ consumers. The problem is that few traditional advertising agencies and marketing communication firms truly specialize in marketing to older adults. Some fake it. Others outsource.
My guest this time is the founder and president of Creating Results, a full-service strategic marketing, public relations and advertising agency that drives demand for lifestyle-oriented products and services targeting 50+ consumers.
Todd Harff brings a unique perspective to help clients achieve business results. He combines market insight, creative solutions, pragmatic business knowledge, and project management to produce actionable and profitable marketing solutions.
In addition to his work with clients, Todd is a respected writer and featured speaker about marketing to the 50+ adult. He is a frequent contributor to industry publications. Todd has addressed regional and national conferences on a variety of topics related to marketing, advertising, website design and public relations.
Do you believe in the existence of a life stage called adolescence? Almost everyone reading this will concur that a unique developmental period exists between childhood and adulthood associated with the teen years. Yet this word did not exist in the 19th century and only became part of the lexicon in 1904.
Conceived by G. Stanley Hall, a pioneer in the field of psychology, adolescence is not a given of the human condition but rather a social construction. Hall made up the name and created its meaning, which society has since elaborated with more meaning. Economic implications have been momentous.
After giving a successful 2008 keynote address in Noordwijkerhout, Holland, for MWG Congress, I hosted a casual vegetarian dinner in Amsterdam for Claudia Biegel and Arjan in’t Veld, both natives of Holland but from different generations.
Claudia, who was then project manager for a Dutch initiative called Route 50 Plus, is close to my age, so she shares my youthful memories of Amsterdam as an alluring destination for young people backpacking through Europe in the 1960s and 1970s. Arjan, on the other hand, is of the Millennial Generation, a strapping 6-foot, 6-inch tall Dutch man who graduated from college in the early years of the last decade.
This time Generation Reinvention explores the power of online engagement to reach and sell to Boomers. My guest has some strong opinions about this marketing opportunity:
“Today, more than ever, marketers need a way to increase the return on their marketing investments. Sometimes, uncertain times call for the most certain measures.
“Baby boomers continue to be the most powerful, vibrant consumers in the marketplace, despite an increasingly challenging economy, and will be for many years to come. Boomers are deeply engaged with everything the Internet has to offer, making interactive marketing channels the most effective and efficient method to connect with these consumers. Positioning your brand to meaningfully engage Baby Boomers online is the key to producing results reflective of this powerful consumer group.”
A woman deeply in love lost her husband in a car accident; left with two young children to raise she found new purpose by fulfilling three promises to her late husband. A Boomer doctor nicknamed Lucky has swum across a Florida lake (1,000 meters round trip) over 5,000 times, and every morning fans from around the world join him for a little liquefied luck of their own. Class rock group Orleans’ lead singer, famous for “Still the One,” waited to have children until age 45, and now at 60 his kids are keeping him young in spirit and even more connected to his rock music career.
Is this the inevitable future of aging for the Baby Boomer Generation, or will this generation change the meaning, value and impact of aging, ushering in a new era of constructive elderhood? In this program we explore the future of aging with one of the world’s most respected authorities.
My guest is Dr. Bill Thomas, author of the description cited above, a visionary leader in the online Changing Aging movement and a renowned expert on geriatric medicine and eldercare. He is founder of two movements to reshape long-term care globally – The Eden Alternative and Green House Project. Bill’s Eden Alternative philosophy put forward a radical critique of long-term care and offered a creative way to “change the culture” of nursing homes by bringing growth and laughter into the lives of elders.
There is an extraordinary volume of consumer research being conducted by the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), located in Harleysville, Pennsylvania. Much of this research is significantly shifting industry expectations for and understanding of today’s consumer. NMI is a strategic consulting, market research, and business development company specializing in the health and wellness marketplace.
NMI’s research team has also been studying the Boomer consumer from multiple viewpoints with special focus on Lifestyles of Health & Sustainability, or LOHAS, and healthy aging. Their distinctive insights are changing the way we’re thinking about Boomers and the future of aging. That’s the primary focus of this show.
So, what is educational travel?
Here’s one definition: Educational travel facilitates deeper, more enduring connections between travelers and the communities they visit through strong interpretation, experiential programming, and meaningful engagement.
The Educational Travel Community (ETC) is a membership organization dedicated to promoting lifelong learning through travel and advancing the field of alumni and affinity travel. If you’ve graduated from college or joined a museum, chances are you’ve been offered some pretty spectacular travel experiences via direct mail.
Bryan Welch invites us to think differently … beautifully. At the helm of a successful publishing business, Bryan and his team members create popular magazines that encourage readers to live fuller, more resplendent and congruent lives, whether tending an organic garden, making a home more energy efficient, or gaining deeper intellectual insights into the most pressing political and social issues of our time. And then, in the evenings, he returns home to his farm where he lovingly cares for his goats, turkeys and cattle. He ends his day by considering and writing about how humans can envision and create a future that’s Beautiful and Abundant, the title of his poetic, inspirational meditations about marshalling the power of vision to insure a legacy of sustainability for future generations.
The future of travel is intrinsically connected to the Boomer generation. This is not to suggest that Boomers are the only segment of value to the travel industry, but Boomers will significantly shape travel products of the future. This is because of their relative wealth, their long-standing propensities to travel, increasing time in retirement, and a fundamental later-life yearning to learn about the wider world.
Although both Boomer men and women will be heading out on the highways or hopping the pond to Europe and points unknown, Boomer women constitute the most significant opportunity segment of this generation for the travel industry. This program explores why and how.
Some have argued that the late sixties radically changed America and those changes persist today. Some have argued that the turbulent sixties shaped the values of the Boomer generation that even continue now. Some will argue that the Boomer generation’s coming-of-age experiences during the late sixties will also influence how they’ll live out their final decades.
If you are not targeting women between ages 50 and 70 with your marketing communications, then you’re missing the most significant and important business opportunities today. Marti Barletta makes this clear in her recent article for Ad Age magazine: “And who’s doing all the spending? The women. That’s right—your sales success for the next two decades is in the hands of middle-age ladies. Or, to use the term I coined for women between 50 and 70 years old, PrimeTime Women. We’re talking about the healthiest, wealthiest, most active, educated and influential generation of women in history. Not only are they in the prime of their lives, but they make up the prime spending segment for virtually every consumer category.”
LOHAS, an acronym which stands for Lifestyles of Health & Sustainability, is a lifestyle and consumer cohort identified in the late 1990s, which has grown to become a $290 billion global market segment. Consumers described as LOHAS are passionate about sustainability, health & wellness, personal development, resource conservation, corporate social responsibility, social justice, and natural and organic living. According to Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), a Pennsylvania-based company that has for years conducted groundbreaking original research describing this segment, LOHAS consumers comprise 17 percent of the U.S. population.
Many fondly remember The Golden Girls, an American sitcom that originally aired on NBC from September 14, 1985, to May 9, 1992. This show stands today as one of the best examples of levity about aging without being ageist. With remarkable humor and characters, the show addressed the potential and pitfalls of modern aging. The characters dealt with important topical issues such as the coming out of Blanche’s brother, safe sex, empty-nest syndrome, ageism, sexism, chronic fatigue syndrome, organ donation, domestic violence, problem gambling, artificial insemination, animal rights, the homeless, and dementia.
Our guest this time understands implications of aging in ways that are both profound and practical. In his book entitled “The Five Stages of the Soul: Charting the Spiritual Passages That Shape Our Lives,” he reveals challenges and possibilities presented us as we age by focusing on the spiritual stages through which most of us pass. One outcome of careful spiritual exploration can be significant answers to questions about the meaning of our lives.
Our guest this time shares some alarming statistics in his new book, The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security.
“A survey of Boomers, ages 56 to 65 years old showed that almost half of the respondents underestimated the amount of retirement income they would need, and nearly 70 percent overestimated how much they could draw down from their retirement savings annually. Sixty percent underestimated their odds of living beyond a given average life expectancy. Meanwhile, about half of Americans file for Social Security benefits too early, often cheating themselves out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in lifetime benefits. Only half of all working adults participate in a workplace retirement savings program. And the average U.S. household has managed to save just $60,000 toward retirement.”
Boomers across Asia represent a lucrative market opportunity. In the Asia-Pacific region – which includes Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, and China – 50+ spending power will hit US $2 trillion by 2015. The 50+ group is growing five times faster than overall population growth. They have been largely ignored by marketers and are therefore fertile ground for businesses to make inroads.
Asian Boomers are not the same as their Western counterparts, and even among Asians they differ greatly. The one thing they have in common is their relative wealth and the time to spend it.
My guest this time provides exciting insights and revelations for Boomers contemplating housing options of the future. He has thought-provoking stories to share from housing developers worldwide, also grappling with a rapidly aging population. Because of innovations in technology and community design, it’s definitely going to get better in all classes of retirement housing – independent, assisted living and skilled care. Later-life housing is simply going to become more closely aligned with Boomer sensibilities.
The special guest for this program is a consultant, speaker and respected expert on marketing to older consumers, senior living culture change, and brain fitness. He has served clients in 49 states; educated and entertained thousands; and conducted focus groups for and consulted with a wide variety of businesses, corporations, nonprofit organizations, associations and government agencies.
When discussing Boomers as Generation Reinvention, we’re not just exploring a phenomenon of population aging and business transformation limited merely to the United States and Canada. Population aging is a global phenomenon and especially prevalent in Europe.
In 2005, the percentage of population over age 60 varied from 9.9 percent in Asia, to 16.2 percent in the U.S., and 20.8 percent in the United Kingdom. Scandinavia then had 21.2 percent of its population over 60. Now in 2011, these countries have grown even older, creating a marketplace revolution around technologies and social policies to serve 50+ adults.
Businesses and individuals seeking reinvention can become a lot more prescient by understanding what is happening with Boomer aging and business developments elsewhere. Since many countries are aging faster than the U.S., foreign adaptation to population aging can provide deeper insights into the future of aging in the U.S.
William Gibson, the famous science fiction writer and author of Neuromancer, the breakaway novel that launched the cyberpunk movement, once observed: “The future is already here; it’s just not evenly distributed.”
I recall reading an influential book by Stewart Brand entitled, The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at M.I.T. Written in the late-1980s, this absorbing book discussed many futuristic research projects going on at the M.I.T. Media Lab under the direction of founder Nicholas Negroponte. One technology already operative at the Lab but not available to the general public was HDTV – or high-definition television.
Futurists think about the future, and through their well-considered deliberations emerge fascinating scenarios about how our lives may dramatically change. One organization looking at the Boomer future is the Institute for the Future (IFTF).
Several years ago the IFTF identified seven “big stories” that form the basis of Boomer decision making and can help us anticipate future choices and lifestyles.
Marketing dollars have traditionally targeted youth markets because many marketers believe that the value of people 40 and older falls with rising age. A youth bias became particularly evident during the teenage years of Baby Boomers with introduction of advertising campaigns such as “The Pepsi Generation.”
One thing every one of us has in common is we’re aging. And so are our brains. The language we use to describe inevitabilities of brain aging tap into the deepest reservoirs of fear: senior moments, dementia, loss of self, and even organic brain dysfunction. In particular, we think of two words with unspoken angst: Alzheimer’s disease
In The Myth of Alzheimer’s: What You Aren’t Being Told About Today’s Most Dreaded Diagnosis, Dr. Peter Whitehouse and his coauthor, Daniel George, address the very foundation of our cultural and social relationships to the most dreaded disease of modern times. The victims of this malady face ostracism, institutionalization, isolation, loneliness, and dependency.
In 2010, one-third of the U.S. population passed age 50. When 2020 rolls around, one in five American adults will be over age 65. And the U.S. isn’t the only place to find Boomers. The Boomer “age wave” will also have colossal impact in Europe, which already has 19 of the world’s 20 oldest countries. Half of Holland will be over age 50 in 2012. Over one-fourth of Europeans will be age 65 or older in 2030.
This western “age wave” demands new thinking about marketing, advertising and product development, locally and internationally. Our guest for this show brings unique qualifications to address many of the forthcoming challenges and opportunities between the collision of aging and business in a global marketplace.
In Canada, 15.5 million adults are 50 and older. Zoomers, “Boomers with Zip,” earn 51 percent of household income and control 60 to 80 percent of all consumer spending. Canada is creating new models for aging, and at the center of this revolution is a media empire called ZoomerMedia.
David Cravit is the Executive Vice President and possesses over 30 years’ experience in advertising, marketing and consulting in Canada and the US.
Boomers are thinking about retirement living. Many are planning for a time when successful aging includes an ideal location with well-designed lifestyle amenities. While the rich can afford tailored specifications, middle-class Boomers must look elsewhere, and they need not look further than a community conceived by this week’s guest. Further, Boomers have become aware that too much of mainstream television doesn’t target their entertainment preferences. Wouldn’t it be great if someone understood how Boomers want to live and be entertained through relevant television? Someone has. John Erikson is founder of Erickson Retirement Communities: 19 communities along the Eastern seaboard, housing more than 23,000 50+ adults. His communities manifest his “six pillars of successful aging.” This thinking has revolutionized retirement living.He could have stopped there. But instead, he took what he understood about aging adults and launched cable network Retirement Living TV to provide a new voice to a generation largely ignored by television. Launching RLTV was a natural extension of his interest in the spirit of community among the 55-plus set. By broadcasting a positive image of the true lives of Boomers and seniors, he intends to change America’s views.
Baby Boomers have lived a rich history, colored by several foreign wars, myriad protest demonstrations, fall of the Soviet empire, and never-ending conflicts in Northern Ireland. Sitting on the front row of this unfolding history, Greg Dobbs has chronicled many of the major events that have defined the last 40 years. Join Brent Green as he discusses some of these remarkable stories with a remarkable journalist.
Baby Boomers have been the focus of intense marketing initiatives since they wore diapers. Today they are responsible for $2.4 trillion in consumer spending, dominating 1023 out of 1083 consumer package goods categories, according to Nielsen. And Boomers will dominate the economy for the foreseeable future.
Yet advertising aimed at Boomers has often been characterized as pandering, stereotypical and in some cases bluntly ageist. With author and blogger Chuck Nyren, Brent Green examines the good, bad and ugly of contemporary advertising targeting Boomers. We also discuss the future of advertising targeting this unwieldy generation.
This program investigates the changing roles of Boomer women and their unprecedented impact on business, government and nonprofits. Today’s female “power consumer” is rapidly changing the status quo across dozens of industries, and she is in the process of redefining what it means to be a woman 45+.
Our special guest is Dr. Carol Orsborn, an internationally-known thought leader connecting the social sciences with direct application to our workplaces and lives. Carol is the author of 16 books translated into 15 languages including Boom: Marketing to the Ultimate Power Consumer–the Baby Boomer Woman (Brown/Orsborn) and The Art of Resilience (Random House).
The inaugural program of Generation Reinvention examines many issues confronting Boomers and older men today. With special guest Jed Diamond, Brent Green will explore biological, psychological and sociological factors that affect men in mid-life. Listeners will gain insights into men’s changing roles and how together men can achieve greater engagement and value in a society that has traditionally marginalized older men. Listeners will discover more about the facts of male aging as well as consider rich economic and social possibilities for men 45 and older.
Jed Diamond, Ph.D. is Director of the MenAlive, a health program that helps men live long and well. Since its inception, Jed has been on the Board of Advisors of the Men’s Health Network. He is also a member of the International Society for the Study of the Aging Male and serves as a member of the International Scientific Board of the World Congress on Men’s Health.