Monthly Archives: February 2010

The Networked Boomer Woman

She feels invisible. Yet she doesn’t want you to market to her obtrusively. She is a Boomer woman an likely liver in a household with an income of nearly $ 100.000 annualy. This is not just a niche, but also a lucrative, savvy demographyc brands need to pay attention to, but not in the old mass-market media way.

To get there, brands need to shed any preconceived notion of older women as Luddites or self-sacrificing martyrs hesitant to indulge in purchases — especially ones once neglected during those demanding child-rearing years.
Indeed, it’s quite the opposite.

A boomer woman has a serious network of online friends, family and coworkers. She’s also entered a new stage in life, shedding once frugal and restrictive attitudes toward consumption. Counterintuitive, yes, but a Boomer woman has more in common with a woman in her 20s than one in her 30s or 40s. She’s managing a household without children and an expanding disposable income.

“Discretionary income is growing faster than in other demographics,” said Stephen Reily, founder and CEO of, a site devoted to Boomer women and touted as “an online destination and peer-to-peer information exchange for women 50 and older.”

“This is a demo that’s still really up for grabs as far as brand loyalty because of the ways of making brand decisions in different stages of life,” Reily said. “They were really buying for their children. There’s this degree of self interest that sort of blossoms in this age. These women are saying now I’ve been giving and sacrificing for all those years and I really want to do something for myself now.”

So what does this mean for brands that want to reach this lucrative market?

The Boomer woman wants to be recognized, but 88% of this market prefers referrals from others (including online testimonials from strangers) as one of the top 3 sources “pushing them over the edge” in making a final purchase decision. So forget about bombarding her with traditional advertising messages. She wants to hear from women just like her, according to a recent study by VibrantNation’s “Well-Connected and Wired,” a quantitative study of 1000 Boomer women.

The study also reported that the average active 30-day personal network for women 50+ is a robust 46. In fact, fewer than 60% name advertising as an important influence and fewer than 40% said television was the primary motivator for purchase decisions. So yes — Mom is indeed on Facebook and Twitter.

“In stark contrast to stereotypes of increasing marginalization and invisibility, over three quarters of these women report that the size of their networks have remained unchanged or enlarged over the past five years, with the majority citing expansive growth,” the study noted.

Indeed, baby boomer women have no intention of going quietly into old age. This is a market that’s only beginning to come into its own in terms of spending power. The general consensus from many studies is that the collective spending power of boomers tops $2 trillion a year, but will keep expanding, in large part due to the tendency of this generation to put off retirement.

According to, boomer women influence 80% of the $2.1 trillion in consumer goods purchases made by the boomer demographic each year — the largest of any segment of the population. Every day, 8 of 10 boomers are online, making them the largest online consumer.
Considering what demographers call the baby-boomer cohort (those born between 1946 and 1964), it is indeed a graying of the workforce. In fact, according to recent studies from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the labor force will continue to age, with the annual growth rate of the 55-and-older group to be 4.1 percent — four times the rate of growth for the overall labor force. And it’s women who are driving this growth.

Men’s share of the labor force will decrease by 2014, from 53.6 percent to 53.2 percent while women’s share will jump from 46.4 percent to 46.8 percent. Those may seem like ever-so slight uptick. But think again: Those aren’t small shifts when you are talking about an estimated 77 million boomers. It’s an uptick that can make a big difference in buying power — especially considering that women’s influence on purchasing decisions has been long established by multiple studies. is tapping this market by making inroads online and spurring a dialogue with the segment. Launched in January 2009, its weekly newsletter already tops 50,000 subscribers and the site draws 40,000 unique visitors a month, according to Reily.

The comments are at times raw and revealing. For instance, on a thread discussing the demise of the Saturn brand, “Dallas Lady” writes: “Funny……..I had an automobile lust flashback this very morning. Dropping my son off at his high school, I saw a brand new, funky orange/gold, Ford Mustang convertible being tooled around the parking lot (still in paper license plates) by a teenage girl (likely a senior showing off her sr year present from overly doting parents). Setting aside my rolling eyes in disgust at such an expense in the hands of a 17 year old…..I gotta tell ya: It took me back in time, and I said to myself: ‘Self. That’s totally cool and awesome. You need to get you some of that.’ Dang, being 51 and jealous of a 17 year old’s possessions really sucks.”

But how can marketers tap into that sentiment of indulgence?

“The first thing is for brands to recognize this is a market. In fact, it is the marketing trifecta. Usually, marketers have to choose the biggest market, the market growing the most, or the market with the most money. Boomer women are all of the above,” said Marti Barletta, author of the book, “PrimeTime Women: How to Win the Hearts, Minds and Business of Boomer Big Spender,” and CEO of The TrendSight Group, based in Winnetka, Illinois, whose clients include Ford, Frito-Lay, Logitech, Allstate, among others.

Her book argues that the female Boomer market is the prime business opportunity for marketers today in a huge number of segments, yet is completely overlooked by marketers.

Asked what brands get it, Barletta offered a rather truncated list. “People ask me this all the time and I have to stay none,” before relenting and giving a nod to Curves, the chain of fitness centers geared toward older women and department-store chain Nordstrom, which regularly features women with silver hair in ads.

And despite a rough patch for retail during the ongoing recession, she said apparel stores J.Jill, Coldwater Creek and Chico’s deserve credit for effectively reaching out to this market in women’s apparel.

Additionally, Barletta pointed to the struggles More magazine has attracting advertisers, as outlined in a recent New York Times article. It noted that the magazine’s average reader “makes about $93,000, around $30,000 more than the average for Vogue, Allure or Harper’s Bazaar, according to Mediamark Research and Intelligence. But More has hardly a luxury ad in it.”

“Tell me how that makes sense?” Barletta asked. [18-Dec-2009]

Mya Frazier is freelance business journalist. She can be reached at

Bron: Brandchannel


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Filed under Advertising, Branding, business, Women

Mexico City Goes Green, But Will Its Bike-Sharing Program Work? (via brandchannel)

Mexico City Goes Green, But Will Its Bike-Sharing Program Work? (via brandchannel).

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Inbox2 – One stream for all your accounts

Inbox2 – One stream for all your accounts. Make things simple and easy, do you love that me too

CV of the founders

Inbox2 was founded by Khuram Hussain, Waseem Sadiq and Moin Sayed in 2008. Inbox2 is a Delft University of Technology Start-Up and is located in the Netherlands.

Our passion is to create simple applications to help people with all that is going on in their online life. The challenge that we have taken upon at the moment is focusing on simplification of your Inbox and creating the new messaging experience. We believe that people are primarily interested in connecting with others and don’t want to be bother with the complexity of technology. Our mission is to deliver services which facilitate and allow you to manage these connections without the hassle.

Our product has recently been nominated for Dutch innovation awards 2009.

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Filed under Challengers, Communication, Development, Internet

Is Paris Hilton Too Sexy for Brazil?

Self-Regulatory Body Investigates Her Risque Launch Campaign for Devassa’s ‘Very Blonde’ Beer

Posted by Laurel Wentz on 02.25.10 @ 11:52 AM

( — NEW YORK ( — Brazil’s self-regulatory body, Conar, is investigating an ad campaign starring Paris Hilton for Devassa Bem Loura beer for being too sexually provocative, even by the racy standards of Brazilian beer ads.
According to local trade publication Meio & Mensagem, Ad Age’s partner in Brazil, Conar this week opened three different investigations into local brewer Grupo Schincariol’s launch campaign for Devassa Bem Loura (Portuguese for “Very Blonde”) beer last month during Brazil’s riotous Carnival.

The first investigation is the result of a formal complaint by a consumer about the sensual nature of the ads, reported Meio & Mensagem journalist Alexandre Zaghi Lemos.

The campaign includes a spot by Sao Paulo agency Mood in which Ms. Hilton, dressed in a short, tight black dress, parades in front of the window in a high-rise office building rubbing a can of Devassa Bem Loura beer along her body. A guy in another office spots her through the window, grabs a camera, and begins filming her. On the street below, a crowd gathers to watch her.

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Conar’s code governing beer advertising specifies that “appeals to sensuality won’t constitute the principal content of the message” and adds that “advertising models won’t be treated as sex objects.” (Brazilian beer marketers often get around this by giving beer ads a beach setting, where it’s considered appropriate for models to wear tiny bikinis.)

The second investigation, started by Conar itself, is targeting a promotion on the beer’s website that may violate rules against promotional activities that encourage excessive consumption.

The launch of the Devassa Bem Loura extension of the Devassa brand started as a TV and online teaser campaign about a mysterious blonde, and the beer marketer spread the word Bem Misteriosa on Twitter. The website featured a keyhole that grew as people tweeted #bemmisteriosa, finally revealing Paris Hilton, a celebrity guest at Carnival in the beer marketer’s VIP box at the samba school parade in Rio de Janeiro.

On the Devassa website (at and, Paris Hilton perches on a bar stool holding a beer glass in the same tight black dress, next to the words “Very Irreverent, Very Blonde, Very Devassa. Finally She’s Arrived.” Elsewhere on the site, in a jukebox feature with different music options, she poses next to the jukebox wearing black lingerie, fishnet stockings, stiletto heels and a top hat. The commercial is also on the site.

A third investigation was started Wednesday afternoon at the request of the Brazilian government’s Secretariat for Womens’ Affairs, alleging that content on Devassa’s site is sexist and disrespectful to women.

In the next steps, Conar will formally notify both the advertiser and the agency that the investigations have been opened, and they have 10 days to submit a written response. Informally, the news is all over Brazilian blogs, provoking lively comments about both the campaign and Ms. Hilton.

Meio & Mensagem is Brazil’s leading weekly magazine and website devoted to covering advertising, media and marketing in Latin America’s largest market.

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Listen More, Speak Less

5 Steps to Better Listening

By: Guy Harris – Chief Relationship Officer, Principle Driven Consulting

As a coach and consultant, I spend lots of time listening to people describe their situation, their problem, their frustration, etc. My clients expect me to offer insights, knowledge, and perspectives to help them create better results either personally or professionally. In many respects, I am a “professional listener.”

From this experience, I have found that hearing is easy and listening is hard.

A quick review of some statistics about listening, compiled by the International Listening Association (, yields some insight into why listening is so hard:

• Most of us are distracted, preoccupied or forgetful about 75% of the time we should be listening.
• We listen at 125-250 words per minute, but think at 1000-3000 words per minute.
As hard as it is to listen effectively, it is still vitally important. Take a look at these additional statistics from the International Listening Association:
• Immediately after we listen to someone, we only recall about 50% of what they said.
• Long-term, we only remember 20% of what we hear.
• More than 35 business studies indicate that listening is a top skill needed for success in business.

My first thought as I began this article was: “I’m about to communicate an idea that everyone has heard before.” However, my experience as a “professional listener” tells me that the topic carries enough importance to justify the reminder. More importantly, I’ll share five tips to help you improve your skill in this vital leadership competence.

1. Listen to understand, not to respond
Effective listening goes beyond hearing someone’s words. Effective listening creates an environment where the other person feels that you understand them.

This tip applies to attitude more than it does to behavior. Many people view dialogue like a tennis match where the two parties square off and hit the ball back-and-forth. In this approach to conversation, both parties are adversaries trying to “score the point.”

To listen effectively, I suggest that you view dialogue more like a pitcher and catcher in a baseball game. The pitcher (speaker) throws the ball for the catcher (you) to receive it. The catcher only throws the ball back after he has it firmly in his grasp.
In other words, listen to receive the meaning. Once you understand, then you can respond.

2. Be quiet
Being quiet gives you the opportunity to hear the words, the tone, and the meaning behind the words. It gives you the chance to observe the speaker’s body language.

To help you remember this tip, I’ll share two quick statements with you:
• “When your mouth is open, your ears are closed.”
• “LISTEN and SILENT have the same letters.”

3. Let them finish their thoughts
In other words, don’t interrupt the speaker. From the previous tip, this idea seems obvious. However, I have seen many arguments and misunderstandings that stemmed from interruptions. It’s hard to remain silent. It’s even harder to remain silent until someone has completely expressed their idea.

4. Maintain eye contact
Effective listening means observing everything about the speaker’s message. People communicate at least as much with their body language as they do with their words. Good listeners learn to “listen” with their eyes as well as with their ears.
If you choose to work on something else (answer e-mail, fill out paperwork, etc.) while someone is speaking to you, they will not “feel” that they were heard.

5. Ask questions to ensure that you understand
Just because you heard the words and observed the body language, don’t assume that you understand. If a particular point is unclear to you, ask a question to clarify it before you respond.

Even if you think you understand the message, make sure you do by clarifying it with the speaker. You might say something like:

• “Just to be sure I understand you, let me repeat back to you what I thought you said…”
• “I heard you say… Is that correct?”
• “If I understand correctly, your concern is…”

When you clarify, remember to let them correct your understanding. You don’t have to agree with their perspective. You do have to make sure that you understand it.

Good leaders are good listeners. Effective listening helps to resolve conflicts, build trust, inspire people, and strengthen teams. It often requires you to “bite your tongue,” and, from my personal experience, I know that it can be hard work. I also know that the results are worth the effort.

Copyright 2006, Guy Harris

About the Author:
Guy Harris is the Chief Relationship Officer with Principle Driven Consulting. He helps entrepreneurs, business managers, and other organizational leaders build trust, reduce conflict, and improve team performance. You can call Guy at 765-794-4708. Learn more at

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Wie redt wie, en wat zijn de gevolgen. Overheden, centrale banken, de EU zijn constant aan het redden en met name “banken” maar nu ook landen? Onze samenleveing is zo verweven en met elkaar verstrengeld dat we een failliete grote bank of land onmiddellijk gaan redden, helpen met geld veel geld van ons allen. Is dat wel de oplossing denk ik steeds,een rotte appel gooi ik weg om de anderen gezond te houden.
De wereld is toe aan een normale natuurlijke marktwerking. De partijbelangen boven de algehele belangen en dat is heel kwalijk. Kiezers moeten heel goed nadenken, eerst voor de gemeente verkiezingen en op 9 juni voor de landelijke verkiezingen geef een signaal af.

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Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind

Chapter Summaries

Chapter 1. What positioning is all about. Many people misunderstand the role of communication in business and politics today. In our overcommunicated society, very little communication actually takes place. Rather, a company must create a “position” in the prospect’s mind. A position that takes into consideration not only a company’s own strengths and weaknesses, but those of its competitors as well.

Chapter 2. The assault on the mind. There are just too many companies, too many products, too much marketing noise.

Chapter 3. Getting into the mind. The easy way to get into a person’s mind is to be first. If you can’t be first, then you must find a way to position yourself against the product, the politician, the person who did get there first.

Chapter 4. Those little ladders in your head. To cope with our overcommunicated society, people have learned to rank products on mental ladders. In the rent-a-car field, for example, most people put Hertz on the top rung, Avis on the second rung, and National on the third. Before you can position anything, you must know where it is on the product ladder in the mind.

Chapter 5. You can’t get there from here. A competitor has no hope of going head-to-head against the position IBM has established in computers. Many companies have ignored this basic positioning principle and have suffered the consequences.

Chapter 6. Positioning of a leader. To be a leader you have to be first to get into the mind of the prospect and then follow the strategies for staying there.

Chapter 7. Positioning of a follower. What works for a leader doesn’t necessarily work for a follower. An also-ran must find a creneau or hole in the mind not occupied by someone else.

Chapter 8. Repositioning the competition. If there are no creneaus left you have to create one by repositioning the competition. Tylenol, for example, repositioned aspirin.

Chapter 9. The power of the name. The most important marketing decision you can make is what to name the product. The name alone has an enormous power in an overcommunicated society.

Chapter 10. The no-name trap. Companies with long, complex names have tried to shorten them by using initials. This seldom works.

Chapter 11. The free-ride trap. Can a second product get a free ride on the advertising coattails of a well-known brand? In the case of products like LifeSavers gum, the answer is no.

Chapter 12. The line-extension trap. Line extension has become the marketing sickness of the decade. Why it seldom works.

Chapter 13. When line extension can work. There are cases, however, of successful line extensions (GE, for example). A discussion of when to use the house name and when to use a new name.

Chapter 14. Positioning a company: Xerox. Xerox owns the copier position. But as Xerox moves into the office automation field, how should the company be positioned?

Chapter 15. Positioning a country: Belgium. The answer to the problems of a national airline like Sabena Belgium World Airlines is to position the country, not the airline.

Chapter 16. Positioning an island: Jamaica. “Sand and surf” has become a visual clichŽ for all Caribbean islands. How do you establish an unique position for one of them?

Chapter 17. Positioning a product: Milk Duds. How a product with a small budget can get into the mind by positioning itself as the long-lasting alternative to the candy bar.

Chapter 18. Positioning a service: Mailgram. Why a totally new service has to be positioned against the old.

Chapter 19. Positioning a Long Island bank. How a bank successfully struck back when its territory was invaded by its giant neighbors from the Big City.

Chapter 20. Positioning a New Jersey bank. One of the best ways to establish a position is to find a weakness in your competitor’s position.

Chapter 21. Positioning a ski resort: Stowe. How an outside expert can add credibility to a positioning claim.

Chapter 22. Positioning the Catholic Church. Even institutions can benefit from positioning thinking. An outline of some steps that could be taken to position the Roman Catholic Church.

Chapter 23. Positioning yourself and your career. You can benefit by using positioning strategy to advance your own career. Key principle: Don’t try to do everything yourself. Find a horse to ride.

Chapter 24. Positioning your business. To get started on a positioning program, there are six questions you can ask yourself.

Chapter 25. Playing the positioning game. To be successful at positioning, you have to have the right mental attitude. You have to become an outside-in thinker rather than an inside-out thinker. This requires patience, courage, and strength of character.

Bron: Ries & Ries

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