Thank you for inviting me here to your Fall Symposium. I have three goals for tonight; to teach you a brief lesson in BRANDING, to stimulate your thoughts on the need and value of branding GERONTOLOGIST INC and to get you on board as brand builders.The need and value of branding GERONTOLOGIST, INC.PROFESSIONAL “Brand Building” takes hundreds of individual collaborators
Whether it’s coffee or a computer or a breakfast cereal, people have choices. Lots of choices. How can someone decide? We use branding to help us BUT a brand is NOT the logo, the materials nor the product. It is the genuine “personality” of the entity, it’s what customers think and say, it’s their experience.
In other words, it’s what’s in our gut. Its fundamental. The outcome of a brand should be a clear, deep profound visceral understanding. Companies have brands. Professions have brands. People have brands.
Let’s take a look and get a FEEL for some corporate brands. What do you feel about FOX NEWS? Like it? Hate it? Can’t get enough? Give you a headache? What about NBC? Same feelings or different? THAT FEELING gives you a hint at BRANDING.
What is the reputation, the image, the intangibles, the emotions, the perceptions, the ephemerals, the ideas people have in their minds when they think of the NEWS ANCHOR profession? How about TALK SHOW HOST?
Now what is the reputation, the image, the intangibles, the emotions, the perceptions, the ephemerals, the ideas people have in their minds or the feeling in their gut when they think of the INDIVIDUAL TALK SHOW HOSTS?
With the Talk Show Hosts, we see an example of building a PROFESSIONAL BRAND UMBRELLA overarching the identities of the individuals. Personal Brand plus Personal Brand equals the Professional Brand. Talk Show Host is the a known brand. Conan O’Brien is also a known brand.
I was hired by VCU Gerontology Dept to help prepare the students graduating from the program bridge the gap from academia to the world of work. As a career consultant with a Fortune 200 financial services organization, I prepare folks every day on how to manage their careers and make career decisions, so this should be easy…
I decided to take a look at where past students had success in landing roles in the community post graduation. Tracey Gendron provided me with the results of her survey and I saw that of the 130 respondents, there were eight categories.
My intention then is to get the current crop of students HIRED into similar roles. I taught them how to look at themselves, describe what they do and evaluate their value. I encouraged them to build compelling answers to these personal branding questions.
In reality, this wasn’t so easy. WHY do the students struggle with creating their personal brand? This is the question that needs an answer. This is what brings me here tonight. I’m telling you nothing new when I say there is a huge need for people who specialize n working with the elderly…by 2025, there may be as many as 83 million folks over 60, or a quarter of the population. There will be a great demand for people who specialize in working with these folks and being prepared for this demand is what VCU Gerontology dept is trying to do.
What’s missing? The professional brand umbrella~ it’s either misunderstood or worse, it’s absent. Despite these demographics, employers haven’t fully embraced GERONTOLOGISTS. Actually, few people outside this room seem to embrace the profession GERONTOLOGIST as THE professional solution to take roles that will care for these older individuals.
Why does this matter? Why does BRAND CONFUSION or an absent BRAND for gerontology hurt? Well, for one thing, the category of HELPING OLD FOLKS is already full of professions- Nurses, Social Workers, now, Gerontologists. What do others know about you? Gerontology isn't an accredited discipline, and no certification exams are required.
Also, families are busy, the sandwich generation already has TOO MANY ISSUES and NOT ENOUGH TIME to figure out WHO IS A GERONTOLOGIST. In fact, in this room there are general specialists in GERONTOLOGY as well as specific disciplines (including social work, nursing, occupational therapy, psychology, etc.) trained in gerontology. Are you a NURSE specializing in Gerontology? Or a Gerontologist who is a nurse? Pretty confusing to the lay person who just wants MOM TAKEN CARE OF!
And remember, people make buying (HIRING) decisions based on emotion and impulse. I’m sure many of you can picture that PERFECT PAIR OF SEXY, EXPENSIVE HEELS YOU HAD TO HAVE that sit unworn in your closet because who can really walk in a pair of Manolo Blahnik pumps?…or, the iPHONE you had to have or the BLACKBERRY or the MAC or even that $2 cup of coffee you bought at Starbucks … all those purchases that surely make you feel SPECIAL and COOL. Come on, face it, you know this is true. We buy BRANDS…brands that we relate to in our gut.
We buy the BRANDs we do because we’ve come to expect consistency, authenticity and the promise that they will always deliver what they stand for. We TRUST that we will have THAT experience, whatever THAT is, each and every time. So we buy it again and again. Employers HIRE that BRAND again and again. If GERONTOLOGISTS want to be THE ONE HIRED, they need a recognizable brand.
So, I decided to do a GOOGLE search. I use GOOGLE to search for everything! Well, Google first, then Wikipedia. Here are the results…. NURSE results in .16 seconds. 85 million results. Social Work in .19 seconds with about 23 million results and now Gerontologist, .12 seconds with 495 thousand results. Hmmm…the populations of California + Texas + New York + Colorado = Nurse results. The results for GERONTOLOGISTS? The population of Washington, DC. You missed that? Here it is!
As I said, it’s GOOGLE first, then WIKIPEDIA. Here’s their definition. Here are some more definitions. I looked and looked and then realized….As the institutional lag in serving older persons began to ebbThe elevation of the Section on Aging to the National Institute on Aging in 1975 by the U.S. Public Health Service within the National Institutes of Health was a landmark in the growing support of research on aging. Gerontology was coming of age. Handbooks on the biological, psychological, and social science aspects of aging made their appearance in 1977, providing further evidence of the significant growth of the study of aging after 1950.
EACH definition refers to the STUDY or the SCIENCE of gerontology. WHY IS THAT? Well, the term "gerontology" was introduced in 1903 by Elie Metchnikoff, a Nobel laureate and professor at the Pasteur Institute of Paris. In America, the emergence of gerontology as a movement can be traced to a small group of leaders who, in the mid-1930s, recognized that the health of the American population was undergoing a change from domination by infectious diseases to chronic diseases, chronic diseases found in the elderly. Research on aging began to grow.
I decided to take a look at the Associations connected to the field to see what THEY say about themselves. The Gerontological Society of America, founded in 1945, is the grandfather of these, followed five years later by the International Association of Gerontology. Here’s what GSA says about their mission.Economic factors played a role in the slow emergence of gerontology as an area of study. In the early twentieth century, few institutions, private or nonprofit, were devoted to the care and treatment of the aged. Pensions, social security, disability insurance, retirement communities, assisted living facilities, adult education programs, and many other programs emerged later, increasing the need for knowledge about the characteristics of the older population. The elevation of the Section on Aging to the National Institute on Aging in 1975 by the U.S. Public Health Service within the National Institutes of Health was a landmark in the growing support of research on aging. Gerontology was coming of age. Handbooks on the biological, psychological, and social science aspects of aging made their appearance in 1977, providing further evidence of the significant growth of the study of aging after 1950.
SGS began in 1979. According to its home page…(above quote). Speaking of the SGS, I found the following quote from Ed Rosenberg, president of SGS 2008-2009. In 2007, Mr. Rosenberg said “The good news is that… there will be plenty of aging-related jobs…. We’ll need hands-on people, and people to manage those hands-on people… because there will be more elders, and there will be more elders with economic, health-related, psychological, and social needs. You don’t see too many of these folks in glossy magazine photo layouts. But they’re out there. And they will need you.”
That quote took me to the academia…the training ground for all those needed GERONTOLOGISTS. First, San Diego State talks about specialization. VCU offers six Gerontology Tracks: Education, Health care organization & planning, Psychogeriatrics, Public administration, Research, Social services. A student at VCU completes 15 hours of courses in gerontological core, with five hours in gerontological research, six hours in gerontology practice elective courses and four hours in a field placement.Association of Gerontology in Higher Education, known as AGHE, began in 1974 and merged with GSA in 1998 as the Educational Unit of The Gerontological Society of America identifies seven roles. They see their mission as (1) preparing service delivery personnel who will work directly with older adults; (2) training educators who specialize in the physical, psycho-social, and policy domains of aging; (3) educating the society at large about the processes of aging and the implications of an aging society; and (4) instructing older adults seeking to maximize their options in a complex and challenging age.The term "gerontology" was introduced in 1903 by Elie Metchnikoff, a Nobel laureate and professor at the Pasteur Institute of Paris. In America, the emergence of gerontology as a scientific movement can be traced to a small group of leaders who, in the mid-1930s, recognized that the health of the American population was undergoing a change from domination by infectious diseases to chronic diseases. The Gerontological Society of America was founded in 1945, and the International Association of Gerontology about five years later.Economic factors undoubtedly played a role in the slow emergence of gerontology as an area of study. In the early twentieth century, few institutions, private or nonprofit, were devoted to the care and treatment of the aged. Pensions, social security, disability insurance, retirement communities, assisted living facilities, adult education programs, and many other programs emerged later, increasing the need for knowledge about the characteristics of the older population. As the institutional lag in serving older persons began to ebb, research on aging began to grow.
Here’s the disconnect I see. The broader world sees GERONTOLOGISTS as scientists, the pillars of the field who historically founded and have shepherded this profession see GERONTOLOGY as the scientific study of the elderly…yet there’s a conflict with the academic view. IF in 2009, Gerontologists are Scientists, well, who wants to be a LAB RAT?
If as the GSA states, you are scientists doing research at the intersection of Biological Sciences, Health Sciences, Behavioral and Social Sciences, or Social Research, Policy and Practice, are you so busy writing and delivering scientific dissertations that you are not listening to the front line consumers of your services?
If you perform scientific research, do I really want you to think of my 97 year old, independently living MOM as one of your specimens? Will YOU think of her as a piece of data to be studied as she approaches her 98th birthday?
Some of you here may see yourselves as scientists…yet I doubt you all do. Do YOU feel a conflict? Can you see the confusion? When your professional brand is clear to you, it will be clear to others. Can you see why students don’t know how to market themselves or employers don’t know to HIRE them? Can you clearly verbalize your brand? IS your brand clearly worthy of REMARK?
What if we try to crystallize your brand…
…by taking the UMBRELLA and turning it INTO A BOAT?
If we can define WHO IS IN THE BOAT and collectively identify their traits, add them together, we can identify a “NEW BRAND WORLD” for Gerontologists
Tom Peters, Branding GURU, began the idea of Personal Branding. Tom says that now is the “Time to establish you own micro equivalent of the Nike Swoosh”. The truth is, if you are not branding yourselves, rest assured that others are branding you. Accidental branding is OCCURRING to Gerontologists. Can we look at who is in the room tonight, WHO IS IN THE GERONTOLOGIST BOAT, and define similar traits?
Feature-benefit model: stating that you do great work is not enough. People have got to know about you and your great work. YOU have to know. What are you selling? What is your brand? NOT LABEL, but CULTURE? Light up the eyes of the prospects: what do I do that brings remarkable, measurable, distinguished, distinctive value to the mature population? What do you want to be famous for? What’s the movie logline? Boil down the story to attract potential producers with brevity, clarity and an emotional hook. Remember those Monola Blahnik pumps?) Exercise: each table will take one of these questions and in 5 minutes, come up with an answer or answers to share with the room. I want to listen for any and all consistencies.
Tom Peters also advises that “It’s time to take a lesson from the big brands, the behemoth companies, and become the head marketer for BRAND YOU/BRAND GERONTOLOGIST INC. First you create the brand, then you raise awareness of it. Own the title!
If you can get others to sing your praises, they will spread the word about what a remarkable contributor you are. And you don’t always need to be the BOSS to be the LEADER, the INFLUENCER. You don’t need an org chart authority to be an influencer and a leader. Act as a credible leader. Know your brand audience. Who are you proving yourself to?
Know your brand audience. Who are you proving yourself to? Remember that everything you do counts (the three pillars of branding are consistency, authenticity and clarity)
And don’t just hang with people you know, circles who “GET YOU” already. Venture out, make new contacts, infiltrate other industries…is there a conference on consumer packaging that needs a GERONTOLOGIST to speak to them about marketing to older adults? GET A PROPOSAL TO THEM. Let them know that YOU ARE THE EXPERT, the KNOWLEDGE BROKER they need.
Make an emotional connection. Develop a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with the community: Gerontologists win, the community wins.
Once you are seen as the ONLY solution to their problem, they have no place else to shop! YOU are the brand of choice, and HIRING managers and consumers alike will be willing to pay a premium for your brand, GERONTOLOGIST INC.
Use an integrated brand approach. So many avenues, so many channels are available today. READ LIST
Once all of GERONTOLOGIST here, plus all of the GERONTOLOGISTS in the boat everywhere are KNOWN as the RIGHT one for the jobs “CARING FOR THE ELDERLY”, you will define your PROFESSIONAL BRAND UMBRELLA.
You will CREATE a BRAND WORTHY OF REMARK.
YOU are the new foundation of this field, the emerging field and have the opportunity to BRAND Gerontologists. That task lies here, with you. Here are two quotes I think speak to this opportunity. Read quotes.
My intention tonight has been to provoke meaningful thought about what I see is the need for a 21st century re-creation of your BRAND as GERONTOLOGISTS…and selfishly, when THAT happens, my job preparing students to leave the warmth and shelter of the university to take their place in the world of work becomes easier!THANK YOU.
Transcript of "Gerontologist, Inc: A Brand Worthy of Remark"
VCU Gerontology Webinar June 15, 2011 • Helene M. Bumbalo, MS<br />
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN<br />A brief lesson in BRANDING<br />The need and value of branding GERONTOLOGIST, INC.<br />PROFESSIONAL “Brand Building” takes hundreds of individual collaborators <br />1<br />2<br />3<br />
BRANDING 101<br />A BRAND IS NOT A<br />A BRAND IS NOT <br />A BRAND IS NOT A<br />LOGO<br />COLLATERAL<br />MATERIALS<br />PRODUCT<br />
BRANDING 101<br />A BRAND is a persons gut feeling about a product, service or organization.*<br />*The Brand Gap<br />
Recreation – 2% </li></ul>Data out of 130 VCU Department of Gerontology respondents<br />
MY MISSION<br />Future Success: Get Hired<br />Prepare the students to provide compelling answers to these personal branding questions, <br />Who are you? <br />What do you?<br />Why does it matter?<br />
MY MISSION<br />The Reality: Not so easy…<br />My students struggled with their personal branding…WHY? <br />
PROFESSIONAL BRAND<br />Professional Brand: GERONTOLOGIST<br />Their professional brand UMBRELLA is misunderstood or absent<br />
PROFESSIONAL BRAND<br />WHY THIS MATTERS<br />The professionals in “aging services” have similar qualities and features.<br />
PROFESSIONAL BRAND<br />WHY THIS MATTERS<br />Families caring for an elderly loved one have too many issues and not enough time to figure you out.<br />
PROFESSIONAL BRAND<br />WHY THIS MATTERS<br />People make buying decisions on emotion and impulse.<br />
PROFESSIONAL BRAND<br />WHY THIS MATTERS<br />Trust comes from knowing the brand will meet and beat customer’s (or HIRING MANAGER’S) expectations every time.<br />
PROFESSIONAL BRAND<br />http://youtu.be/iRLvI747cvQ<br />
PROFESSIONAL BRAND<br />Let’s do a Google search:<br />Results for Nurse:<br />Results for Social Worker:<br />Results for Gerontologist:<br />
PROFESSIONAL BRAND<br />Definitions:<br />Gerontology is the study of aging. It is distinguished from geriatrics, which is the branch of medicine that studies the diseases of the elderly. <br />Scientists who study aging, (are) called gerontologists<br />Gerontology is the comprehensive study of aging and the problems of the aged. <br />The scientific study of the biological, psychological, and sociological phenomena associated with old age and aging. <br />Gerontology is noun the scientific study of old age and old people<br />The branch of science that deals with aging and the problems of aged persons<br />
PROFESSIONAL BRAND<br />Definitions:<br />Gerontology is the study of aging. It is distinguished from geriatrics, which is the branch of medicine that studies the diseases of the elderly. <br />Scientists who study aging, (are) called gerontologists<br />Gerontology is the comprehensivestudyof aging and the problems of the aged. <br />The scientific study of the biological, psychological, and sociological phenomena associated with old age and aging. <br />Gerontology is the scientific studyof old age and old people<br />The branch of science that deals with aging and the problems of aged persons<br />
PROFESSIONAL BRAND<br />Association Viewpoint<br />The principal mission is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public.<br />We foster collaboration between biologists, health professionals, policymakers, and behavioral and social scientists. We believe the intersection of research from diverse areas is the best way to achieve the greatest impact and promote healthy aging. <br />GSA members affiliate with one of four Sections: Biological Sciences, Health Sciences, Behavioral and Social Sciences, or Social Research, Policy and Practice. <br />
PROFESSIONAL BRAND<br />Association Viewpoint<br />Southern Gerontological Society members are educators, aging network personnel, researchers, health professionals, and policy makers. SGS provides the bridge between research and practice, translating and applying knowledge in the field of aging.<br />
PROFESSIONAL BRAND<br />Academic Viewpoint<br />Agerontologist is a professional that specializes in the special needs and issues that relate to older adults and the aging population in general. <br />Six Gerontology Tracks: Education, Health care organization & planning, Psychogeriatrics, Public administration, Research, Social services. <br />Defines seven roles or tracks: Direct Service Provision, Program Planning and Evaluation, Management and Administration, Marketing and Product Development, Advocacy, Education and Training, Research<br />
PROFESSIONAL BRAND<br />The disconnect: SCIENTIST VS. SPECIALIST<br />If you communicate that you are “research and science”, who wants to be your lab rat?<br />
PROFESSIONAL BRAND<br />The disconnect: SCIENTIST VS. SPECIALIST<br />If you conduct scientific monologues about data, are you too busy talking and not really listening?<br />
PROFESSIONAL BRAND<br />The disconnect: SCIENTIST VS. SPECIALIST<br />If quantitative studies are what you do, do elder people feel like specimens?<br />
REMARKABLE BRAND<br />So, what IS your PROFESSIONAL BRAND UMBRELLA?<br />Your PROFESSIONAL BRAND, a brand worthy of remark, will be clear to others precisely because it is clear to you.<br />Is it CLEAR TO YOU? <br />
REMARKABLE BRAND<br />…turn the umbrella into a boat. <br />
REMARKABLE BRAND<br />If we can define WHO IS IN THE BOAT and collectively identify their traits, add them together, we can identify a “NEW BRAND WORLD” for Gerontologists<br />1+1=11<br />
REMARKABLE BRAND<br />“It’s a New Brand World” Tom Peters<br />Can we define traits among you here that show Consistency, Authenticity, Clarity?<br />
REMARKABLE BRAND<br />Exercise:<br />What do I do that brings remarkable, measurable, distinguished, distinctive value to the elderly population?<br />What moves me? Where do I find joy?<br />What do I consistently get recognized for?<br />Why do I do what I do?<br />What am I insanely great at doing? <br />What do I want to be known for?<br />If I ceased to exist, what difference would it make on the world?<br />What can I unabashedly brag about ?<br />What emotions would I like my brand to produce in others?<br />Am I a MAC or a PC?<br />
GET YOUR MESSAGE OUT<br />Own your title: Introduce yourself as a Gerontologist <br />
GET YOUR MESSAGE OUT<br />You don’t need ORG CHART authority to be a credible leader<br />
GET YOUR MESSAGE OUT<br />Powerful Presence: Consistent behaviors matter, all the time<br />
GET YOUR MESSAGE OUT<br />Get in touch with a totally novel group of people and showcase your skills<br />
GET YOUR MESSAGE OUT<br />Make emotional, visceral connections with your Brand Audience<br />
GET YOUR MESSAGE OUT<br />Be seen as the best, perhaps ONLY, solution to the problems they face<br />
GET YOUR MESSAGE OUT<br />Get credit as an expert through multiple channels: <br />Integrated Brand campaign<br />• Speaking engagements • White papers<br />• A column or OpEd • Sponsorships<br />• Email alerts • Newsletters<br />• Blogs • Facebook<br />• Webinars • Websites<br />• Podcasts • Twitter<br />• National press • Local Press<br />
GERONTOLOGIST INC.<br />YOU, the GERONTOLOGISTS in the boat, will create the PROFESSIONAL BRAND UMBRELLA.<br />
GERONTOLOGIST INC.<br />GERONTOLOGIST INC.<br />YOU will create:<br />A BRAND WORTHY OF REMARK<br />
GERONTOLOGIST INC.<br />“If you are not appearing, you are disappearing.” <br />Art Blakely<br />“It is very simple. You are a brand. You are in charge of your brand. There is no single path to success. And there is no right way to create the brand called YOU. Except this: start today. Or else.” Tom Peters<br />