By | BrandCulture, Branding, UCLA, Uncategorized | No Comments

Four Seasons Magazine 2014 a portrait

By steven Beschloss Photography by  Dave Lauridsen


In the early morning hours, a soft, rose-grey fog rolls in from the Pacific Ocean, shrouding beach communities like Santa Monica and Venice in a moist murmur. By noon, the warm sun will burn away the clouds, but that gentle feeling often lingers, dewdrops on leaves, reminding residents of nature’s presence amid the urban setting. This is one of those special, seemingly immutable things about living in Los Angeles—just one of many reasons people come and stay. “Over the last five years, LA has experienced its share of tumult, dealing with a troubled national economy and a fresh wave of Californians heading eastward for new opportunities. People began to wonder and worry: Could it be that LA, which has exerted such a powerful pull on the global imagination, was losing its sway? More than a century after Hollywood began spinning out stories here, was this town still a magnet for dreamers and a window to the future? ”  Through a series of portraits, we take the city’s pulse to rediscover what draws people here, and what keeps people here. A marketing mogul, a radio personality, a painter, an acting coach, an environmentalist, a musician. What we find with each is an intensified entrepreneurial mind-set, in which there is rarely one singular path to success. This is enriched by a city that inspires—indeed, demands—passionate self-expression. With an openness to new ideas, an expanding sense of possibility and a readiness to work hard, these ambitious Angelenos are not looking back at the city that was, but looking forward to what can be. Read More

Strategy & Culture: Flexible Specialization

By | BrandCulture, Future Think | No Comments

Barry Wellman meets John Hagel at the Fourth Turning (note William Stauss and Neil Howe)

Concept: Global localization and open flow are at the intersection of post-Fordisnm and specialization. We are witnessing an economic and cultural transition from the third turn to a forth: the emergence of a renaissance.

Impact: Product specialization, technology, personal expression, social media, alternative conformity, content segmentation, on time marketing and product availability, partisan politics and instant gratification.

Result: The changes in production with the shift from Fordism to post-Fordism were accompanied by changes in the economy, politics, and prominent ideologies. In the economic realm, post-Fordism brought the decline of regulation and production by the nation-state and the rise of global markets and corporations. Mass marketing was replaced by flexible specialization, and organizations began to emphasize communication more than command. The workforce changed with an increase in internal marketing, franchising, and subcontracting and a rise in part-time, temp, self-employed, and home workers. Read More

Finally a Sustainable Idea

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“Our industry is global and powerful because of its reach across multiple industries. Many would suggest that the responsibility rests within each sector of business. Others don’t really care. However, before we get influenced by any single entity or regulated by the government, perhaps we could take a defining step in shaping our own economic, social and environmental responsibility.

After all, sustainability, even if regarded as enlightened self interest, is ultimately about survival; both personal and profession.”
—Ken Markman

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On Becoming a Mentor

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Being recognized by your peers is humbling because responsibility comes attached.

Recently I was named 2010 Outstanding Instructor in Entertainment Studies and Performing Arts by the University of California, Los Angeles UCLA Extension Department of the Arts, acknowledged by Dean Cathy Sandeen and director of the Arts, Linda Venis.

The honor was received for instruction in the course “Marketing Entertainment, Strategies for the Global Marketplace,” which I have been teaching for 12 years. The course explores every facet of entertainment marketing, from branding strategies, distribution, advertising and public relations to market research, new media, promotion and licensing strategies.

The Department of the Arts is the largest University-related arts department in the country. It hires more than 1,000 artists and art professionals to teach 1,400 courses annually in five major academic divisions: Architecture and Interior Design; Entertainment Studies and Performing Arts; Landscape Architecture, Visual Arts; and the Writer’s Program.

The criteria upon which the instructors were selected for these awards are student evaluations, length of service in which excellence has been maintained, diversity of teaching portfolio, and contributions to their academic program.

Each fall I invite real world, industry experts into the classroom. They are shaman; keynote speakers.

That’s not a new idea. What is, is the power of their candor. It’s real life and real business meeting young minds.

Throughout the course we repeatedly hear overlapping themes about change, consumers, content, context, the collaborative creative process, marketing, messaging and branding…to name but a few.

In the end what we come to know is that we’re in an industry of total self invention and that success is realized by having a long history of brilliant adaptation to crisis. Both serve as lessons for life…because a good idea may come from anywhere.

The Advent of BrandCulture

By | BrandCulture | No Comments

Recognizing change is as important as acknowledging its cause and potential effect.

In a recently published Huffington Post article, reaching 17 million readers monthly, we brought focus to a consumer group that  is both creating and manipulating change. They are called Millennials. Their collective expression and use of digital media is the message of the brands they embrace and the cultural agenda they are creating. We call it BrandCulture.

Understanding them and how they are setting our cultural agenda is critical if we want to recognize the future when it arrives.

We are just beginning to witness the nuances and shifts of their consumer behavior.  The real ah-ha will arrive when we unlock the coding of this generation and the hardwiring of their brains. If you know a Cognitive Scientist, hire them; they’ll be your most trusted resource when unraveling the mysteries of your new consumer and the behavior that is driving businesses, brands and culture in the 21st Century.

Huffington Post Article: http://huff.to/9pvTCu