Posts tagged ‘Tufts University’

BRAND GUYS — by Bill Vernick and Claire Farber

Review by Scott Keith

Editor’s note: I thought it would be fun to take this blog in another direction by reviewing an entertaining book that deals with a subject many baby boomers struggle with…how to get back in the dating scene.

These days, it’s hard to start a relationship. It seems everybody is multi-tasking.  There’s not enough time in the day to map a strategy for finding that significant other. While there are dating web sites, and the ever-popular produce aisle at the corner supermarket, there’s one approach you probably have never thought about.

Bill Vernick and Claire Farber have written Brand Guys to show a woman how to choose Mr. Right based on the products he purchases.

In an email interview with Men and Health: It’s a Guy Thing, Vernick says the idea of Brand Guys came from a routine consumer marketing focus group.

According to Vernick, “At the group, a woman said that when the time came and she agreed to go back to ‘his place,’ she liked to search through a guy’s bathroom. She figured the products he used might tell her something about this guy. We said, ‘ah-HA!’ and asked other women if they did the same thing.” Many woman did, the authors found out.

Vernick and Farber believe women can really get to know a guy by the brands he buys. “The brand a man uses creates HIS brand. If he drives a Beemer and drinks Johnnie Walker, he’s one brand; if he drives a Volvo and drinks Ocean Spray, he’s another. Women told us brands helped them figure who a guy really is,” Vernick said.

Brand Guys reveals that a lot of guys who use similar brands all share similar personalities.

“Brands are like comfort food,” Vernick said. “A guy feels good about Tom’s of Maine Toothpaste. He knows it’s safe to use, doesn’t harm animals and respects nature. Other guys who like Tom’s are the same way. They care about the same things; their personalities reflect this!”

As you read the book, you’ll discover ten brands of guys. Vernick said, “Each chapter focuses on a certain brand of guy, like Bud Guy, Beemer Guy and Redbull Guy. The chapters give us a look at this brand’s personality, looks, clothes, dating habits, clues to know him, how to find him, the perks of being with him!”

Brand Guys offers testimonials from women. The idea is to help women find the perfect guy.

Vernick and Farber believe Brand Guys will take the guesswork out of relationships.

“We know dating is crazy difficult. Brand Guys can help women point themselves in the right direction – the book says be true to yourself, don’t change yourself – then we’ll help you find the brand of guy that matches you.”


Bill Vernick (co-author) worked as a film editor in his first job cutting documentaries, commercials, movie trailers and low budget features. During this time he sold his first screenplay, but spent years explaining that the resulting film had little to do with the script he wrote.  It later found an audience on video and a surprising number of fans on the web.  Bill wrote other screenplays, including “She Kills Me”, and worked in Los Angeles adapting novels for the screen.  He headed back to NYC and found work at advertising agencies as a writer and creative director, during which time he co-created “The Best Part Of Wakin’ Up Is Folgers In Your Cup” and many other campaigns.  Bill wrote and directed “You’d Better Be Right” a short film which won awards at the Houston International and Suffolk County Film Festivals, was distributed internationally, gaining a following in Scandanavia, which Bill is hard-pressed to explain.  Today, he writes screenplays, TV commercials and has branched out into new product invention, creating over 8000 new product concepts.  Bill makes short films (one has 30,000 hits on YouTube) and has also written numerous magazine articles, which are gathered at Bill is currently at work on two other books, one non-fiction and the other a novel based on his own screenplay.


Claire Farber (co-author) has been a Branding and Brand Innovation Consultant for nearly 20 years.  Her passion is for figuring out what makes consumers tick, and leveraging that deep understanding of unmet consumer needs and wants in order to build better brands and brand innovations that will help create more meaningful relationships between brands and their users.  Some of the brands she has worked with include J &J, Colgate, Unilever, Hershey, Pepsi, Kraft, Pepperidge Farm, Campbell Soup, American Express, Pfizer, and more.  Much of this passion for brands and brand insight comes from her years in the field of advertising, working at such shops as J Water Thompson, Leo Burnett and Ogilvy & Mather. In her spare time, Claire has penned a novel, collaborated on several screenplays, and is an avid lover of yoga.  She is also a big believer in the power of authentic love and its ability to transform the world. Her hope is that Brand Guys will help to make the world a better place one happy relationship at a time.  Claire is a graduate of the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, where she obtained her MBA in Marketing, and she holds a Bachelors Degree from Tufts University.



Motivational Press is the leading mid-tier publisher of transformational and influential books, and is aligned with some of the greatest and most distinguished experts in personal development, health, leadership, business, relationships, and teens.


Available at:

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Barnes and Noble: Click here
Catch Brand Guys videos on YouTube

Book review: “The Social Network Diet” by Miriam Nelson, Ph.D. and Jennifer Ackerman

Review by Scott Keith

Do you notice that if your best friend is fond of cheeseburgers and fries, you, too, lean a bit too heavily on fast foods? If so, you are becoming aware of how social networks affect our eating habits.

Miriam Nelson, Ph.D., and Jennifer Ackerman,  have co-authored The Social Network Diet, a  book that shows you a new approach to developing a healthful life style – an approach that examines the importance of social networks.

Nelson, a professor at Tufts University in Boston who has focused on  nutrition, physical activity and public health for over two decades, says research has been showing the impact of social networks on one’s health. “The reality is that 67 percent of the population is either overweight or obese. Even more of the population is unfit. This has a huge impact on quality of life…This influence of the person’s social network is really quite powerful,” says Nelson.

In an interview with Men and Health: It’s a Guy Thing, Ackerman says research shows your body weight is closely related to that of your closest friend. Ackerman, a science and health writer who has contributed to the New York Times, National Geographic, Parade and other publications, says, “The thinking behind it is that it’s really about social norms. When friends become overweight, it becomes more socially acceptable…We just can’t help but imitate our peers, and this is true for adults as well as children.”

There is a flip side to social interaction – and it can benefit your health. Nelson, interviewed by Men and Health, says people can lose weight if they join a group that promotes a heathier lifestyle (perhaps a group engaged in exercise).

In addition to encouraging a healthful social support system, this enjoyable and easy-to-follow book gives plenty of tips to help you make the correct food choices. The 1-Day Challenges will help you take baby steps on the way to better health. The first challenge helps you monitor added sugars. “You have to actually read the labels and look at the foods being served,” says Nelson.   Another challenge has you look for refined grains, the largest source of calories. The third challenge explores how you can fit 30 minutes of moderate activity in your daily routine. The challenges lead to The 7-Day Jumpstart, explained in chapter 4.

If you feel overwhelmed and confused about starting a new, healthful life, consider some Simple Acts in chapter 6. Nelson and Ackerman teach you how to Start With Your Immediate Circle, Be Picky in Purchasing Your Foods, and Be Choosy About Where You Shop; you can also learn how to Invite A Neighbor To Do A Walking Errand.  Nelson says, “When a person makes changes in their own lives, there is a ripple effect that is beyond them. It impacts their social network, it impacts their family, their colleagues. These simple acts are sort of taking that the next step further…to create the change that we so desperately need in this country.”

Nelson adds, “When you make those (healthful) changes, you need to surround yourself with a supportive network. When you do, your changes will become permanent…That change will have a ripple effect and help support the health of many, many others.”

Pricing & Availability
“The Social Network Diet” is now available for $12.95 – as well as in e-book format for $7.99 – at FastPencil ( and at Barnes and Noble and other major bookstores as well as online retailers such as Amazon.