Medford man can connect businesses with communities

Medford man can connect businesses with communities

Brooke Warrick had a pretty good feel for the Rogue Valley long before moving here earlier this year. It's his job to know these things, after all.

The president of American LIVES — which stands for Lifestyles Interests Values Expectations Symbols — charts community attitudes and expectations for clients from across North America, using a variety of approaches, including focus groups, surveys and databases. Typically, his clients are major developers, whose projects dwarf anything the likes of what Southern Oregon has seen.

Warrick is a Michigan native who was director of marketing for the Values Attitudes and Lifestyles System Program at Stanford Research Institute before starting his own firm. When his wife and associate Alison Stevens wanted to move closer to her Willamette Valley roots he agreed, but he knew he didn't want to live on the Oregon Coast. They settled on the nearest town to the California border with commercial airline service so he could easily meet with distant clients.

The client list for American LIVES is long and diverse and includes everything from Coors to the New York Times Magazine Group. It also has done work for Honda, Mitsubishi International and IKEA. Resorts on the client list include The Pebble Beach Company and Kapalua-Maui.

American LIVES released a study last month on the changing values of baby boomers done in conjunction with Civano Living and Ypartnership. More than 1,200 people completed the survey, averaging about 25 minutes to complete the questions that involved more than 350 items.

The survey showed that the 77 million boomers are changing their views and their lifestyles in response to difficult economic times and a troubled world.

When it comes to consumer goods and services, boomers are shifting away from consumerism and conspicuous consumption and toward personal, more meaningful relationships. Their values are driving purchase decisions on goods and services and, the survey suggested, they will gravitate toward companies that align with their values.

In matters of travel, tourism, home life and real estate, communities fostering social engagement and environmental consciousness will gain appeal. Four in five boomers want to feel healthier and more balanced at the end of a vacation. At the same time, there is a trend toward fewer vacation days and shorter trips.

More than 70 percent saw retirement as a time to explore other cultures and travel. They also saw a connection between personal well-being and air quality, water quality, healthier foods, less toxic building materials, renewable energy and conservation.

When it came to political and current affairs, 70 percent are concerned the U.S. is slipping in its global leadership position and 66 percent are concerned about their children's future. Boomers believe it is in the country's self-interest to be energy independent and a majority of working and retired boomers agreed there are too many "have-nots" in the U.S. society.

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