If you loved that awesome video of advertising icon Alex Bogusky and his dad, reserve yourself some time to watch two generations of Stanford stars tell how their vocations unexpectedly converged

Mea culpa, Professor David Aaker‘s publisher sent me a copy of his latest book Brand Relevance last year (it came near the top of the first iij Innovation book list). The questions I have so far are regarding all the new things (that have been happening since it was written) on the startup ‘accelerator’ scene, and their impact on the ideas about brands and competition that he discusses in the talk.

Here’s an extract from the official release on the book The Dragonfly Effect, which Jennifer recently co-authored with Andy Smith, principal of Vonavona Ventures.

‘Most of us have experienced how social technologies are changing the way people relate to each other, but we are only beginning to understand how these same technologies can fundamentally shift how we engage with and inspire all these networked people and empower them to participate in global movements for change.”  The Dragonfly Effect shows how social technology can be used to achieve a single, focused, concrete goal–whether it be to inspire others to join your social movement, mobilize political change, or simply satisfy an individual need.

Based on one of the most popular courses at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, it integrates the authors’ two distinct disciplines–research and insights on consumer psychology and happiness (what really makes people happy as opposed to what they think makes them happy) and emotional contagion (the infectious spreading of emotion, where happiness seeds subsequent action), combined with the practical applications of marketing strategy in social media, which fuels this infectious action.

Here’s an extract from the press release on David’s Brand Relevance:

Brand Preference vs. Brand Relevance

Despite extensive reliance on brand preference strategies to win customers, companies must abandon this approach and focus on brand relevance instead. Pursuing a brand preference strategy means constantly striving to be faster, cheaper, and better than the competition – an endless battle where competitors quickly match each other’s product improvements.

With brand relevance, the goal is to make competition irrelevant – to offer something so different and special that it creates its own unique category and customers don’t perceive that there are any alternatives to consider.

David Aaker is Vice-Chairman of Prophet, an executive advisor to Dentsu Inc., and Professor Emeritus of Marketing Strategy at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley.  One of the world’s leading gurus on branding and the winner of three awards for lifetime contributions to the science of marketing, he has published over 100 articles and fourteen books.

Jennifer Aaker is the General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Her research focuses on time, money, and happiness, and how small acts create significant change—fuelled by social media. Her work has been featured in a variety of media including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post.