We are not unlike a particularly hardy crustacean,” writes Gail Sheehy in her still startling book, Passages. “The lobster grows by developing and shedding a series of hard, protective shells. Each time it expands from within, the confining shell must be sloughed off. It is left exposed and vulnerable until, in time, a new covering grows to replace the old. With each passage from one stage of human growth to the next, we, too, must shed a protective structure.”

This world view tells us a great deal about our relationship to the products we use and the brands we choose. Every seven years or so, our lives do change and a window into new products and brand relationships opens. Life-stage ...

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