Qualitative Research = Strategic Branding
Methodology • Three internal “Brandstorming” sessions with Beaumont residents, staff and board members • Two external focus groups with older adults and adult children, of appropriate age and income in western suburbs of Philadelphia
Core brand perception from research • Beaumont is the Dr. Pepper of retirement communities – totally misunderstood. Beaumont is seen as being closed with a long wait list, attracting mostly “social” Main Line types. Beaumont also has limited top-of-mind brand awareness.
Other Misperceptions (perception is reality in marketplace) • Everyone is linked in some way (bridesmaids concept) • All Main Line • Too expensive
Other Misperceptions (perception is reality in marketplace) • Long wait list • Closed/unwelcome • Party, party, party” (liquor license) • Bridge players
Misperception due to: • Beaumont’s limited awareness and its competition spending money to promote themselves (out of sight equals out of mind) • Beaumont enjoyed a ten-year wait list for many years, which became seated in the minds of potential prospects.
Reality • Beaumont is an upscale community with about 300 residents who are very personable and who own and run the community. Beaumont offers residents an exceptional lifestyle in a beautiful setting.
Beaumont’s Unique selling points: • Equity model, which needs to be explained clearly and concisely • Resident owned focus • Cost of moving to Beaumont compares to other high-end communities
Beaumont’s Unique selling points: • 4. Dining facilities and quality of food • 5. Originality of the “Mansion” • 6. Low staff turnover • 7. CCAC accreditation • 8. High end, classy
Core message: • “Life is better at Beaumont”
You don’t give up anything by moving here. Beaumont does not feel like a retirement community. It’s all here, it’s more affordable than you think and you have the added bonus of home ownership and the residents run the place. Don’t overlook Beaumont.
Core recommendations • Increase “top of mind” awareness of Beaumont in a targeted, ongoing manner. • Target the adult children (40-60 year old group) as well as potential older residents.
Core recommendations • Choose media vehicles that appeal to potential Beaumont residents and adult children (cultural events, niche publications). Targeted direct mail • Spread the word in a targeted manner that Beaumont is “open”, the wait list is not ten years and that we’d like you to get to know us better by coming for a tour or event.
Core recommendations • Develop a visually appealing website and drive traffic to learn more (this has become a prime source of leads, requests for information) • Develop a new brand image campaign from brochure to program ads to open house invitations and beyond
RESULTS • Prior to campaign occupancy was x% • Total of X tours over past 12 months • Total of x requests for information over past 12 months • Occupancy is now x%
BEAUMONT IN 2025—An educated guess • Average resident age of 68 • 50% of residents are 60-70 • Diverse group (religions, ethnicity) • Children of current residents and their friends well represented • More international residents
BEAUMONT IN 2025—An educated guess • Continuous renovation of properties (more modern) • Desirable location to host prominent speakers/events • Wait list that acts fast • National reputation
Older Adults Comments: • Impressed with CCAC accreditation, legitimacy • In the mindset of putting off the decision until they feel they are ready (only they know) • More likely to just “show up” or call to drop by • Unique benefit like equity/ownership model appealing
Older Adults Comments: Features that older adults are looking for in a retirement community: • Social life • Activities • Speakers • Accessibility for children/grandchildren • Transportation
Older Adults Comments: • Trips • Cost is a huge factor – perception is that community takes everything • Interesting people living there • Reputation/longevity • Guarantee of ability to stay for life
Factors in deciding which communities to visit: • Location • Word of mouth • References • Mailer/invitation to go visit associated with some activity • Religious orientation
“Baby boomer” children comments: • Baby boomers who will frequent communities in the near future are planning to come in their 60’s and early 70’s. • They won’t wait like their parent’s generation.
“Baby boomer” children comments: • Want to be pampered; maintain their lifestyle, used to the good life and like the idea everything being taken care of • It is imperative for communities to upgrade facilities, amenities and floor plans to suit next generation
“Baby boomer” children comments: • More skeptical of CCAC accreditation as it has no consumer awareness. • Search communities online. Website should be broken down by kinds of services so it is easy to find just what you’re looking for.
“Baby boomer” children comments: • Definitely send for packets of information as points of comparison • The children felt the key reason for moving to a facility was the social aspect, as well as the types of people one is likely to encounter (like minded).
“Baby boomer” children comments: • Getting a “taste” of the community beforehand, such as by attending a luncheon or event is worthwhile. • Having lots of activities is crucial as older adults considering a move want to stay active.
“Baby boomer” children comments: • They do their homework and want to screen their choices down. They also want to know the cost breakdown.