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New Year, New Rule to Attract Younger Prospects

Want to attract a younger demographic into your CCRC?

Start using The Minus 10 Rule.

Youth, youth, youth. Wouldn’t we all turn the clock back 10 years if we could? Whether we are marketing running shoes or senior living, our audience wants to feel younger and look younger. In fact, the truth is most people see themselves as about 10 years younger than they actually are. Who knows, maybe we’ll soon hear 80 is the new 50. And thus this leads me to share a simple yet effective rule in marketing, especially to the older population (notice I didn’t use the word senior). The Minus Ten Ruyle…uh I mean Rule. Yes, I coined the idea and my last name is Ruyle.

Every time I interview Executive Directors for a branding initiative, I’m consistently hearing about how the average age of residents moving in is getting older and older. My job as the Chief Branding Officer of Bild & Company and senior writer is to create compelling advertising that resonates with younger prospects to get them in the door as an independent living resident. That’s where the Minus 10 Rule comes in the picture, literally. Whether it’s a flyer, a brochure cover or website home page, you should apply this rule of subtracting 10 years from the age you want to target. If you’re trying to reach prospects in their mid sixties, you’ll want to feature people in their mid fifties. See, math does come in handy from time to time.

Targeting 60 year old  for IL
Targeting 60 year old for IL
Targeting 70 year old for AL
Targeting 70 year old for AL

You might say, well that seems like a little rug pull or bit trickery. Not so because again, we all aspire to be younger and look younger. The bottom line is, those IL or AL prospects can stay right in their nice cozy home, they can retire to a condo, they can rent a great place near their kids like my 88 year old in-laws who still drive, walk 2 miles every day and live right around the corner from an AL that they think they are way too young for. Beyond choosing the right imagery, it’s important to connect with these movers and shakers through the right tone and messaging in your marketing materials or digital efforts:

3 ways to better connect with younger prospects:

– Make it about them, them, them – not you, you, you

Your copy and messaging should focus on what’s in it for them. Show why living at your community makes their life more active, more exciting. What are the extended benefits of moving into an IL. Don’t focus on the negative of future healthcare issues or use any kind of guilt tactics.

– Never call them seniors – As AARP says,

“They’re not “matures” or “seniors,” and they’re definitely not “elders.” In fact, baby boomers would rather not be labeled at all, thank you very much. This isn’t a group ready to retire at 65 with a gold watch, content to spend quiet days at home as their parents might have, experts say. Treat them as such, and you risk losing their business.”

– Sell the lifestyle not the building
Instead of featuring just beauty shots of your building or focusing on the floor plans, consider telling a compelling story of a current resident or highlight a very unique aspect of the lifestyle the prospect couldn’t find anywhere else. If you have an art studio, feature a resident creating their masterpiece. Empower your prospects to live fuller lives at your community.

Recently, one of our clients told us it took her 3 years to get a young couple into her IL. While we all know the sales cycle for the younger demographic takes diligence, I’m convinced with the right marketing, we can lure those “non-seniors” in just a little bit sooner.

Article written by Jennifer Ruyle, Chief Branding Officer, Bild & Company. If you’d like to learn more about how Bild & Company can help your community better connect with prospects, please email jruyle@tracibild.com.

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