As discussed in my last two articles, my goal is to provide a discussion surrounding the impact of aging on business through a series of blog posts.
This series provides my views to the following questions that were posed to our panel at the Celebrating Seniors Coalition:
In your opinion, what are local companies and communities doing to help serve the aging market? Which ones are excelling and providing models of how to best prepare for the longevity revolution?
In my opinion, the typically senior-oriented industries are excelling in understanding how to market to seniors and adapting their marketing techniques as changes occur within the aging population. Just a few of these industries are senior housing, home care, home health, travel, diabetes care and medical supplies. Of course, even in the businesses geared to elders, there is always room for refinement, improvement and growth.
I have been impressed with some local Chicagoland organizations that are finding creative channels to entice seniors to use their services. Below is a list of a few:
- Opera: For opera lovers who find it difficult to make the trip to Chicago’s Lyric Opera House, the New York Metropolitan Opera launched The Met: Live in HD. This program, run at the Regal theaters in Chicagoland, shows their current productions live at local movie theaters.
- Virtual Activities: Virtual Reality (VR) is being used for patient education, activities and other uses. Local filmmaker and developer, Jake Kahana, created rendevor.com which brings travel and other experiences to home bound seniors.
- Hearing Aid Programs: Costco offers free hearing screenings and some hearing aids are being sold over the counter.
- Bus Systems: Locally, the Village of Niles has a courtesy bus system operation within the Village that is free to riders.
- Delivery Services: Many businesses are enabling easy access to their products and services by including at-home delivery. One of the many companies frequently used by seniors is Peapod Home Delivery (grocery delivery service).
- Venues for Card Games: Many local restaurants are opening their doors to card players during off-hours such as Pinstripes.
To address the second question, my fellow panelists and I all admitted that it required some extensive research to answer which companies are excelling in their preparation for the longevity revolution. Below are my three favorite finds.
- Reverse Mentoring: Major companies like Target and UnitedHealth are reportedly introducing ‘reverse mentoring‘ to their workforce. These programs encourage younger employees to mentor older ones.
- Research Efforts: IBM has opened a new ‘Aging in Place’ environment in its Research Lab in Austin to study ways to use technologies to help seniors live fuller lives at home.
- Keeping Retirees Involved: Michelin rehires retirees to help oversee projects.
As seen in the sample of answers to these two questions, it is evident that there is an abundance of opportunities for anyone interested in pursuing seniors as their target market. To discuss how your company can market to seniors and capture the elder market, contact me at Focus on Aging.