Are Your Competitors Afraid of You?

During my early morning blog scan over a cup of coffee, I came across another thought-provoking post on the Senior Housing Forum.  The post was discussing a recent Facebook survey they had posted asking senior living leaders “what scares your competition about your community?”  Interestingly, it sounds like the survey itself was a dud – no one responded.  SHF was left to ponder why, and it’s a very interesting question.  They clarified their question by saying they were looking for what communities viewed as their competitive edge.  Does the lack of response mean that senior living leadership were afraid to share their “secrets”?  If the competition knows nothing about your community, are you communicating what is special about your community loudly enough to your target audience either?  Maybe no one knows what’s special about your community – and that sounds like a HUGE marketing issue!

On the other hand, maybe communities just don’t know what their competitive edge is.  In that case, where does your sales and marketing team even begin?  Are they left touting all of the things such as friendly staff, full activity schedule, well-maintain facilities, responsive health care, exceptional dining options?  Isn’t advertising a friendly staff at senior living community about on par with offering plumbing services by a certified plumber?  It’s expected that when you call a plumber, the plumbing services are certified.  Having a friendly staff at a senior living community is expected.  It is not a differentiating factor.  Every single senior living community in your trade area is advertising they have a friendly staff.  This type of features is not unique, and should be eliminated when you are trying to set yourself apart from the competition.

A great paragraph from the Senior Housing Forum that truly describes a differentiating factor:  a unique characteristic, feature, aspect and/or benefit enjoyed by your community (or company). But, it also must be highly valued by your prospects and inspire them to perceive your community as better than your key competitors. In other words, the key is to identify and leverage what is unique to your community that enables you to stand out in a segment of the marketplace where senior living looks substantially the same.  Read more

This senior living community clearly defines their competitive edge, right on their website home page.

Our Live 2 B Healthy® senior fitness programs help your community establish a differentiating factor.  Nowadays, most communities have Exercise Class listed on their Activity Calendars.  But, when you drill down to ask what they mean by that, their Activity Director may lead the class, or they may have a videotape they use.  They may have a handful of regulars who show up to go through the same dull routine, day after day, week after week.  They may even show you a squeaky clean exercise room full of shiny, unused equipment.  Communities that take advantage of our Wellness Programs have vibrant, well-attended classes (averaging 20-25 attendees per day), taught by nationally certified personal trainers.  The classes vary in content from day to day.  We conduct baseline and twice yearly fitcheck tests and share the results with the community management and with participants.  If our communities have beautiful, shiny equipment rooms, or trainers can  provide instruction and ongoing support in the fitness room so that your residents actually use your equipment with confidence – and without injury!

This community blends in with the competition.

Our Partnership Communities know what their differentiating factor is:  they have a professional wellness program, taught by certified personal trainers that provide them with tests analysis with proven results.  Not only that, but we provide our communities with access to the marketing tools that will help them get the word out about their competitive edge.  We offer banners, flyers, postcards, social media support, online class schedules, press release support, class videos, and a whole host of ever-evolving marketing materials to make sure your competitors – and your target audience – knows what sets your community apart from the crowd.