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The Principles of Branding

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

In order to be effective in your branding efforts, you must master the five principles of branding:

  • differentiate
  • collaborate
  • innovate
  • validate
  • cultivate

Over the next few blogs, we will explore each of these in greater detail.

As human beings, we are hardwired to notice what is different. With the growth of the senior service industry, older adults have a plethora of choices when deciding how to approach their retirement years. The residential choices include: remain at home with the potential for personal assistance; move in with relatives; move to an active adult community; move to a senior housing community with services; delay a move until the need for care requires direct placement in either assisted living or skilled nursing; or move to a Life Plan Community (also known as a CCRC).

It should be simple to differentiate a Life Plan Community from the options that do not offer a full continuum of care, but how do we differentiate between Life Plan Communities? Don’t we all have beautiful grounds and buildings, wonderful amenities, and obviously friendlier residents than anywhere else? Whenever prospects visit any community, they hear these same accolades over and over. What is it about your community that sets you apart, creating your unique selling proposition? The Retirement DYNAMICS team calls it your purple cow, referring Seth Godin’s bestselling book by the same name

Purple Cow

Seek to articulate differences in one of the following areas of your community:

  • Features “What it is”
  • Benefits “What it does”
  • Experience “How you feel”
  • Identification “Who you are”

Consumers associate BMW with driving, Barnes & Noble with reading and Williams Sonoma with cooking. Is there an easy association with your community in the arts, philanthropy, or the best wellness or cognitive health program? If you can define that characteristic further with a clearer focus, do so. Whatever the distinction, highlight it in your elevator speech, presentations, and print and digital marketing.

Next week, I will blog about collaboration. I have always been an advocate of synergy, and collaboration speaks to the advantages of using the power of multiple brains .



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