"Retiring America": Importance of Branding in the Senior Housing Industry
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My senior individualized project was aimed at assessing the growing senior housing market. This past summer, I interned at Erickson Retirement Communities in the Marketing Research Department, but spent a significant time on strategic planning and interacting with the various other departments. Erickson is one of the leading developers of retirement communities across the nation, focusing on long-term and independent living housing for older Americans. Throughout my experience at Erickson, I had several responsibilities and was able to use my classroom experience in order to identify and complete them. This paper consists of two main sections. The experiential section describes my internship experience, such as my projects, at Erickson during this past summer. The connections essay is my research on a topic tied to my internship. My connections essay assesses the future for retirement communities by looking at the industry and its trends, demographics, and current economic conditions. The senior housing industry is predicted to have a positive outlook, especially with the retirement of the baby boomer generation and the changed perception of retirement and retirement communities. However, the senior housing developers are facing an unsteady economy as a weak housing market, a risky stock market, and an increasing inflation of food, gas and health care prices, are all affecting the prospective consumers. To attract today's consumer and benefit from the industry growth, senior housing developers should consider branding in their strategic planning agendas. Branding will incite a modem and acceptable perception of retirement communities on various generations of the older Americans; it will increase company revenue in the long-term and it will create the consumer-to-producer trust, which will in tum boost sales.