In marketing, there are numerous examples of companies that never figured out just what business they were in, such as IBM that thought they were in the computer business only to realize too late they were in the information management business. Xerox on the other hand saw that they weren’t in the copier business; they were in the document handling business. IBM took it on the chin and Xerox thrived.
This was brought to mind when considering the growing number of alternatives being explored to deliver in-home services to seniors, alternatives that challenge the industry moniker – “senior housing.” A large portion of the industry’s assets are grounded in the physical proprieties, the housing. Yet many of the benefits offered are delivered by the existence of the community – the staff and residents themselves. Recently, virtual retirement communities have gotten some press. This concept allows individuals ready access to social opportunities and caregivers through a defined provider, yet they remain in their home.
It is wonderful to see so many providers in the industry exploring new models and alternatives in response to consumer demand. Perhaps these are the organizations that have embraced the other moniker used to describe the industry – “senior living.”
What business are you in?