By Steve Moran

This challenge is very simple. It is primarily geared toward senior living operators but could equally apply to vendors or really anyone in any industry.

  1. Create a list of the things that you have in common with your competitors. For senior living it would be things like, transportation, meals, care, med management, life enrichment programs. The list, if comprehensive, will be long.
  2. Now make a list of the things that make you different. The most is location, and maybe your pricing is different as well? But what else?

I am betting that for most of you, making the first list will be easy, and the second will be really hard.

The Harsh Reality

The harsh reality is that senior living has too much sameness. Consumers are even less likely to perceive what are, at best, tiny differences. That means when a consumer makes a choice, it will only be about price and location.


Imagine, though, you made a commitment to creating a strong list of differentiators, as perceived by the customer (not by you). So that the consumer (or prospective employee), from the moment they walk in your community, understands that what you have created is special — different than anything else they have seen or will see.

The Details

Most of the things you need to create as differentiators are in the area of human interaction. They do not take big capital spends. They can happen in small communities and large ones. They can happen in old, obsolete buildings or in brand new buildings. They can be big and small.

Try it. I would love to hear what you came up with. I would maybe even love to come visit.