Sunday, June 13, 2010
The corporation that includes the CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) in which we live, and over a dozen others, was named “Classic Residence by Hyatt” until last week.. Last week they took a bold step and renamed themselves. The new name, announced with champagne parties across the country in every one of their communities, is Vi (pronounced vee). It landed among current residents like a lead balloon.
Reportedly, two years of market research and name development went into the decision to change and the search for an appropriate name. The results indicated that the baby boomers coming along want a more active lifestyle in their retirement years than currently offered by retirement facilities. But one analysis of the results suggests that while current residents traditionally have moved in at ages averaging in the mid-eighties, the new strategy would target a younger entrance into retirement community living. One can visualize an advertising campaign aimed at sixty year olds that stresses the advantages of using a CCRC as a base for the lifestyle of travel and sports they desire. Current residents may not like some of the change in emphasis needed to make the new positioning a reality, but if done right it should make life more interesting for every generation.
In my personal experience, I resisted moving into this place when I was in my early seventies. I thought I was too young. I thought that moving here was some sort of surrender. Like many others, I soon realized I was wrong and that I retained the freedom to do pretty much what I wanted. I even wished I had made the move sooner.
The name ”Vi” is more than a little bizarre but demonstrates that management is willing to take chances with big change. I think the new positioning will succeed and lead to a shift in the whole industry.