Coming Nov. 1: A New Name for CCRC

Members | October 21, 2015

LeadingAge will unveil a new name for the continuing care retirement community (CCRC) category on during the Opening Session of the 2015 Annual Meeting and EXPO in Boston.

LeadingAge will unveil a new name for the continuing care retirement community (CCRC) category on Nov. 1 during the Opening Session of the 2015 Annual Meeting and EXPO in Boston.

The announcement represents the culmination of Project NameStorm, a multi-year market research initiative designed to identify a name that resonates with the next generation of older adults and expands market acceptance of CCRCs.

“Currently, the CCRC name sells the end stage of the continuum: care,” says Alishia Parkhill, vice president of marketing at LeadingAge. “We want the new category name to help us attract more older adults to the CCRC concept by expanding the market’s perception of the possibilities that await them as they plan for a healthy and rewarding life in retirement.”

In 1980, researchers estimated that there were about 100,000 older adults living in 274 CCRC-like communities. This represented less than 1% of the 70+ population. Today, about 600,000 residents live in 2,000 CCRCs nationwide -- only 2% of the 70+ population.

“Considering the benefits of living in a CCRC, and the fact that CCRC residents report high satisfaction with their communities, the rate of market acceptance and growth of CCRCs has been slow,” says Parkhill. “Our goal was to develop a category name with corresponding messaging that will increase overall interest, engagement, and enrollment among the next cohort of older adults, and lower the age at which people decide to move to a CCRC.”

NameStorm Components

LeadingAge worked closely with Mather LifeWays, a LeadingAge member in Evanston, IL, to launch the NameStorm initiative. In late 2014, 4 marketing firms joined the NameStorm Task Force:

NameStorm had several components:

  • Brainstorming: During brainstorming sessions held at CCRC communities during 2014, CCRC operators generated name ideas that were engaging to their staff, stakeholders, and residents.
  • Survey: The NameStorm Task Force developed a list of the top-10 names suggested during the community brainstorming sessions. The task force then developed a survey asking CCRC residents, prospects and leads, operators, and the general population to choose their favorite name from among the 10 finalists. Respondents in all 50 states completed a total of 4,100 surveys.
  • Focus groups: The task force conducted 34 focus groups in 7 markets to get reactions to the top-10 names. Current CCRC residents, CCRC prospects and leads, and members of the general 60+ population participated in the focus groups.
  • Analysis: The NameStorm Task Force analyzed the findings from its market research and selected the most viable name for the CCRC brand category. 
  • Evaluation: The task force consulted with trademark attorneys to determine the new name’s availability. 

Some Things Won’t Change

The new term for CCRC won’t affect an organization’s regulatory identity as a continuing care retirement community in the short term.

“We know that there are regulatory issues around the CCRC name,” says Parkhill. “NameStorm will not affect those designations. Organizations should use both terms until regulators, rating agencies, financial markets, and investors catch up.”

In addition, the new term won’t require that an organization change its name, says Parkhill. Rather, a CCRC could use the new term as a tag line or in its information and marketing materials.

“This is about coming up with a name that our members can use to launch a new conversation with consumers about the unique services they provide,” says Parkhill. “We’re looking for a way to create excitement about what CCRCs can offer a new generation of aging Americans seeking services.”