This post is the second in a series of three that focus on family caregivers and how to connect with them online.
Family caregivers are the sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, friends and neighbors who help seniors live their lives more fully. With over 43.5 million U.S. family members providing care each year, they offer a potent path to connecting with senior consumers.
Providing Exceptional Care for Seniors
If you want to gain family caregivers’ trust, you need to address their overwhelming need to provide exceptional care for the senior. This overriding need drives family caregivers to run themselves ragged; to sacrifice careers and promotions; and to isolate themselves from their spouses, children, and friends.
You must convince them that your company’s values and goals align with theirs. Respecting seniors and recognizing that they are still valuable members of society has to be at the core of your offering, your advertising, and your customer service. Without it, you’ll lose the trust of the family caregiver.
Consider Life Alert’s® infamous “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercials. As marketers, many of us might consider this campaign a resounding success. After all, everyone now knows the commercials and the product. However, this campaign actually received such a negative reaction from seniors and their families that, for years, the entire personal emergency response system (PERS) market was depressed.
Why? The overall impression from consumers was that Life Alert really had no understanding or respect for seniors. The actors in the commercials weren’t authentic and portrayed seniors as feeble and helpless. Consumers felt that any brand that truly respected and valued seniors would not portray them in this manner.
Understanding Family Caregiver’s Needs
In addition to proving your respect and value for seniors, becoming the trusted brand for family caregivers requires showing these consumers that you have a deep understanding of their needs and how they go about fulfilling those needs when they are in the Fall of their lives.
For example, children and young adults in the Spring and Summer of their lives have adaptation needs (which consist of the behaviors that promote progress in knowledge and skill development) focused around learning to participating in society, having a career, and starting a family. These needs are usually met through parenting and structured education. However, society often forgets that adults in the Fall and Winter of their lives have adaptation needs as well. All of the simultaneous life events that family caregivers experience, such as caring for a loved one, retiring, becoming a grandparent, etc., make their adaptation needs as strong as ever. Unfortunately, as a society, we haven’t built the same support structures to meet these older adults’ needs.
The Opportunity for Brands
This lack of support for family caregivers creates a significant opportunity for brands. By positioning your brand as the resource that understands and meets older adults adaptation needs through helpful resources, advice and information, you can organically build a relationship and trust with family caregivers. And older adults’ needs don’t stop with adaptation: They have relationship, identity, purpose, and energy needs as well, just like younger consumers. Positioning your brand to meet multiple needs exponentially increases the connections between you and mature consumers.
When you position your brand as the solution to family caregivers’ needs, you become their go-to resource for help, and in turn, become the trusted brand to solve their problems.
To learn more about building trust with mature consumers online, download our new ebook—“The Trust Factor.”
In my next post, I’ll wrap up our series with specific tactics for connecting with these influential consumers online.
To read my first post in this series, go to: