What are the terms that housing industry experts expect to run with in the future? Have they found the words that are absolutely taboo when marketing to seniors and aging baby boomers?
For example, any phrases that include the word “challenged” are no longer acceptable. And, while “universal design”, “vistability” and “aging in place” have become important to builders and designers of all marketing niches, boomers and seniors have keen ears and sharp eyes for specific terms.
“The word that tests best with young seniors in our research is ‘vitality’,’’ said Sharon Brooks, partner in Brooks Adams Research, a Richmond, Va.-based firm specializing in research for residential real estate companies and economic development agencies. “Other strong choices are ‘comfortable’, ‘choices’ and ‘individuality’.’’
Brooks said words her company was trying to eradicate from the industry vernacular included: facility, unit, ambulate, socialization, activities, residents and dementia.
“Mature adults” was considered the best descriptor while “seniors” was not seen as a bad word, nor was “retirement”, according to Brooks Adams’ surveys.
And, it’s important not to loop all seniors into one category - especially regarding electronic communication. Brooks said that while older seniors (75-plus) rate the words “computers” and “Internet” negatively, younger seniors (60-75) rate them very positively - in fact, significantly more positively than boomers rated the two words.
CLICK HERE to read the entire Spokesman-Review article