Jackie Stone

A team of Varsity researchers brought Project Looking Glass and Project Looking Glass II to the field of aging services. In these nationally recognized studies, researchers moved into two retirement communities for 30 days; there they lived, ate, shopped and socialized alongside residents. We have now launched a third in-depth ethnographic study, called “Project Looking Glass III: From the Outside In.

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In essence, we are turning the looking glass around to dig more deeply into the decision-making process that prospects go through when choosing a community. We’ll learn what triggers people to start investigating senior living communities; what factors influence potential residents to choose or pass on a community; what their expectations were prior to moving into their new home; and the reality that they find as residents of the community.

We’ll evaluate the decision-making process to see how it may vary in different areas of the country and among different cohorts—the current aging generation of prospects (what we call “the transitional generation”) and Baby Boomers—each of which is at a different stage of investigation into retirement community living.

  • Silent Generation: Born 1910-1925
  • Transitional Generation: Born 1930-1950
  • Baby Boomers: Born 1946-1964

Insights from this study will assist senior living communities in further refining their marketing messages and targeting techniques to make sure they’re not only connecting with the right people, but are also having the most relevant, informed conversations that will lead to positive decisions.

If you are interested in participating in this study by having your prospective residents fill out an online survey and/or in having Varsity conduct focus groups at your community, please contact me at jstone@varsitybranding.com.