Henry Ford Village (HFV) is a senior life plan community in Dearborn, Michigan, located on the grounds of Henry Ford’s birthplace. Several hundred residents enjoy an active and maintenance-free lifestyle in a safe and secure setting after retirement here. HFV offers five levels of service, including independent living, assisted living, memory care, rehabilitation and skilled nursing, as a continuing-care facility. DCS Co. was hired to refresh the Henry Ford Village brand to overcome perceptions of what a retirement community represents. Objectives within the rebrand included a complete website overhaul, marketing automation, dynamic emails, media placement, digital and print advertising, and direct mail strategies with an emphasis on building a lead database and ultimately increasing annual sales.

The primary target audience for advertising efforts included retired, active adults aged 55+ in the local area and across the country. Using direct mail and marketing automation emails, we targeted a secondary market of adult children (age 40+), who often become the decision makers for their elderly parents in need of continuing care.

DCS Co. developed a comprehensive creative strategy and a cohesive traditional and digital campaign dubbed: “You’ve Earned It.” The campaign was a differentiator in the market. It delivered an emotional appeal to a demographic that had worked hard their entire lives, sacrificed for their families, and prevailed over life’s trials and tribulations, yet felt like living a good retirement life might be reckless. The campaign reassured retirees that there was no need to feel shame over wanting to live a fulfilling retirement life and struck an emotional chord with an audience that had worked a lifetime to earn the right to a luxurious retirement.

The campaign has resonated with the target markets for Henry Ford Village and continues to grow leads and sales month after month since its introduction in 2011. In 2015, HFV met the annual sales goals of the organization for the first time in its existence. In 2016, HFV exceed sales goal by 8% in a market where the national trend is on the decline.

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