We have found that most companies targeting the needs of older adults, their families, and their caregivers are struggling with one or more of three fundamental challenges.
Tech-enhanced Life, leveraging the insights and wisdom of older adults themselves — the community of Longevity Explorers — has developed a suite of services to help overcome each of these challenges.
- Companies struggle to develop products and services that customers — older adults, their adult children, and caregivers — actually want, need, and will pay for.
- Companies have great difficulty reaching the fragmented demographic of older adults and their caregivers, and so the handful of “good” new products often remain “undiscovered”.
- Funding new innovations in the Longevity Economy continues to be challenging — especially for companies that can’t allay investor concerns about product-market fit, and the channels by which companies will reach the customers.
How We Can Help
Scroll down to learn more about how we can help:
- Develop the “Right” Product or Service
- Reach the Target Audience (Customers)
- Raise the Next Round of Funding
Get the Product (or Service) “Right”.
Most of the companies we talk with are struggling, as they try to develop products and services that older adults, their adult children, and/or caregivers actually want, need, and will pay for.
There are a number of reasons for this, some of which we have addressed in various articles on this site and in our “Learnings” course for product developers. The common theme is a lack of inputs from older adults and caregivers themselves.
All too often, companies develop a product based on “what the founder’s grandfather might have needed”. Or on “what healthcare service workers, or clinicians, or senior living experts” say older adults should need.
In contrast, we have found that actually interacting with real older adults of the right type and their caregivers — in a structured carefully designed fashion — can yield insights that are often quite shocking to the product development team, and make a huge difference in developing a product that older adults and the caregiver / family ecosystem around them will actually want.
Over several years, in a series of engagements with companies ranging from some of the largest companies in the world to raw startups, we have honed a variety of customer development approaches that can be used to help companies at different stages learn answers to different specific questions.
We have found that each company needs something different.
- Some need just a general immersion in the ways older adults think about specific problems or areas of opportunity.
- Some need general guidance about a specific “problem” that older adults or caregivers have.
- Some need some type of workshop with multiple carefully selected older adults and or caregivers who have whatever “issue” the company is focused on.
- Some need specific in-depth feedback in the form of one-on-one interactions, after an older adult or caregiver has been exposed to a concept or a prototype.
- Some need an in-depth co-design initiative with actual older adults or caregivers.
- Some need a standing “panel” of representative older adults or caregivers, who can provide regular and ongoing feedback as a product team iterates on an initial concept.
We can help with all of these and more.
Get Help Developing the “Right” Product (or Service).
Talk to us about what you are trying to accomplish and what the challenges are. We will recommend an approach; work with you to design the appropriate “customer interaction”; recruit the right type of older adults or caregivers or adult children; and facilitate and help interpret the interactions.
Reach the Target Audience (Customers).
It’s sad when a company spends years and $millions developing a product older adults and caregivers don’t want or need. But it is even more disappointing to see a company develop a good product — but then struggle to get it adopted because the target customers don’t hear about it, or it gets lost in the noise created by the many marketing messages with which we are all bombarded daily.
And all too often, since the next round of funding depends on some initial customer traction, failure to get adopted and to get the word out widely enough can lead to death of the company or of the product line.
We can help quite a bit in this area too. We are focusing on three areas:
- Visibility: exposing your product or service to thought leaders & influencers & early adopters.
- Credibility: if our Longevity Explorers like a product, they are happy to tell others they like it.
- Plan for Scale: how to reach a mass audience of older adults and or caregivers.
Get Help Reaching Your Target Customers.
Visibility. Credibility. Plan for Scale.
Raise the Next Round of Funding.
Whether you work for a big company or a startup, innovation needs to be funded, and there are always “stage gates” for future funding that you need to pass though successfully.
If you are an expert on the process of taking a project through different rounds of funding, then the best way we can help is with specific independent, third party “proof points” — that you can use to demonstrate you have accomplished some specific milestones.
For example, a proof point that customers actually want and need what you are developing is a critical milestone. A “Plan for Scaling” is another critical milestone. We can help attain both these milestones.
If you are not an expert on the steps to build a successful venture — either a startup or an internal product development initiative — then we can help with specific advice and guidance so you can learn from the mistakes others have made, rather than spending your own time and money making those same mistakes.
Get Help Raising the Next Round of Funding.
Learn how we can help with your next funding round. Contact us to discuss.