CEO T. Andrew Smith

Brookdale Senior Living is known as one of the largest U.S. assisted living operators, but the Tennessee-based company has ambitious plans to establish itself as the national leader across the whole continuum of care. 

Top Brookdale executives laid out their vision during a November investor presentation. Brookdale is the “only player in the industry” that participates “at scale” in every vertical of the continuum of care, from independent living through skilled nursing, explained CEO T. Andrew Smith. This gives the company a “true competitive advantage,” he argued, especially when coupled with the provider’s large geographic footprint. 

The company’s soup-to-nuts senior living offerings inform a rebranding initiative rolled out in May. It is intended to position Brookdale “on a national basis” as “top-of-mind and synonymous with top quality senior living solutions,” Smith said.

He believes Brookdale can establish itself as the first truly national brand because marketing activities historically have created brand equity at the local level, with potential customers thinking in terms of the facility “at Elm Street.” 

To change this status quo, Brookdale is advertising on networks such as CNN and Hallmark, Smith noted. The company also is doubling down on generating digital and Internet leads. 

Already, leads from mobile technologies have increased about 90%, Smith announced. Other Internet metrics, such as number of website visits, also are trending sharply upward. 

A further goal of the marketing is to influence the way people discuss senior living, Smith said. By encouraging earlier, “more nuanced” discussions about options, Brookdale hopes increasingly to serve seniors who are not making snap decisions in a time of crisis but rather are entering into the continuum of care early and intending to remain with Brookdale.