GemLife: branding for an aging population
Andrew Coulter is the director of sales and marketing at GemLife, which provides luxury resort living for over-50s throughout Australia. He discusses how the company adapted its offerings to fit the needs of a modern audience.
Australia’s population is aging. The Australian Institute of Family Studies projected that one quarter of the population will be over the age of 65 by 2021. For many, marketing to an over 50s demographic has focused on sedentary lifestyle, health concerns and “retirement”.
GemLife has actually taken the time to get to know this vibrant and engaged demographic of Australians, which is why we’re the country’s largest developer of land lease communities, creating premium over-50s lifestyle resorts.
With a focus on high quality, active and engaged living, GemLife delivers master-planned communities with exceptional recreational and leisure facilities together with high-quality modern and stylish homes. Many residents are still working full or part-time, but are interested in downsizing to a low-maintenance lock-up-and-go lifestyle to spend more time doing the things they love.
One thing they have told us is they want more time to do the things they want to do and chief among them is travel. Many of our residents are experienced world travellers but one place they are looking to invest time in is seeing Australia.
The ‘big lap’ around Australia, or at least part of it, features high up on the list on their wish list and now with commitments around work and raising a family reduced, GemLife owners have more time to explore their own backyard at their own pace.
An increasingly popular way to do that is with a motorhome. According to industry statistics, there are 750,000 caravans and campervans in Australia, but at a cost of between $100,000 and $400,000 the motorhome is a significant financial investment with 17% of owners using them for fewer than one week a year. In addition, GemLife – which offers limited on and off-site RV storage – can reduce demand for RV parking by giving homeowners the freedom to sell their existing vehicle or the need to buy one (and the associated long-term costs of RV ownership).
Armed with this information, we decided to enhance our owner’s brand experience by creating GemLife Explore. Starting with five high-quality Jayco motorhomes in our fleet, the RVs feature artwork designed by acclaimed UK artist Owen Gatley. The full vehicle wraps feature stylised and emotionally-resonant views of the Australian landscapes that are evocative of the iconic travel poster artwork from the golden age of travel of between 1950 and 1970.
GemLife Explore RVs are more than just mobile billboards. They are a key point of marketing difference in our industry space and one we’re looking forward to expanding in time.
Our market is media savvy and are at the vanguard of the generation of consumers who expect integrity, value and “realness” from the brands they choose to interact with. Not only does GemLife Explore enhance our existing owners’ experience of the brand by enabling them to play an active role in our brand promise of “over-50s living redefined”, but also provides the opportunity to introduce the brand out to a wider community.
The artwork itself is a conversation starter and homeowners who hire the motorhomes become strong brand advocates, speaking to family and friends as well as other travellers about GemLife residential community, many of whom fall into our key demographic area.
Reaction to GemLife Explore has been incredibly positive with the vehicles completely booked out in popular travel times and is a valuable way to keep our branding front and centre in the off-line marketing space.