The Challenge
Senior Housing Directory is a trusted, local magazine that covers home care, housing, and services for older adults in the Twin Cities metro area. Over the years, the publication saw mostly senior living communities advertise in it. My team asked businesses and providers in the senior care industry why they wouldn’t advertise. Our feedback was that although the publication’s content included more than just housing, they felt readers would assume it was only housing based on it’s title. Our decision to change the name of the magazine was a strategic move to expand advertising sales revenue and better reflect the current landscape of aging options.

My Process
I led my team in a brainstorming session for renaming Senior Housing Directory. Prior to our meeting, I gave the team a few week to do their own research. When we regrouped, we spent the first half of the meeting reporting on our individual research findings (anything we observed or read about).

We identified competitors, discovered that the words older adult and adult 55+ are more respectful terms to use with our audience, and observed other businesses that had dropped the word senior from their business name.

Next I asked, “What words or phrases would you use to describe Senior Housing Directory to someone who’s never heard of it. We each created a list and then I grouped together similar words/ideas in a word cloud.

With the word cloud drawn on a whiteboard, I then set a timer and gave my team a few minutes to jot down titles. We shared our favorite titles and discussed which words resonated with us. Following the team meeting, I started mocking up some cover designs with the titles we came up with. I quickly realized that most of the titles were too long which prompted us to narrow down titles to something short and catchy.

The Result
The Director and Editor organized a focus group to test out refined mock ups of the new magazine cover. Our feedback from participants was unanimous — a new name would not affect their willingness to advertise.

Senior Housing Directory is now The Directory – move the slider to see a before and after of the magazine rename.

The old magazine on the left (formerly known as Senior Housing Directory) next to the newly renamed issue of The Directory.

Email blast that announced the new magazine name