Tandem Lane offers a monthly subscription for older adults. Their service will allow you to send special care packages to your elderly loved ones each month. The good folks over at Tandem Lane were kind enough to answer a few questions for our Behind the Box series.
What made you decide to start a subscription box service?
Tandem Lane grew out of a combination of our work at ElderBranch and our own experiences with older relatives.
At ElderBranch, we spent a lot of time speaking with geriatricians, therapists, long-term care facility administrators, and other experts on aging. Through these conversations, we realized how important socialization and general engagement are to the health and well-being of the elderly. At the same time, some of these conversations exposed how many seniors are not very well-connected with their loved ones, though, naturally, they crave these touchpoints.
As we reflected on what we were hearing, we found that some of these same issues were mirrored in our personal lives. We have both always been close to our families and our grandparents, in particular. As we’ve moved around the country for school and jobs, it’s become more and more difficult to maintain the close contact with them that we’ve always enjoyed.
Combining the lessons from ElderBranch with our own personal experiences is what ultimately brought about the idea for Tandem Lane.
Tandem Lane was created to help families surprise and delight their elderly loved ones on a regular basis. Our care packages help families connect (with photos and letters), and recipients to explore and indulge (with gift items such as cognitive games, armchair travel experiences and snacks).
Do you work out of your home or an offsite location?
We plan to set up in an offsite location very soon!
How long did it take between idea and official launch?
Approximately six months. We soft launched in 2013, and have had paid subscriptions since then, however our official launch was on April 8, 2014.
The soft launch process was critical in helping us better understand what families are looking for in a service like ours and the needs/wants of our end customer. These inputs helped us refine our concept and product selection.
How do you source the products that will be included each month?
We select products based on conversations with people who know our demographic well – various experts on aging, long-term care facility administrators, and seniors themselves. Based on the insights we glean from these discussions, we continually brainstorm new themes and products that our end customers will enjoy.
That being said – we believe in having a strong feedback loop. We really want to hear from our gifters and box recipients on a regular basis so that we can keep making Tandem Lane better and better!
What marketing avenues do you use to get the word out? Any memorable successes or failures?
Our marketing efforts during the soft launch phase were limited to word of mouth marketing.
Now that we’ve officially launched, we will pursue a variety of additional marketing angles, including: social media, search engine optimization, paid search and partnerships.
What was your biggest surprise – good or bad – with your new business?
We were pleasantly surprised by the overwhelmingly positive reaction we’ve received to Tandem Lane. There is incredible interest and need for a service like this!
Over and over we’ve heard things like, “I’d definitely sign up! I’m always trying to figure out what to get my grandmother for her birthday” or, “I never call my father often enough. This would be a great way to do something nice for him.”
What would you change if you had to start over?
We would have started sooner!
Where do you see your business five years from now? Any changes in the works?
We would like to offer a range of customizations and options to tailor to more specific niches within the 65+ demographic. For example, a tailored offering for seniors with Alzheimer’s/dementia, or for seniors with specific types of interests (e.g. arts & crafts, puzzles, etc.).
Thanks for the interview, Tandem Lane! You can visit their website to find out more or start a subscription for your elderly love today.