Is Starkey about to trial a hearing aid rental model? + Photos from London Starkey "Inspiring Tomorrow" event

Would a rental model work for the UK hearing aid market? US company Starkey, which has one of the most solid UK customer bases among manufacturers, thinks that renting hearing aids might prove a useful complement to hearing aid sales.

Published on 01 February 2023

Is Starkey about to trial a hearing aid rental model? + Photos from London Starkey “Inspiring Tomorrow” event

The firm’s Managing Director for UK and Ireland, Tim Clark, revealed the possibility of a venture into renting this January when Starkey hosted a gathering of faithful and, mostly, prospective new customers in London’s luxurious Pan Pacific Hotel.

PW      Starkey MD, Tim Clark, opening proceedings at the Starkey “Inspiring Tomorrow” gathering in London on January 20, 2023.

Wining and dining some 170+ invited frontline audiology professionals, Starkey set up a big room of cool igloo-style pods to get across its ethos, product, service emphasis, and support plans to guests whose motivation for dreaming big was boosted by a superb opening presentation in the very animated hands of GB track legend, Kriss Akabusi. With more inspiration for how to survive at the top, an afternoon talk was given by mountaineer Doug Jones, whose achievements include climbing the Matterhorn after having overcome a brain tumour and the serious risk of life-changing disabilities after treatment.

PW     Starkey got across information to its 170-plus guests by breaking the audience into smaller groups and accommodating them in five igloo-shaped pods, each hosted by Starkey team members talking on technology, marketing, sales, financing, product, and accessories.


Intense motivational address by a multi-talented track star


With Akabusi’s messages – Past is for Reference not for Residence; Dream BIG – ringing in their ears, guests visited pods for intimate exposure to Starkey’s own messages, the manufacturer’s UK MD keen to underline ways the firm can help independent audiologists through an economic downturn that makes managing expectations as important as managing finance.

Among support mechanisms offered by Starkey is a loan scheme, and the floated hearing aid rental idea, “very much a concept phase” but one that could materialise in March in the form of a pilot launch.

Starkey points out that its purpose would be “to make hearing solutions more accessible to people who cannot handle a large initial outlay” and “to modernise the way in which hearing solutions are provided, whilst adapting to consumer trends”. Importantly, it would be designed “to compliment, not cannibalise” the hearing aid market in the UK.

PW      Starkey MD Tim Clark explained Starkey plans to help customers through an economic downturn.

The “Inspiring Tomorrow” event was introduced by Clark with his declaration on shaping the future: “It’s a new day!”

“We believe business is personal,” he told a packed venue, underlining that Starkey has no big chain of retail outlets, adding: “Most of our eggs are in this small, independent basket.”

PW      World champion runner motivated Starkey’s guests to “dream big” while reliving every moment of his 1991 World Championship 4x400m relay win. His presentation was a firecracker of personal anecdotes and acquired wisdom on perseverance and positivity, the former sprint and hurdle runner proving he is now a long-distance speaker by following his morning speech with two long marketing motivation sessions.

PW      The Pan Pacific hotel proved a comfortable venue for Starkey guests to mingle and contemplate the meaning of the “inspiring tomorrow” theme.


Source: Starkey