Funeral Directors Start to Listen

The Internet is a vast place of information, resources, advice, and help. With all of this the varied businesses online are expanding at an exponential rate due to being able to learn and interact with people all over the world. Technology has come into our lives and transformed almost everything we do, all the way to our funeral. Lots of new ideas for products are starting to emerge in the cremation industry. And funeral directors must change with the times, to provide what people are asking for.

Cremation or Burial?

An increasing number of people are now opting for cremation rather than burial and funeral directors must change their business attitudes in order to keep customers happy. According to the Cremation Association of North America 35% of deaths in 2007 were cremated, and they have estimated that will rise to 59% by the year 2025. Most people opt for cremation because it is less expensive than a burial and that makes sense in this low economic time.  However, many of these people are also choosing creative ways to personalize their deaths, which means money may not be their only consideration.

Expanding Funeral Services to Please Consumers –

Funeral directors are now expanding their services to include more creative ways of keeping their customers happy. They want their final wishes planned out, paid for and accommodated no matter how different it might be from a traditional burial. More and more consumers are looking into cremation because it offers more options. It is no longer about a variety of urns (such as keepsake urns). It is about how creative and personal people can get with their lives even after death.

Michael Lyon, a Clarksville funeral director and owner of the Cremation Society of Virginia told Theresa Vargas, a Washington Post Staff Writer, “Even in death, the consumer wants options. Whereas 33 years ago when I first entered death care, it was very commonplace for funerals to look identical from person to person, today I am finding that death care is as unique as the life lived.”

Some Creative and Personalized Cremation Options –

In Lyon’s business consumers can buy a do it yourself memorial service and cast bronze urns with eagles or wind chimes. Cremation provides people with the most versatility and personalization. People can have their remains shot to the moon, spread over the sea, worked into a piece of art, or enclosed in a piece of jewelry. Eternal Reefs offers consumers “a new memorial choice that replaces cremation urns and ash scattering with a permanent environmental living legacy”. They make concrete reefs that hold the remains that help the underwater environment. It is eco-friendly and helps people give back to the environment even after death. Since society is now pressuring businesses to be more eco-friendly (some even willing to pay more for it) these ideas are being seen in all areas of business. 

New Ideas in Personalized Deaths –

Cremains in a Statue: To have one’s ashes built into a garden statue or planter. Two men, Kurt Zimmerman and Lawrence Mervine, are in the process of having this idea patented.

Prayer Wheel: Her mother loved the autumn season, so Lauren Clauson had her mother’s ashes put inside a prayer-wheel urn that she keeps in her living room.

The competition is getting tighter with consumers being able to shop for cremation urns online and compare costs and offers. There will be more creative methods of personalized cremation to come. This depends on what people and urn sellers think up, ask for, and what funeral directors will offer. If someone can’t find what they really want with one funeral home they will simply take their business elsewhere. Keep up with the times by creating a wide variety of personalized options for consumers.
 
Bibliography:

1.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/06/AR2008090602853.html?hpid=moreheadlines
2.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/18/garden/18urns.html?ex=157680000&en=90023acef3ad9b64&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

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