Trends for Funeral Homes and Cemeteries

As consumers’ preference for cremation continues to grow, and the purchasing options for items such as caskets, cremation urns, cremation jewelry angel-wing-ash-pendant_1and other Memorials products become more widely available, funeral homes and Cemeteries are finding that they had to re-position themselves in the market in order to survive in today’s economic climate. They can no longer rely on merely providing a perfunctory service. They now have to convince bereaved families that the only way to truly honor loved ones is with a professionally managed funeral and internment, which they can best provide. This is particularly important if they don’t want to miss out on what’s just coming out of first gear, in the shape of the baby boomer generation.

 


It’s estimated that over the next thirty years or so, the “Death Care Industry” will see a surge in business as members of the baby boomer generation pass away – provided they can adapt to cater for the individualistic tastes of this group of people. Baby Boomers Image

The long-awaited benefits of the passing of the baby boomer generation will only be reaped by those funeral providers who are willing and able to provide the alternative Celebrations of Life that the boomers are predicted to want in place of the more traditional, somber affairs.

 

If funeral directors are worrying that the baby boomer generation will shun their local funeral homes for the restaurants or clubs where they spent most of their lives, then they need to consider how they can persuade clients and prospective clients that a funeral service is more than a just a farewell party. A funeral is an integral part of the grieving process and can help those left behind to deal with the passing of a life and move on. A funeral can also provide a degree of closure for loved ones and as such needs to be handled appropriately. That doesn’t necessarily mean in hushed, darkened rooms by somber-looking men in black, but rather in a way that recognizes and understands how to deal with family factions and intense emotions, both of which, understandably, are likely to surface immediately following a bereavement.

 

Salespeople in today’s industries are all trying to position themselves as trusted counselors. Insurance agents, financial advisors, and even computer systems vendors all want to be regarded as being able to provide valuable counsel. But funeral providers are already experts in this field. They have experience of providing professional, sound, and comforting counsel at one of the most traumatic times in a person’s life. And it’s this aspect of their business that they can capitalize on and use as a foundation on which to succeed.Baby Boomer Funeral Trends

 

However, while the value of providing such counsel shouldn’t be underestimated, it’s important that funeral providers also show that they’re willing to change if they want to reap the potential business benefits the passing of the baby boomers is predicted to generate. That means moving away from the stark, dimly lit funeral parlors of yesteryear to an environment that conveys an atmosphere of flexibility and accommodation. Many funerals nowadays involve the use of visual and audio equipment, and funeral directors will have to be able to provide this type of multi-media event to their clients, particularly as the members of the baby boomer generation are expected to want to go out as they’ve lived: By spending top-dollar on themselves in order to proclaim their individuality.

 

For a funeral business in today’s climate, the ability to offer tried and trusted counsel is the best of all foundations from which to market its services. Add a little flexibility and the willingness and capability to meet tomorrow’s demands and the future needn’t look so bleak.

 

 

 

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