11 Funeral Profession Predictions for 2015
Last week we shared a great article from Jeff Harbeson, The Funeral Commander, that took a quick glimpse back at 2014 and also made bold predictions for 2015.
Here are some predictions for the road ahead:
- Cremation will continue to rise at a rapid rate which applies additional pressure to traditional funeral service provider revenues.
- Consumers will continue to educate themselves about the funeral business online and will make choices (just like any other consumer choice) based on their research from their screen.
- Funeral service providers that offer complete and transparent information online (including pricing, remember only 9% of US firms have their prices online) will reap benefits.
- Social media use by funeral homes will continue to emerge as the preferred communication to consumers. Of course as usual, there will be few adopters because the tried and true “Lions Club attending, calendar giving, diner place-mat advertising” crowd knows better…just look at their website (oh sorry, if you want more information you have to go to their location).
- New funeral service provider models will continue to evolve and flourish such as Distinctive Life, Triad Cremation Society & Chapel, Family Choice Funerals & Cremations and Smart Cremation. These new brands are moving market-share and consumers are gravitating to their offerings.
- Speaking of new models, casket companies will continue to produce their “newest and best casket” that will “families will love” with superfluous features adorned in their continued failing attempt to “turn the market around” in their corporate favor. The continued arrogance of some blinds their ability to flourish and at some point, if your company has not sold 1 more casket than the year before 10 years, maybe you’re not doing something right. Keep an eye on Aurora’s BeRemembered offering as they seem to be the only one not tone deaf to the needs of consumers and fresh ideas from a casket company…a bright spot in a cloudy bunch.
- Be on the lookout for a new team of “Lasers” in the marketplace that will be bringing high discounts and deals to “low penetrated” customers trying again an already failed model of moving casket market-share. I don’t like the idea of being penetrated by a casket company (see story #1 above), but it seems that is the way some of them view funeral homes.
- Please, no new urns.
- 2015 will bring news stories of ignorance and disregard of the funeral profession that will eclipse the headlines over the well deserved servants of the deceased.
- Consolidation will continue and we’ll see some strange alliances from funeral service providers, suppliers, pre-need companies and even funeral related organizations. It’s called survival (see story #2 above).
- The relevance of DNA to funeral consumers (because we are destroying the DNA of deceased people when we cremate) will continue to emerge as a subject of importance. Will 2015 be the first year a family will sue a funeral home for destroying their loved ones genetic record without telling them?
What are your thoughts – agree/disagree? Do you have any predictions you would like to share?
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