Barry Schwartz’s book, “The Paradox of Choice,” explored how humans react when given varying levels of choice. Schwartz found that most people prefer to have options from which to choose, but that there is a point at which too many choices paralyze an individual, hindering their ability to make a decision. Since his book’s release, marketers have had a field day trying to figure out what is the right balance for their particular product or service.
The funeral service industry is not immune to this quandary. Most customers describe their experience of choosing an urn in one of two ways: walking into a somber room at a funeral home where a small selection of urns is displayed or visiting an impersonal, commoditized ecommerce website with thousands of urns available at discount prices and for quick delivery. Neither option is a good one. In my opinion, the idea of memorializing a legacy is quickly lost. Replaced, instead, by compromising thoughts of a better deal and a speedy turnaround. Thankfully, there is a better way.
The digital age has given rise to the expectation that almost anything is possible. If you can imagine it, it can be manufactured, ordered online and delivered to your doorstep almost instantaneously. It’s easy to create our own, unique style. We can choose the color of our cell phone cases, we can pick what interior upholstery we want in our cars, we can customize the paint in our houses to match our favorite pair of socks. The western world is defined by individuality. Most of those personal decisions seem easy. However, some are not.
For instance, how does one envision, design and create a physical object to represent an entire lifetime of personality, style, pastimes, and accomplishments?
This is the challenge that we find immensely rewarding at Foreverence. We relish the opportunity to help families, friends or an individual planning one’s end of life details with the emotional yet uplifting and rewarding process of finding the perfect tribute to a life well-lived. And with the introduction of 3D printing capabilities, there is now a manufacturing technology that supports full color, highly durable and beautiful urns and memorials that are truly one of a kind.
So how do you start when there’s literally a ‘blank canvas’ staring back at you?
Our process is quite simple. We ask questions. We listen. We synthesize. Understanding a few key elements such as where or if the urn will be displayed, meaningful phrases or personal mantras, and iconic photographs or images allow our designers the opportunity to create an initial concept that we call a Legacyboard®. This serves as a starting point and visual depiction of concepts for consideration.
What we’ve heard from our customers is that these interactions and this process, where we assist families to Envision, Design and Create the perfect tribute, is a pivotal moment for them in dealing with the emotions of losing a loved one. They can successfully move from being paralyzed by the many pressing choices inherent in the end of life process to finding relief, comfort and even joy having created the perfect tribute.