Paradigm Shift: a new approach to urn sales.

Imagine, if you will, a scenario in which a customer goes to a car dealer to purchase a new vehicle. Without asking any further questions, the car salesman walks them over to a collection of the cheapest models on the lot and tells them they can have any of these models in any of the three colors he has available. The customer doesn’t like any of the cars, but reluctantly chooses a boxy sedan in a shade of green that they don’t totally hate. They drive home in their new car unsatisfied.

Sounds ridiculous, right? No one makes a car-buying decision like that. They research the options. They look for a car model that fits their personality. They pick the automobile that is the right new car for how they live their life. Yes, the decision is sometimes based on budget, but just as often it is based on image and options. Savvy car dealerships know this. They work hard to appeal to the variety of impulses that spur a major buying decision.

So, when it comes to cremation, why don’t funeral homes?  Funeral directors, in spite of all their sincere desire to serve, are doing themselves and their families a disservice by only making a limited amount of generally low-priced urn options available.

Funeral professionals are smart people. Why would they make such a poor business choice? I think it is because directors have been conditioned to think of families choosing cremation as entirely price-sensitive shoppers. Yes, many of them are. But there is a growing segment of the market making cremation choices not because it’s the low-cost alternative, but because it’s the practical and pragmatic choice for them. Price sometimes factors in, but is outweighed by the desire for a meaningful representation of legacy and personalization.

There is a gap in the market today when it comes to serving high value cremation customers. Funeral Directors are afraid to introduce personal, high-value products. With a few qualifying questions, they could easily determine what price and product category is right for a family. What was important and meaningful to the deceased? What is a fondest memory for the loved one who will keep the urn? What type of setting will the urn will be displayed in? A focus on legacy and personalization will help drive engagement to a high -value product. It shows the family that the funeral director is concerned about capturing the essence of the deceased. 

Now back to my imaginary car buying scenario. The bottom line is just about any car will get someone from point A to point B, and transportation, of course, is the primary utility and value of a car. But most people don’t just want any car. They want a car that best represents their personality and style. Not everyone buys a boxy, economical sedan. Some people want something with a more powerful engine and smoother lines.