Trying to take on multiple competitors can take its toll on your funeral home.
If you find yourself consistently competing with other funeral homes in your area, you need to find ways to pull ahead of the pack. Here’s a guide on how to compete — and win — in a crowded market.
Personalize the Experience
Today, everyone wants to put their own spin on funeral traditions. It’s a way to inject the personality of their loved one into a final remembrance service.
For a funeral home, personalizing each of your families’ experiences is absolutely necessary to survive in a crowded market. A funeral home isn’t just selling products to families, it’s selling a once in a lifetime experience for families to remember their loved one by.
Imagine this: You’re in the market for a new car. There are three car dealerships in town, all offering the same make and model that you’re interested in for a similar price. The first two offer just the car, but the third dealership offers the car and a generous roadside assistance program, 10-year warranty, and free oil changes and car washes for the first two years.
It’s pretty obvious which dealership you should choose.
That’s how your funeral home should approach families. You want to give them more than just the basics. To stand out in a crowded market, aim to be different. Offer something other funeral homes in your area can’t or don’t. Think about adding a new line of memorial products, an enhanced aftercare program, or unique memorial events.
Set the Trends
Staying competitive in a crowded market means current trends are important. But while it’s a critical thing for your funeral home to keep track of, simply keeping up with current trends means you are always trying to catch up to someone else.
What if you set the trends yourself? Becoming a trailblazer in the funeral profession means gaining a distinct advantage over your competition. But that’s not all — some other key advantages of trendsetting include free publicity and a “first-mover” advantage that results in accelerated growth in business.
Look for signs of change in the profession and act on them. No business is immune to change, and the funeral profession has seen its fair share. The biggest change at the moment is cremation. By 2030, it’s expected to hit more than 70%, leaving burials down to just 23%.
Cremation’s rise is going to cause a ripple of change in how we perceive funerals and memorialization. In order to stay ahead of the curve, your funeral home needs to anticipate the changes and act on them.
Here are some quick tips for staying in the know on current and future trends:
- Subscribe to trade journals devoted to covering the funeral profession.
- Sign up for free newsletters to learn about the latest ideas and news in the funeral profession.
- Use sites like LinkedIn to network with profession leaders and organizations.
- Go straight to the source — the families in your community. At the end of the day, it’s going to be families that create change and drive trends for funerals. Find a way to incorporate feedback and input from families into your overall strategy and services.
Another way to stand out in a crowded market is to establish your funeral home as the thought leader in your community.
Thought leadership is simply recognition for not only being good at what you do, but the best in the business. When the word funeral comes to mind, you’re the first funeral home everyone turns to.
So how can you establish thought leadership in a highly competitive funeral home market?
Showcase these two traits: Your funeral home’s knowledge and your funeral home’s innovation. Here are a few tips to get started:
- Share your expertise with the community through blog posts, seminars, and classes or other community events.
- Explain the reasons behind traditions and how they aid in the mourning process.
- Tell the community why your funeral home can offer families an experience no other funeral home can. (To get started, we’ve created a free eBook on how to develop a successful marketing strategy).