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If You Haven’t Been Catering to Baby-Boomers,
You’re Already Behind the Eight Ball!
The effect of Baby-Boomers has been felt in every industry, in every country around the world. During the past few years, the National Funeral Directors Association conducted market research studies and authored several articles regarding the effects Baby-Boomers will have on the trends in the American Funeral Industry. These NFDA studies are intended to provide assistance to those Funeral Directors who have the foresight to know that they will need to change well beyond the traditional way of “doing business.”
The NFDA statements found below could be taken two ways – either as a threat or as an opportunity to learn and embrace the need for change that will help position a determined Funeral Director to participate in a market that is expected to grow nearly 70% over the next 20-30 years.
• “[Baby-Boomers] like to think in terms of the celebration of life…”
• “The majority of boomers are not interested in the cheapest price. Price is the last consideration, not the first.”
• “Families today focus on ‘what can you do for me’, not ‘what you do.’ They are better informed, more diverse and more varied in their wishes and needs.”
• “The funeral service profession is dangerously at-risk of losing market share to non-traditional providers…other providers will increasingly encroach on the funeral service marketplace and eventually serve the majority of families served…”
• “Traditional funeral homes failed to respond to this trend which, in turn, gave rise to alternative non-traditional vendors…”
• “Boomers are not accustomed to making funeral arrangements and have not attended many services.”
• “Instead of concerning themselves with the casket, [Baby-Boomers] want more information about the entire funeral process and more ideas for personalizing the service.”
• “Boomers are the ones open to change, there are more of them than any other age group, and they have the money that they are willing to spend.”
• “No one group had done more to build this country to its position of world leadership, and boomers are not finished making the impact.”
• “Boomers are less satisfied with the funeral in which they have been a part. They were also dissatisfied with the arrangement process, and wanted more information and more time to make the arrangements…”
• “Serving the customer [baby-boomer] means providing information, education and choices…”
Baby-Boomers are accustomed to getting what they desire and they are not afraid to ask for it. Many industry analysts believe Baby-Boomers might also be the first generation to seek alternative sources for funeral arrangements, unless today’s funeral industry understands the importance of catering to their needs. Today’s funeral director can, and should, view future changes as an occasion to differentiate themselves from their competition.