These Demanding Times

Ed Horn's picture


The demands being forced on our profession are spectacular. The world refuses to remain stagnant. Our Clients demands, desires and expectations reflect changing opinions, options and new technologies that flood our daily lives. 
A stable and traditional funeral may still be a majority of memorial services witnessed across the nation. Though changing, this is the backbone of the profession. Funeral Homes products and services are bread and butter Norman Rockwell traditions many are familiar with.
One would have to be oblivious to numerous articles and products brought to market by innovative vendors responding to our Clients who are not satisfied with traditional memorialization not to realize we must change with the times. Failure to respond to evolutionary demands will force revolutionary disruptions that redefine memoralization. For those who refuse to heed the call of change there may be only the reality of failure.
Obstinate practitioners who insist upon standing tall in front of an onrushing tsunami believing they will alter the course of the marketplace will be drowned. The market defines us as it does everyone in a capitalist society. It is, and will always be, survival of the fitness. It is those who are nimble comprehending trends in response to the market who will be successful. In their rear view mirror are those who stubbornly hold onto old traditions.
Cremation is here to stay. Those who fight the trend or refuse to amend their services to meet the demand will find themselves sadly waiting for the phone to ring. Cremation does not mean a diminution in services sought or desired. It is not thought of by a growing number of the population as an inexpensive means or easy convenience. It is seen as a green alternative that benefits the environment and society. To many of our Clients cremation honors what gifts the earth has given each of us.
The reason for our services has always been, and hopefully shall always be to honor and celebrate a life. We bring to our Clients the means to respect their loved ones, or for those who pre plan, how to present themselves to the world they lived in. It is our calling to make an individual much more than a memory of the past. Our profession demands that we serve as their personal historian. As providers of memorializations it is not unusual to hear of an end of life service costing many thousands of dollars.
No one knows what the future will be. There is a certainty that the marketplace will always remain in flux. New products and a changing mindset will force demands upon our profession no different than the impact felt throughout society. Those of our profession who listen accepting that they serve the interests of others will survive. Those who reject the call to change will find themselves as part of a forgotten past.