One company says, their business is about “the option to deal with everything online in as little as five minutes” and meant to give back time to people who are grieving. Another business says it is about “connecting with the families they serve”.
One company wants to offer a simple solution and an all-inclusive price for cremation services. Another company believes families come to them because they are leaders in the profession and dedicated to excellence.
One company was started by two guys from Nike who believe the death care future is in digital platforms that simplify the pricing and process around death and end-of-life decisions. Another company was started by two funeral home professionals who worked for industry leaders in the death care space.
The amazing thing from my point of view. . . is that both companies are probably right.
You see I come from a funeral service background where the traditional funeral home solved all of their client death care needs. . . as long as they were traditional. However, in today’s world – not everything is traditional – some consumers will choose coffee over tea, Monster beverages over Coke and Pepsi, and the vegan burger over the traditional meat Whopper.
And the death care companies referred to above know that not everyone will want simple cremation nor will every consumer want a full blown traditional funeral service. These companies are testing the waters on how the consumer will position their product and learn what their brand will eventually come to mean.
The first company we listed above is Solace. They are a new, immediate cremation company that relies on highly technical strategies to serve cremation clientele. In this article from Geekwire, it states, “Solace’s tech is not revolutionary — its tech that exists but that is being applied to an industry in a new way. The web-site is the front end and on the back end there’s a customer service platform and a communication platform that the co-founders call state of the art for the industry.”
Solace has been in business for about six months and have service operations in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington. You can see their company website here.
The second company we talk about above is Grace Funeral & Cremation of Rockford, Illinois. They were opened by young funeral directors Bob and Kristen McNames in 2009, but just recently moved into a new location. You can see an article and news video of their grand opening here.
As much as Solace is “high tech” Grace Funeral & Cremation is “high touch”. The owners want to “connect with the families that they serve.” According to their website they have years of experience and “want to provide client families with memorable remembrance experiences”.
There is no doubt, that even from just a visit to Grace Funeral & Cremation’s web-site, which you can access here, that they are prepared to be hands on and to guide client families through all the obstacles that grief can put before you.
At the end of the day. . .as a profession we are a better profession for having these differences in service approach. Client families can have it their way and be as involved or non-involved with the professionals at the time of death as they wish. As we continue to move forward, death care providers need to continue to think about the people we serve and how they want to be served. . . not just how we want to serve it up.