It is not everyday that a new category for the consumer to choose from comes along. A new category has to be so unique that while it may have other ideas to compete with it, it is somewhat all by itself in the product or service it offers to the consumer.
What is interesting is that after so many years of watching the death care space provide basic options in the earth burial and cremation consumer categories with very little imagination for different choices, we are seeing alkaline hydrolysis (water cremation), green burial, and recomposition (human composting) coming to the forefront of human disposition options. And, as new as these ideas are, they are really new choices of services in what I would call the “human disposition” consumer category.
We became aware of Parting Stone and its product “parting stones” last February when we ran this article that pertained to their selection as winner of the KIP Award (Keeping It Personal) from the International Cemetery, Cremation, and Funeral Association (ICCFA). We’ve been staying tuned in on this company and product and noticed that they were mentioned in a recent Business Insider article which you can read here.
The product is so unique that I wonder if it actually is a new category of consumer product or if you would call it a part of the “cremation urn” category? While you could answer that it is a product that memorializes cremation remains, like an urn or cremation jewelry, I might argue that Parting Stone is much more than that and creates a new consumer category of memorial product.
At the end of the day it probably doesn’t matter if we look at Parting Stone as a new consumer category or another option in an existing category. What really matters is how the consumer takes to the product.
I’ve been watching this product since writing about it last February and it does seem to look like they are getting there feet on solid ground as the article notes that they now have over 200 funeral homes nationwide serving as their representatives.
I know that I sometimes bore you by telling you that I have been involved in the death care business since 1980. However, it is exciting for me as I see the choices in memorialization options families have today. Back when I started we were about 98% earth burial and the options were which memorial folders, which casket, and which burial vault. . . . . virtually everything else was the same. . . visitation, service, burial, and finally, the funeral luncheon. The options for a funeral was a little like you used to hear about the original Ford Motor Company models. . . . you could have any color you wanted — as long as it was black.
The options we now have in death care for the families we care for are a big improvement. Different families will choose different options. That does somewhat shift responsibility on to funeral directors in that we need to keep up with what is going on in the industry and make sure we have an open mind so that we can get answers for those client families that may be looking at doing something a little new or out of the ordinary.
It makes for a little more work as keeping up with what is going on does take some initiative, research, and learning. That thought kind of brings up the old adage, “to keep your business moving forward make sure that you are moving forward with your business”.
And, if your not moving forward. . . . your competitor probably is.
More news from the world of Death Care:
- Saginaw Veterans Cemetery dedicates Purple Heart Memorial. Duluth News Tribune (MN)
- One of the largest U.S. cemetery company quotes Nazi Himmler in its calendar. The Times of Israel.
- 7 Money moves you should make after retiring – #3 Plan your funeral. MSN Money Talks News.
- Wann Funeral Home sells building in St. Elmo. Says it will open in a new location. The Chattanoogan.com (TN)
- Wann Funeral Home website
- Frontliner: Funeral directors speak of their exhaustion and palpable grief during time of COVID 19. The Australian Greek community.