The Super Bowl, Taylor Swift, and funeral home “Influencers”

 

It’s Super Bowl Weekend and you are probably going to hear a lot about what is happening in Las Vegas over the course of the next 72 hours.  And, you would have had to be hiding under a rock to not know that superstar entertainer Taylor Swift is bringing her “influence” to the big game and the National Football League (NFL) in general.

 

According to this article from CBS – Channel 8 out of San Diego, “Marketwatch reports that Swift’s association with the NFL has boosted the league’s brand value by over $122 million in just a few months.  Her impact on female viewership is staggering: a 53% increase among those aged 12-17, a 34% rise in those over 35 and 24% in the 18-24 demographic”.

 

And, in the world of “Influencers”, this article from WMBA – TV in Birmingham, Alabama, notes that 18% of voters are more likely to vote for the Taylor Swift backed candidate in the next Presidential election.

 

In my world, those are two statistics that show that we live in a world of “Influencers”.  Young females watching football simply to see the fashions and hype of a leading entertainer and voters willing to follow an entertainer’s lead on a political candidate for no reason other than that entertainer was going to favor that candidate.

 

That reasoning simply upsets my time-honored thoughts of following something because I liked the product (football) or vote for a candiate because I like the direction that he/she wants to move my school district, state, or nation.  The world of simply following “Influencers” seems beyond me.

 

But — it is there and we live in that world.  So who “influences” the choice of a funeral home, crematory, or other death care provider?  I’ve got my ideas and I will share them with you.  In the funeral business we’ve heard of Caitlin Doughty and her influence with what she calls the “Order of Good Death“.

 

It’s my opinion that Doughty advocates for a lot of things — such as a movement in our profession to less popular forms of human disposition, such as human composting or green funerals.  It is probably fair to say that as she advocates for these things, in the long run her movement will have some “influence” on these new ideas.  I don’t think she will influence many consumers though. . . .her main influence over the long haul will be on moving people with these value sets into the profession as funeral directors and morticians who will then grow our numbers in advocating for those methods.  That, in itself, will grow those eco-ideas.

 

In Great Britain, it is thought that the death of entertainer David Bowie in 2016 was a watershed moment for that nation in turning to “Direct Cremation” as a mainstream method of death care disposition.  According to this article from The Guardian, the largest death care provider in Great Britain, Dignity, saw an increase of 400% in direct cremation selection in the year following his death and upstart direct cremation provider at the time, Pure Cremation was fueled by what they say was a 10-fold increase in direct cremation sales.

 

But, your funeral home operates today. . . . .so, who is an “Influencer” on getting people to choose your funeral home and your traditional burial and/or cremation services?  From my point of view in the U.S.A. I just don’t see a commonly known “Influencer” in the realm of death care choices to the consumer.

 

Tom Anderson
Funeral Director Daily

However, I do believe that, to an extent, every family has an “Influencer” within it and American funeral homes and crematories need to connect with that person in order to build market share.  I’ve lived long enough to understand that many people in their 7th, 8th or 9th decade of life look to their children for either direct confirmation on certain potential purchases, such as death care, or totally rely on their children for this advice and counsel.

 

So, funeral homes need to be in contact with that generation of parental “Influencers”.  People might argue what is the best way to do so. . . but, if these “children Influencers” are in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s as to age I would guess that there is no better place than through the internet and digital relationships.

 

That’s one reason why I believe so strongly in putting one’s price lists on the internet.  Without it there, you risk someone such as myself, who wants as much information as possible, of simply skipping over your choices and going on to the next provider.  If I was looking as an “Influencer” for my parents and could not find the price to give to them I, more than likely, would go to the next alternative to get that price and information.

 

Not handling this “children Influencer” correctly on your website has the possibility of chasing off a heritage family and handing it to your competitor.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Ed Larson on February 12, 2024 at 3:57 pm

    The only reason I’m not totally onboard with General Price List online is it takes the personal “warm and fuzzy” experience with us talking to the person looking for information
    We are not the lowest price funeral provider in town, and have had families tell us that during the arrangements conference that XYZ was less expensive but that when we explained the prices and service options over the phone they felt more comfortable with us and decided to use our firm.



  2. Craig Stewart, FD, CPC on February 9, 2024 at 6:12 am

    This perspective is absolutely spot on Tom!
    All of your articles are well thought out, well written and always topical.
    This one really hit a nerve with me and prompted me to write this comment.
    Keep up the great work!
    I look forward to reading this every time I see it pop into my email.
    I, as well as many others, appreciate what you do.
    Best always.



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