Today’s funeral consumer is changing rapidly. Unlike previous generations, the new funeral consumer now lives in a digital world, are dispersed from family, sheltered from death and are less religious.

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What type of funeral consumer are you?

In a recent consumer study, by McKee Wallwork, funeral consumers have been categorised into six unique personas – Pine-Boxers, Funeral Friends, Polite Farewells, Dead-Enders, Solo-Secularists and Click & Callers.

According to the research, we are starting to see a “changing of the guard” occurring. The Pine-Boxers, Funeral Friends, and Polite Farewells are starting to die off. Replacing them are the three other funeral personas. These personas are generally under the age of fifty, want a customised funeral, require digital interaction, and have a sensitivity to the grieving process.

 

Pine-Boxers

The first persona, the Pine-Boxers, are aptly named because they are likely to tell you something like, “just bury me in the same pine-box we put Dad in.

”They tend to have a no-nonsense, matter-of-fact attitude toward funerals and will not bring much emotion into the process. Pine-boxers are very price sensitive but have a preference for burial. They often identify as Christian but are not active churchgoers.

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Funeral Friends

Next, are the Funeral Friends. They are named as such because more than any other persona, they see and understand the value of a funeral and a funeral home.

They are very religious and will attend church almost every week. In their funerals, they believe it’s important to have a viewing and would like to have a service led by a minister of religion.

They are more likely to be loyal to a funeral home because of a personal relationship they have with the funeral director or owner. Because of their high regard for funerals, the Funeral Friend is willing to spend more than any of the other personas.

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Polite Farewells

Our third persona is Polite Farewells. This group is predominantly female and is likely to be married with children. They largely identify as non-denominational/Christian. The Polite Farewell sees value in a funeral home but will often put the needs and desires of their family and friends before their own.

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Dead-Enders

Next, we have the Dead-Enders. This segment is predominantly male, never married, not religious and a leads a minimalist life.The Dead-Ender sees no need for a funeral home as their perception is that the funeral is for the deceased, not the living. This mindset continues by thinking that since the deceased is already dead, why spend all this money on them?

Because of this thinking, the Dead-Ender will look for the cheapest option available to them for disposing of the body.

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Solo Secularists

With the Solo Secularists, we start to see a trend toward changing preferences. This group is the most highly educated with the average person having a masters or doctorate degree.

They are very conscious about the environment and will often pay for environmentally-friendly cremation options. This group is not religious but would often describe themselves as “spiritual.” Ultimately, the Solo Secularist does not see a need for a funeral home or funeral. Instead, they are more likely to choose a direct cremation and throw a party to memorialise their loved one.

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Click & Callers

Finally, we have the Click & Callers, who represent the biggest shift in buying preferences. Like others, this segment identifies as non-denominational Christian.

They have a respect for funeral homes but don’t necessarily want a funeral director’s help. Instead, they prefer a do-it-yourself approach in planning and use the Internet to find their answers. Because of this approach, their funerals tend to have many religious elements but are also highly customised.

One Click & Caller summarised their expectations by saying, “Help me get the best value by doing it myself – creating a completely customised experience with personalised selections that best honour my loved one.”

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