Market Driving Strategy for Death Care Industry

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Illustration by Rachel RevillA

Market driving strategy involves tapping into new markets, unserved markets and underserved markets. This contrasts with the market-driven strategy which focuses and addresses the served or existing market. In this article, we apply a market driving strategy to the death care industry by citing cases in different countries.

In Daejeon, South Korea, the Coffin Academy offers a seminar that allows everyone to experience “death” without dying. The ritual begins with a photoshoot, followed by a short life-in-depth lecture, then decorates one’s own headstone, writes a will and delivers eulogies in front of others, before stepping into the coffin in a yellow death robe. . Funeral music is played in a candlelit room. When you come out of the coffin a few minutes later, you feel rejuvenated, reborn and more motivated in your “new” life.

In Japan, a similar coffin experience allows people to dress in full Japanese funeral attire and reflect inside the dark coffin on what they would have done differently in their lives. In Thailand, lying in a coffin is believed to help eliminate bad karma as part of a Buddhist ‘death’ ceremony.

The University of Barcelona, ​​meanwhile, has a virtual reality death simulator to help people overcome the fear of dying. Once their avatars are able to move their legs, this body form levitates up to the ceiling to simulate out-of-body experiences that tend to make people believe there is life after death.

Around the world, although many midwives assist women in childbirth, there is a growing need for professional end-of-life guides for underserved markets. Besides an aging population, there could be a strong demand for such guides also targeting people facing death who may be fearful, angry, regretful, resentful or simply lonely and lonely. It is beneficial for families and societies to help these people deal with grief and other emotions that accompany the anticipation of death. With the increase in the aging population, this is set to grow in rethinking how people should die.

Drive-through burial

Robert L. Adams Funeral Home in Southern California, USA pioneered drive-in funerals. The concept appears to be a new category of service between an online viewing and a traditional wake-up visit. Under the drive-thru funeral, the casket is tilted to face the window, with a family member seated inside the large drive-thru window who can greet their guests. There is also a drive-thru staff that allows drive-thru customers to sign the guestbook. Who would find the concept interesting? Perhaps the elderly or physically handicapped who have difficulty walking, those who want to pay their last respects but are either too tired or in a hurry at lunchtime; those who do not wish to socialize or be in a room full of people; those concerned about security, or even those who cannot find a parking space.

Another case is that of Tui, a tour operator in Europe. They have created Grief Tours exclusively for the spouse of the deceased, who can join the tour at least 90 days after the death of a spouse and cannot be accompanied by any family members. Their guide is also a bereavement counsellor. The concept is similar to singles tours, except that the participants are all widows and widowers. The 90-day rule is intended to ensure that tour participants won’t end up crying all day and will be more open to experiencing new things and meeting new people.

What other market driving strategies can you think of for the death care market? Please share with us. —CONTRIBUTED SURVEY

Josiah Go is President and Chief Innovation Strategist at Mansmith and Fielders, Inc. Mansmith was the recipient of the Innovation Excellence Awards presented by the Asean Business Awards in 2021.

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