Death and Creative Small Business Marketing Strategies

By: Dan Kennedy on: October 19th, 2009 3 Comments


I’ve done some consulting work in the funeral industry, spoke at a national convention, and, while most are mired in the past, with very traditional, somber products and small business marketing strategies, there is growing movement of innovation and daring.

For example, “theme funerals” with themes like golf, NASCAR are happening; caskets sporting college logos and colors, NASCAR personalities, Gene Simmons markets a KISS Koffin, favorite NFL team logos and colors.

Now here’s the newest product, premiered at a previous year’s International Cemetery and Funeral Association Rock & Water Creations’ large, engraved, fake tree stumps and rocks you can put in your front yard, back yard, garden, etc., to provide a final resting place for the urn of ashes of your loved person or pet as well as a temporary resting place for folks taking a walk through your woods.

Oh, and Houston-based Space Services Inc. sells “outer space burials”, in which up to 7 grams of a person’s cremated remains are placed in a lipstick sized capsule and launched into orbit. (He wanted to grow up to be an astronaut. Finally he is one!)

LifeGem turns the dearly departed’s ashes into a diamond for ring or pendant.

The funeral industry currently = $11-billion a year, with average funeral at $6,500.00 to $8,000.00. But with this kind of creativity, what might that average transaction size become? (Sources: LasVegas Life Magazine, 5/06; Entrepreneur 7/06).

Have I a message in mentioning this? Yes – this is for the “but my small business is different” whiners and skeptics.

There’s hardly anything more sensitive and steeped in dour norms than the death business, yet even it cannot and will not stay status quo.

Here, however, is the Big Question: What are people buying they did not buy at all only 10 years ago?

Bottled water….our parents laugh at us.

Paying to listen to radio….inconceivable.

Portable phones for children.

What will YOUR customers soon be buying they are not yet buying?


Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to

3 Responses

  1. my customers will soon be buying golf lessons year round!

  2. Rob Anspach says:

    hey thats a cool casket…

    now you got the gears cranking away and…

    whoooie… I’m on fire with some awesome ideas.

  3. When I pointed out in a recent GKIC Chicago and Northwest Suburbs Fast Start Workshop how Glazer-Kennedy-style marketing works in basically every conceivable business, I actually had someone object, citing the funeral industry (with a smug grin on his face, thinking he had certainly stumped me).

    I immediately let him know that Dan had recently written in a recent issue of the No B.S. Marketing Letter about the five businesses every funeral director is in.

    And now I have this blog post to point to the next time I encounter someone suffering from the dreaded “But My Business Is Different-itis” disease.

    Thanks, Dan!

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