What is your funeral home’s competitive advantage?

Is it possible that the quality of air in your facility could be a competitive advantage? That is exactly what one of my new clients is offering his customers.

As a consultant, it is important for me to understand the larger trends in the business world. That’s why even though most of my clients are in the funeral industry, I periodically do projects in other industries.

One of the projects I have underway right now is with a company providing ultraviolet technology that can be installed in a building to purify the air. Depending upon the configuration, it can eliminate 100% of airborne pathogens, including Covid-19.

In theory, they should be selling like crazy these days but they’ve struggled because their sales pitch is filled with too much technical jargon. They contacted me for help with their messaging so I’ve had to learn enough about UV technology to be able to translate it into business benefits.

Last week they made a presentation to the Facility Manager of a company that owns seven Planet Fitness franchises. Rather than trying to explain the science behind UV they spent their time talking about how indoor air quality can help make people feel safe coming back to the gym.

Halfway through their presentation, the Facility Manager stopped them and brought the CEO into the meeting. 

The CEO immediately understood that having safer air than his competitors would give them a big advantage. Plus he loved the fact that we were going to include a turnkey promotional campaign that he could use to get the word out to his employees, customers, and the community.

My client’s sales rep left the meeting with a signed order to install UV in all seven Planet Fitness gyms. 

With the pandemic still dominating media, protecting the air quality in your facility is an excellent competitive advantage for a business. But that is just the current hot button.

In general, smart business owners are always looking for a competitive advantage. Something that can form the core of a marketing campaign and help them stand out from their competition.

When you have a competitive advantage, and you communicate it well, your business automatically attracts more customers. The ROI on your advertising goes up dramatically because your ad gives people a specific reason to choose you instead of your competitors.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of funeral home advertising is a complete waste of money. In most cases, you’d be better off buying lunch for the local clergy than you would be running a TV ad.

The ads are a waste of money because no one took the time to identify a specific competitive advantage for the funeral home and then focus the advertisement on that point.

Many of my clients initially come to me for help with their messaging. But I always have to get them to take a step back and answer this question. 

Why someone should choose your funeral home?

Here’s the order…

  1. Find your competitive advantage
  2. Create messaging that articulates that advantage
  3. Design and run advertisements using the message

Most funeral home advertising is a waste of money because they skip #1, do a lousy job of #2, and go straight to #3 using a generic message.

Have you found your competitive advantage? If not, you need to!

Let’s say you have a funeral home located at a cemetery. Convenience is your competitive advantage.

What if your competitors only offer very traditional funerals? Your ability to offer a celebrant-led Beautiful Farewell ceremony could be your competitive advantage.

One of my clients is in a community that used to be 100% Irish Catholic but has now become a mix of practically every culture on the planet. Multi-cultural services is his new competitive advantage.

By the way, being “family owned” is a weak competitive advantage because most people don’t know that corporate chains even exist. SCI’s strategy of leaving the former owners name on the business makes it look like all of their locations are still family owned even though they are not.

Yes, you can go to XYZ Marketing and buy a professional looking TV ad. But unless the ad communicates your specific competitive advantage it is a waste of money.

Interestingly enough, one of my funeral home clients had already installed UV in one of his locations. When I learned about this I immediately created a new marketing campaign focused on indoor air quality because there’s no doubt that it is a big hot button these days.

Remember, don’t spend a dime on advertising until you’ve found your competitive advantage. If you can’t think of anything, take your local clergy out to lunch. 

Until next time


PS: Sometimes you need an outsider’s perspective to find your competitive advantage and put it into words. That’s the #1 reason why people call me!




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *