Finding Your Next Funeral Home Innovation

My family has developed a cookie problem. The cookies are addictive and come with names like Hazelnut Churro, Carmel Popcorn, Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake, and Buckeye Brownie.

The problem began about six weeks ago when our youngest son took a job at a new Crumbl Cookies store. They were just opening up and the staff was in training for the first week.

At the end of each training day, he brought home a box of the cookies they had been making. Our family was on a nonstop sugar rush that first week.

Now he’s working the 3 pm to close shift, which means he brings home the unsold cookies every day. Thankfully, he only brings home two or three a day because the store almost always sells out of inventory.

The day they opened, there was a line out the door, and it continued all day long. Six weeks later, there’s still a line out the door, and they are making fresh batches all day.

This particular store will generate over $1,000,000 in sales per month. Crumbl has 215 stores. Do the math….that’s one heck of a lot of cookies!!

Crumbl Cookies is extremely successful because somebody at that company is a marketing genius!

One thing I’ve learned in my years of marketing is that if you see a genius at work, pay attention. Study what they’re doing and see if there is something you can borrow.

So what are they doing that is so brilliant? Here are two examples.

First, they have a simple, tightly controlled menu. All 215 Crumbl stores only make six different kinds of cookies. But the menu changes every week.

That’s called planned obsolescence. If you want to try a Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake cookie, you have to buy it this week because it’s gone next week and may not return for a year.

When they hand a customer their order they are trained to say “see you next week”. Repeat business is a big part of their success!

Next, they found one form of media to reach their target audience, and they focused on it. In this case, it’s using Instagram to attract the 15 to 30-year-old age group.

That’s called a perfect Market + Message + Media trifecta. They targeted a specific market with a great message about this week’s cookies and used the perfect media. That combination works every time.

I have a folder on my Google Drive labeled “Great Ideas to Borrow”. I’ve analyzed Crumbl Cookies’ marketing and now have a long list of ideas that I might be able to use in the future.

Here’s the key….Crumbl didn’t originate any of these strategies. Instead, they borrowed all of them from other successful businesses.

Your funeral home may not be able to use the Crumbl strategies, but you can definitely borrow ideas from someone.

My first funeral home client had a children’s playroom. I asked where he got the idea, and he said his church had one and it was always busy.

Another client remodeled a room to feel like a cafe. He borrowed this idea from a bustling cafe he and his wife visited while on vacation.

So how do you find your next innovation? Here are three steps you can follow.

Step #1 – Keep your eyes open for a line of customers.
The type of business they’re lined up for doesn’t matter as much as the length of the line. If they have created a line, there’s a marketing genius at work and there are lessons to be learned.

Step #2 – Start your “Great Ideas to Borrow” folder.
If you see a line of people, study the company and make notes in your folder. If something shows up in your mailbox that catches your attention, scan it, and put it in your folder.

The difference between good marketers and great marketers is often the size of their “Great Ideas to Borrow” folder.

Step #3 – Filter, Test & Deploy.
Filter the ideas based on what fits your business. An idea that doesn’t fit in your funeral home may fit in another business you own.

For example, one of my funeral home clients also owns a gourmet chocolate store. Planned obsolescence may not work at a funeral home but it’s a great idea for a chocolate store.

Test the idea with a handful of customers. If they like it, go all in. If they don’t, abandon it quickly and go on to something else. There’s no shortage of potential ideas so don’t get hung up trying to make a particular one work. Just let the market decide.

Coming up with original ideas can be a challenge. But borrowing proven ideas from another business is pretty straight forward and it’s something that can be done by any business leader.

Thankfully our pipeline of Crumbl Cookies is about to run dry. Our son just landed his dream job teaching English in Japan. He leaves in a few weeks but promises to keep bring home cookies in the meantime.

We’ve started freezing cookies. Winter is coming and a warm Buckeye Brownie cookie on cold day sounds pretty good to me.

Until next time

John

PS: I currently have a 2 month waiting list for developing a Custom Strategic Growth Plan for new clients. If you want my help in January, you need to reserve your spot this month.

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