I’m going to ask you to stretch your imagination here for just a few minutes. Think back to a few cherished memories from your past … maybe your high school prom or even your wedding. Relax and remember all of the wonderful details of that evening and especially the facility in which it was held.
Now with that picture in your mind’s eye, pause to attempt visualizing that very special event being held in a funeral home! Yes, a funeral home … because that’s exactly what’s happening from coast to coast!
I just read an article in USA Today describing a new trend in the U.S. where traditional funeral homes are marketing their centers “not just as a place to mourn the dead, but as sites for events celebrating the living, including weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, holiday parties and proms.”
The article explains that funeral homes can be less expensive than other venues, there’s greater availability, and they’re often quite beautiful. Most importantly, while the economy has caused many traditional wedding venues to close their doors, funeral homes aren’t going away.
An Indianapolis funeral home now employs a “special events coordinator” who said no one had thought of marketing her facility for other events “because people had tunnel vision … they saw the facility as nothing more than a traditional funeral home and marketed it that way. However, I don’t see a funeral home; I see an events center.”
While many may laugh at this “re-frame,” her Community Life Center holds a dozen events each month and has nearly every Friday, Saturday and Sunday booked this year, including 99 weddings! They’re also booking birthday parties, anniversaries, holiday parties, business meetings and proms.
The lure? It is often less expensive; there is greater availability; and the settings—inside and outside—can be nothing short of wedding-picture perfect. Don’t look for this emerging trend to be short-lived. In fact, it’s growing very rapidly.
This is nothing more than creative business minds channeling innovative options to deal with the ever-challenging economic environment facing our country today.
A few years ago, banks and credit unions would have laughed at the thought of having their own Facebook page or at using Twitter to communicate with those they serve. Today, these are very productive strategies which continue to grow.
Consider the fact that eBay’s founders took the concept of the flea market, one of the world’s oldest business and escalated it to a world of profits by moving it to the Internet.
Google’s original offering was nothing more than a digital version of my elementary school librarian, who knew where absolutely everything was kept.
I often think Facebook emerged from a memory of our grade school practice of the spiral notebooks we passed around listing who was the best kisser, worst dancer, coolest dresser, etc. We just did it person-to-person as we lacked the Internet.
Andy Warhol traced a Campbell’s Soup can onto canvas and created pop art. Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta channeled Madonna and created Lady Gaga.
We’ve witnessed a growing interest in our creativity seminar (“Creative Innovation: Out-of-the-Box Thinking“) as well as our keynote presentations ( “Get Back in the Box!” and “Tennis Shoes & Blue Jeans – Back-to-the-Basics Approach to Creativity and Innovation“) over the past couple of months. Organizations are starting to deal with the realization that creative thinking can make them more competitive and give them a definite advantage in the eyes of their targeted markets.
That creativity exists in the minds of current leaders and staff members. It needs only to be recognized, channeled, and utilized as the tremendous asset it is. Are you tapping that explosive potential within your organization or are you “waiting for things to get better someday”? You might want to think about that … before your competition does!