Innovation

Being Remembered


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Challenge

Evolving funerary preferences have meant decreased revenues for funeral homes, once a mainstay of American culture. The Funeral Service Foundation approached Olson Zaltman to bring their organization in sync with public sentiment.

APPROACH

We began with a thorough audit of FSF's existing knowledge set, and determined that the study would focus on Boomers, their primary target. We then developed a two-part ZMET® question to qualitatively explore the metaphors underlying:

  1. Peoples' thoughts and feeling about traditional funerals
  2. Their own end-of-life preparations

We conducted a standard analysis, the results of which were verified using IAE®, our implicit association tool for quantitative cognitive measurement.

FINDINGS

In the category of Boomers' own end-of-life preparations, six key themes emerged:

  1. Personalized
  2. Celebration
  3. Sharing
  4. Togetherness
  5. "I mattered"
  6. "Live on"

"I WANT IT TO BE RECOGNIZED THAT I DID LIVE AT ONE TIME.

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People are looking for personalized, warm, connected services, and associate the funeral category with loss, mourning, and sadness. 

Impact

Because FSF is a foundation with many members, our insights were applied to a variety of innovations. One of FSF's members, Aurora, which sells over a third of all caskets in the U.S., partnered with K2 Digital to create beremembered.com, where people can create a bucket list, life timeline, and end-of-life plan.


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