Brand Equity

In the Death Care industry, the concept of brand equity also comes into play. Brand equity is a phrase used in the marketing industry to describe the value of having a well-known brand name. The truth of the matter is that consumers tend to believe that a product with a well-known name is better than a product with lesser known name. Studies show that people will actually spend more money to buy the same thing from a more recognizable source.

There are some national recognizable names in the Death Care industry, such as Forest Lawn, Dignity Memorial and Neptune Society. For the most part, funeral homes and cemeteries are local or regional establishments. This means you need to work harder to make your brand stand out and be noticed.

Sometimes, successful branding for your cemetery or funeral home may be creating a great tag line that helps explain your business. I’ve seen a lot of tag lines that appeal to family: “From our family to yours since 1929”; “Let us care for your loved ones like they are our own”; “Meeting the needs of today’s family”.  You want to create a great tag line that enlightens, establishes credibility, has emotion, and reassures. Your tag line can be used in many marketing channels to help with branding efforts.


Those funeral homes and cemeteries that are part of a national chain have the opportunity to jump on the national bandwagon. They can incorporate broad corporate branding efforts into their own businesses. Perhaps they use the slogans, mission statements, colors and logos to associate themselves with the greater brand. Or, they may position the national logo or tag line in with their own. This can be on their website, in Google search, in TV ads, even in a You Tube video. Many local funeral home owners are part of the Dignity Memorial group. They often carry forth the “Life Well Celebrated” tag line, positioning it in their own websites and marketing materials.

If your Funeral home or chapel is a member of the Better Business Bureau, ICCFA or NFDA, be sure to feature your membership. Consider using their logos on your website. This adds to your credibility.

Using a Multi-Channel Approach

Direct mail is a wonderful branding tool, since it gives businesses a medium to interpret themselves in many ways. The mail gives you a chance to be visual, employ strategic copy and even make a prospect an offer they can’t refuse.  Of course, direct mail is just one option. TV, print, email and social media are all strong branding channels. Variety is important, since different people respond to different media. A well-planned, multi-channel approach gives a business entrance into the broadest range of consumers.

Don’t forget some of the other strategies that helps strengthen your brand and generate trust in your organization. Remember to use clean, identifiable company vehicles. Insure quality attire for staff and distinguishable uniforms for groundskeepers. Hire staff with friendly, compassionate voices on the phone.  Make sure all your marketing materials are consistent with your brand and message. All of these reflect on your cemetery or funeral home.

Social Responsibility

You want to be visible in your community. Consider handing out branded bottled water at a local high school football game during a hot summer evening. You need to make sure you have a strong, visible presence when your company is needed most. For example, in the wake of a tragedy, provide grief counselors to help those in need.  The goodwill, good press and good feelings generated from this type of good deed far outweigh the cost.

We all remember a company that does good deeds. From a branding standpoint, these acts elevate a company’s position in the community. They also advance the company’s reputation as a trusted partner and a respectable, reliable resource. Studies show that consumers prefer to do business with socially responsible companies.

When your brand engenders trust, people are more likely to do business with you.

Bottom Line

When your Funeral Home or cemetery has a good reputation, it’s easier to generate leads. Cemetery and funeral home owners need to undertake an honest assessment of their brand and reputation in their community. This way, you will understand how you’re being perceived so you can develop the right action plan for your growth.