Thinking ‘Outside of the Box’:
How Baby Boomers are challenging the Funeral Industry
Baby Boomers – a generation
that have effected change!
They are a generation that have
been known for making their mark, and choosing to do things differently,
and there is no exception when it comes to death. The Funeral Industry
has been eagerly anticipating the influx in what has beena declining death
rate, when the generation fondly known as the ‘Baby Boomers’ come ‘of age’,
and help to put a ‘boom’ back into the industry!
The Baby Boomer generation
is estimated to account for 78 million Americans and represents just fewer
than 30 percent of the population according to the US Census. Baby
Boomer’s have resisted following traditions, and arranging their funeral
is likely to be no different. This is a generation that has sought
to ‘think outside the box’ and put their personalized mark on cultural
Creative Alternatives – putting
the ‘fun’ in funerals!
Where this generation is arranging
funerals they are forging creative alternatives. Attend a funeral
arranged by, or for, a Baby Boomer and certainly expect something a little
different and non-traditional. What we have come to think of as the
‘traditional’ funeral could be completely eroded by the time this generation
Is the ‘Death Industry’ ready
for this challenge? I think we have already witnessed some significant
changes in recent years to an industry that had remained very traditional
for hundreds of years. They are facing up to the challenge - some
in the business are relishing the challenges and opportunities it presents.
We have already witnessed several new and creative funeral alternatives.
You can now opt to personalize a memorial service with non-traditional
keepsakes and music - even choose to arrive at the funeral in a Harley
Cremation as a baby boomer trend!
Cremation is on the increase,
and more and more creative options are emerging in how we can choose to
disperse remains. When Walt Disney opted for cryogenic freezing,
it seemed a bizarre and radical choice for an end-of-life option.
Now we have a multitude of choices – most of which are available to the
“man on the street”. You can now have your remains freeze-dried instead
of cremated, and choose to have your remains blasted into space, scattered
at sea, turned into a piece of jewelry, made into a firework, scattered
at mountain-top or coral reef. In fact the possibilities are almost
as limitless as the imagination…….and boy are the Baby Boomers relentless
in how to apply personal expression to the art of dying!
A generation of online shoppers
Baby boomers are a tech-savvy
lot - 3 out of 4 boomers between 50 and 64 years old use the Internet.
Even more compelling is that for the first time in history more than half
(53%) of American adults age 65 and older are going online.1
The Internet has provided this generation with the means by which to explore
the options available to them, and a number of niche markets have emerged
in the ‘Death Care’ business. For many of these companies, the Internet
has enabled what was once a traditionally localized business to operate
on a much wider scale. The advent of the mobile and tablet market
is further being embraced by baby boomers.
Companies offering funeral
related services now reach customers on a State or even national scale.
Although niche services may typically be premium priced, it appears our
Baby Boomers can be a little more discerning about the materialism of the
death process, and more concerned with making the passage from life to
death a more personalized tribute.
||Expert Author: Sara
Sara is the Editor in Chief
for US Funerals Online and has been researching and writing about the death
care industry in the US for the last 5 years.
Last Revised: 01/06/2013