I am going to admit that I will drive out of my way when traveling for a Jimmy John’s #9 Italian Nightclub with extra peppers (hot). So when the news hit (via my funeral home partner who saw it on Facebook) that my beloved sandwich shop had their mouthwatering piles of meat and fix-in’s on fresh baked bread for $1.00, I trekked on over for a treat.
My cohort and I arrived at the local eatery in a bit of disbelief that the line stretched out the doors spilling into the parking lot (see picture above). Of course you know me, I started thinking, “How can a funeral home get people lined up out the door to do business like this?” Answer: They can’t. Advertising in the funeral business is simply not the same and consumers do not respond in the same manner. A $995 cremation sale (even if you pre-need today!) is not going to bring long lines of excited consumers waiting to get the best deal in the death business.
My co-host on Funeral Nation TV and social media genius Ryan Thogmartin of Disrupt Media and I consistently trumpet branding/messaging. Jimmy John’s touts gourmet sandwiches and made or delivered really fast. They don’t sell burgers, tacos, hot dogs, keepsakes, or urns. As mentioned above, when traveling I eat at JJ for another reason: consistency. No matter where I am, I get exactly what I want: great sandwich really fast. I find value in their brand. Value: not about price (wink, wink Dan Isard).
Can I get a sandwich somewhere else cheaper? Yes. Can I get what I want somewhere else? No. Can a consumer get a cremation or burial cheaper? Yes. Can they get what they want at another funeral home? Probably. WHAT? How will they know the difference if you don’t share your brand and message? After all, a sandwich is a sandwich and a cremation or burial is a cremation or a burial…right?
Get it yet? Probably not. IT’S ABOUT YOUR #FNbrand message! I ate inside the restaurant so I could watch the operations and behaviors. Guess what? Gourmet sandwich’s really fast even with a line out the door…training anyone? What is your funeral home brand? Is it distinguishable from your competitors? What are you doing to share the message? If your funeral home message is: “We’ve been here since Sherman burnt down the South,” “We care more,” “We’re family owned, they’re not,” on the paper place-mat in the diner, I suppose all this nonsense about the interweb marketing is just gibberish.
From a completely satisfied Jimmy John’s customer in the Command Post; Cheers Y’all! #thefuneralcommander