Breaking the Consumer Code

In early 2012, the Funeral Service Foundation funded a groundbreaking research project in an effort to understand the consumer’s oftentimes negative perception of deathcare. Olson Zaltman Associates, a Pittsburg-based marketing and research firm, implemented its patented ZMET® research method to draw out the unconscious metaphors and cultural archetypes that consumers use to make buying (or not buying) decisions regarding products and services. The comprehensive project results revealed, and in many cases, affirmed, transforming consumer trends within the industry.

The research project served as the foundation for the profession-wide Have the Talk of a Lifetime® consumer education campaign, which helps families have important conversations about the things that matter most to them and how a person’s life story can be remembered and honored in a meaningful way.

A decade later, the research results remain a useful tool in helping funeral service professionals see deathcare through the consumer’s unique lens.

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