Families want their loved one’s funeral experience to be unique to who they were, and personalization products allow them to better honor them. Memorialization items also help the family and friends to remember their loved one in a personal, meaningful way that they will cherish forever. One of the hardest things we all know about losing a loved one is when the rest of the world has moved on and we are still struggling. Many personalization items become conversation pieces, so when we are asked about it, we have a natural reason to speak about our loved one and it helps keep their legacy alive.

Ultimately, families want products and solutions that help them best honor and remember their loved one’s life. They want the product to be unique to their dearly departed and honor their legacy in a meaningful way. This way, it can be something that they cherish forever and pass down to their family for generations.

“Technology is playing a major role in memorialization and personalization,” begins Jennifer Goldade, Senior Content Specialist with Frazer Consultants. “For example, instead of picture boards displayed at the funeral, funeral homes are creating tribute videos to showcase a loved one’s life story. And instead of only viewing obituaries in newspapers, families are viewing them online too. Many funeral homes even have their own tribute walls on their websites for those who are grieving to share fond memories of their loved one,” Jennifer elaborates.

Change can be scary, but don’t be afraid to embrace new ideas. The new personalization and memorialization technology solutions out there are designed to make things easier for your funeral home, not more difficult. By expanding your offerings, you can boost your bottom line while helping families find meaningful ways to honor and remember their loved ones.

The use of computers and the Internet has introduced a sea of change in the way people are remembered and honored. So much information is placed online about funeral services which is accessible to thousands of people instantaneously. People from across the country, in rural areas and densely populated cities, all have equal access to worldwide information about conducting memorial services. The family of a loved one may urge their local funeral directors to conduct a service or offer products like those that they spotted on Pinterest or Instagram. Tons of creative and unusual memorial items can be found on social media sites and easily shared.

“Everyone is different and assuming a family has to deal with death maybe every ten or twelve years, I’m not sure a family knows what to look for, what is available, or ultimately what they want. That said, it is important for funeral professionals to know what is available and consequently, what products would be appropriate for display and presentation at services and as aftercare comfort items,” states Karl Weisenbeck, President of Funeral Home Gifts. “It is important to be open minded. Realize that this is a dynamic and constantly changing industry in terms of what will resonate with family members of different generations. What worked in the past may not work at present or going forward. Stay up to date on current trends and consumer demands,” Karl advises.

Families are seeking products and services that strike a chord with their own values and concepts about the meaning of life, love and death. The Internet has made it possible for families to review and select memorialization products on their own time, when they feel ready to contemplate what would be appropriate. This allows funeral homes to focus on their core mission to help families and removes pressure on families to make memorialization decisions during the arrangement meetings.

“There is a need for traditional items that feature Bible verses and familiar visuals, but there has been a shift to honor the deceased in a contemporary, updated fashion. Celebration of Life services are popular, where the individual is memorialized in a deeply personal, unique way that may or may not incorporate time-honored religious themes. Funeral home directors and celebrants are seeking new memorial items that are not one size fits all,” explains Richard Gentry, Manager with Lamcraft, Inc. “Some families may be content with tried-and-true offerings, but others seek out unconventional items that reflect today’s changing attitudes toward death and funeral practices. Flexibility is essential for funeral homes to evolve and meet the expectations of the families they serve,” Richard adds.

While the need to grieve hasn’t changed, the ceremonies we use to help us through the process has. Celebration of Life services are more than just a trend – they are part of a major shift in the industry. While traditional practices remain at funerals, families are also incorporating more storytelling and the sharing of happy memories and accomplishments. The overall focus is not on the death, but on the joy that the person brought to others. Celebration ceremonies can be held in addition to a traditional funeral service or as a stand-alone event.

“Accessibility to the customer is probably the most notable change we’ve seen due to technology and the Internet. The Internet has allowed families to easily search for products and research the most efficient way to acquire them. While we do not sell directly to the public, the customer can reach out to us and we will work with them in getting in touch with a funeral home in their area that offers our jewelry. Social media has also been a great way for us to market our products. While we are a bit new on the scene, we can already see the way that you’re able to amplify your brand via the various platforms. The ability to easily get new products and promotions in front of customers is an important tool,” says Joni Cullen, Co-Owner of Madelyn Company.

Personalized products provide families and friends with strong physical ties to their loved ones, which helps to blunt the feelings of loss. Families today are stepping far out of the realm of traditional funeral ceremonies and looking for ways to remember and celebrate the life of their departed in unique and memorable ways. To stay relevant, funeral homes must pay close attention to evolving trends; it is essential to the future and growth of their funeral home. Offering memorialization and personalization services will help any funeral home make up for the loss in revenue caused by the rise in the popularity of cremation.

“We are seeing an increase in the desire for extreme personalization—that is, creating a keepsake that reflects not just a physical characteristic of the loved one, but also is specifically representational of that person’s life or personality. A fingerprint on a football helmet for a big sports fan, a print in a piece that incorporates the design of a tattoo the deceased had. The possibilities to tailor something specific are endless,” describes Michael McCormick, Art Director with Thumbies, Inc. “Consumers are always looking for new ideas (designs and materials), but more importantly, they are looking for ways to take personalization to the next level with extreme customization; to make a product even more representative of the individual they are looking to celebrate,” Michael goes on to state.

In today’s world, it is often difficult for relatives to physically visit a grave. Some may not have the opportunity or resources to do so. Memorialization and personalization products provide families with the ability to take a memory with them, wherever they go. Personalized products bring up good memories and spur conversations and remembrances of good times rather than focusing on the grief and solemn circumstances of the current moment.

Memorialization tributes are important components of a memorable service and personalization offerings further enhance the funeral experience. It is important to make sure families know what your funeral home offers.

Learn more about the importance of memorialization and personalization for your business by receiving advice from top providers in this feature editorial. FBA


What products or services do you offer?
Frazer Consultants has an all-in-one personalization suite Tribute Center that meets and exceeds all your personalization and memorialization product needs. Funeral directors can easily create funeral stationery products, memorial candles, Tribute Videos, and so much more. Additionally, our funeral home websites have Tribute Walls for viewing obituary information, leaving condolences, sharing memories, lighting virtual candles, and more. We also offer customizable memorial ornaments made of crystal and glass that families can use to honor loved ones during the holiday season or year-round.

What does a funeral home owner need to know about your products and/or services?
For funeral homes who have a Frazer-powered website, Tribute Center integrates with it to eliminate double data entry and make creating memorial and personalization products even easier. You also can easily share a loved one’s Tribute Video to their Tribute Wall.

What sets you apart from your competition?
We strive to work as a partner to funeral homes to provide them with the tools and resources they need to give families the best funeral experiences possible. In addition to our products and services, we have a resource library on our website filled with a variety of free resources for funeral homes, including eBooks and blog posts about funeral personalization and memorialization ideas.

Do you offer any special offers/promotions, or discounts?
From March 15th to April 15th every year, we offer free shipping on all ornament orders in the U.S. and 50% off shipping to Canada. These crystal and glass ornaments are easily customizable and come with their own gift boxes for safekeeping. Our customers love giving these to families during their holiday remembrance programs at the end of the year.

When speaking to a prospective client/funeral home owner what are some frequently asked questions that you receive?
One of the main questions we get is, “how can we stand out from our competitors?” When it comes to personalization, offering more options is a big way to differentiate your funeral home in your community. Many funeral homes offer the same five options for funeral stationery and keepsakes that they have for years, but what if families had hundreds of options instead? Moving to print-on-demand gives you that option without having to stock up on supplies you’ll never use.

Answers submitted by Jennifer Goldade, Senior Content Specialist with Frazer Consultants.


What products or services do you offer?
Funeral Home Gifts is the premier provider of woven and printed Tribute Blankets, custom cap panels, photo urns, framed and curved acrylic portraits, neckties and personalization products to death care providers throughout North America. Delivered next day, our products comfort families, provide revenue through re-orders and provide vision to transition families from direct cremation to personalized memorial services.

What does a funeral home owner need to know about your products and/or services?
All Funeral Home Gifts’ products are manufactured in the United States and are available for next day delivery. We offer thousands of different backgrounds and designs for all of our products and have developed a robust online order process that only takes about five minutes for orders to be placed.

What sets you apart from your competition?
Funeral Home Gifts is the manufacturer. All our products are made in our own mill in Lynn, NC by an American workforce. Our simple online order takes about five minutes and allows our customers to see and approve their design prior to submitting their order.

Do you offer any special offers/promotions, or discounts?
Funeral Home Gifts is proud to provide a free Tribute Blanket for the service of any service man, police officer or firefighter killed in the line of duty. Also Tribute Blankets resonate best when unexpectedly displayed and presented as a surprise gift at first viewings, visitations and services. We are happy to provide a free blanket to new customers wishing to prove out the gifting process in real time so that they can experience it for themselves and decide if it is a product that they want to integrate into their current process. We also offer discounted pricing on reorders and volume discounts on some of our personalization products.

Answers submitted by Karl Weisenbeck, President of Funeral Home Gifts


What products or services do you offer?
Lamcraft is one of the leading providers of laminated products and services in North America. We offer a full-service design department as well as a production and manufacturing facility, all located in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. We offer a wide range of clear laminating pouches, micro-perforated sheets for printing, memorial cards, presentation cards, body tag components and other accessories in our product line. We also create finished laminated products such as personalized Tribute cards and our For Keeps™ cards with a writable surface and detachable keepsake bookmark. We can fabricate any size and proportion of clear laminating pouch upon request, as well as custom shapes.

What does a funeral home owner need to know about your products and/or services?
Lamcraft, Inc. is a well-established small business, located in the heart of the United States, who has catered to funeral home needs for more than 45 years. Many of our staff are long-time employees, dedicated to providing top-notch customer service and the highest quality laminating products to our customers. We welcome the comments and requests from funeral home directors and strive to be the primary source for their laminating needs.

What sets you apart from your competition?
Complete flexibility in our product offerings. Lamcraft produces almost everything in-house. We can design, print and manufacture memorial cards and produce clear laminating pouches for a variety of funeral home needs. We offer Micro-Perforated bookmarks if customers prefer to print and laminate their own memorial keepsakes. We produce custom Tribute cards that are finished laminated bookmarks featuring the loved one in a personal way. We also offer custom imprinting services that allow funeral homes to brand the products they use.

Do you offer any special offers/promotions, or discounts? 
We always offer quantity discounts on many of our products sold by the carton, if more than five cartons of a like item are purchased. In addition, we feature four quarterly sales each year which are promoted by email blasts, and occasional pop-up sales throughout the year.

Answers submitted by Richard Gentry, Manager with Lamcraft, Inc.


What products or services do you offer?
Madelyn Co. offers an extensive collection of keepsake jewelry. The collection ranges from necklaces and bracelets to hanging domes where the pendants can be displayed. Pendants range from small to mid-sized and come in a range of finishes (gold, white gold, sterling silver, bronze, etc.). Each pendant has a small chamber inside that holds a small portion of cremated remains or a clip of hair (whichever the customer prefers). We have an entry level price point that makes our pendants accessible to everyone. Our company also offers the option to personalize the keepsake pendants with engraving. When the pendant arrives at the funeral home, not only does the design appeal to the families, but the engraving makes it even more special and unique. We offer a lifetime guarantee on our pendants and pride ourselves on excellent customer service and same day shipping.

What does a funeral home owner need to know about your products and/or services?
The most important thing to know is that we back our products 100% and we pride ourselves on our customer care. The funeral industry has allowed our business to grow to where it is today. Therefore, we sell strictly through funeral homes. We’re forever grateful for the support they’ve shown us and the relationships we’ve made over the years.

What sets you apart from your competition?
Madelyn Co. is the originator of cremation jewelry, having been in business for almost 30 years. We take immense pride in the quality of our products; we want our customers to see the Madelyn Co. stamp and know they have the highest quality cremation jewelry available. We strive to offer the products families are asking for in terms of shapes and sizes, so our product line is ever expanding. Madelyn Co. is family owned and operated, so all of our employees believe in the company and our products. This makes it easy for us to provide great service to our customers.

Do you offer any special offers/promotions, or discounts?
We offer a select monthly discount on our website or when you call to order you can ask about the monthly discount. Our Tabletop Presentation Case is offered at a 25% discount. This display case includes 14 pendants and 2 display domes as well as the case itself. We also offer weekly discount codes on our Instagram page
@madelynpendants.

Answers submitted by Joni Cullen, Co-Owner of Madelyn Company


What products or services do you offer?
Thumbies® offers an ever-expanding range of jewelry keepsakes and accessories that can be personalized by incorporating print types of both people (finger, hand, foot) and pets (paw and nose prints) into the design of the item. Some products incorporate cremated remains which allows for customized keepsakes for those lacking available prints. In addition, we have the professional jewelry staff and expertise to be able to customize, often from scratch, any kind of keepsake design. We have produced fingerprint keepsakes in the shapes of states, animals, and objects, and have adapted existing items to be able to include a print.

What does a funeral home owner need to know about your products and/or services?
Our base product lines are just the starting point. We are constantly in development of new keepsake types and are committed to releasing at least six (6) new product designs a year—three in the Spring and 3 in the Fall. Partners enjoy generous profit margins and extensive Sales and Marketing support as well as highly responsive Customer Service support. In addition, we provide many Marketing and Sales supplies free of charge, including our new mobile App for taking/submitting prints.

What sets you apart from your competition?
First and foremost, the quality of our work. Virtually all our keepsakes are hand crafted from the finest raw materials, by trained artisans in the U.S. heartland, using a combination of cutting-edge technology and the ancient art of lost wax casting. Our competition by-and-large simply etches jewelry blanks that have been mass produced, usually outside the U.S. We have on staff a range of jewelry professionals, including CAD designers, goldsmiths, and Certified Gemologists, who work together to bring life to any custom request that goes beyond our already extensive product lines.

We are innovators and have introduced over the years original designs as well as proprietary materials that are available exclusively from Thumbies®. Add to that a very responsive Customer Service staff that has been consistently lauded since we began operations in 1998, and dedicated Sales and Marketing departments with decades of experience in the bereavement industry.

Do you offer any special offers/promotions, or discounts?
Thumbies® Partners receive generous wholesale pricing on keepsakes. We also offer occasional promotions designed to increase Partner income.

Answers submitted by Michael McCormick, Art Director with Thumbies, Inc.