A new YouGov report shows that funeral planning in the UK is becoming increasingly personalised and tailored to the individual involved, as more and more people consider the service they would like after death.
Two thirds (66%) of UK adults have had some thoughts about the kind of funeral ceremony they would like. This rises to nearly three quarters (73%) for those aged 55+. An even larger percentage have thought about whether they would like to be buried or cremated, with 91% of the same age group having given this dilemma some consideration.
Women are more likely than men to have started to think about their own funeral service. In the 40-54 age group, 55% of men have thought about their funeral plans, as compared to 70% of women. This is important for marketers to recognise, as women may also be able to persuade men to think about their own plans.
The modern nature of funeral services is underlined in one instance by the use of music. Increasingly, songs such as My Way (Frank Sinatra) and Monty Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, are being chosen over traditional, sombre church music to reflect the personality of the deceased. Six in ten (58%) chose to have recorded music at a ceremony, with just a third (33%) opting for a musician such as an organist.
Almost all (96%) those who organised a funeral in the past 5 years used a funeral director; however, 44% chose one that they were already familiar with, indicating how vital it is for funeral directors to build strong trusting relationships with families as they may well be called upon again in the future.
James McCoy, Research Director at YouGov said, “The study shows that families and friends are often looking to move away from an overly morose and sombre atmosphere at funerals, by reflecting the deceased’s personality and interests in the ceremony.
Of course, funeral planning occurs at an upsetting and stressful time; it is therefore important for funeral directors to continue to forge relationships with families and friends in order to establish ways in which the specific wishes of the deceased and family can be honoured and translated into the service.”