Our Q&A With NFDA’s Director of Member Development, Lacy Robinson (Part Two)

Posted December 21, 2016

5 min read

As Director of Member Development for the National Funeral Directors Association, Lacy Robinson is tasked with developing and facilitating training programs for NFDA members. Not only does she regularly present continuing education programs across the nation, but she also stays up-to-date on the latest trends and forces impacting and shaping the industry.

In part one of our blog series with Robinson, she told us about relevant findings from the NFDA’s annual Consumer Awareness and Preference Study survey. In this post, she shares ways that funeral directors can take advantage of a different kind of trend: color.

Q: In our last post, you shared how funeral directors can take note of how more people are getting formal invitations for their loved one’s remembrance event. That’s an interesting trend. Are there any other trends or changes you are seeing that readers may not have heard of quite yet?

Lacy Robinson: Every December, Pantone, the world renown authority on color, releases their pick for color of the year.

So how does Pantone pick their color of the year? Everything from the entertainment industry, fashion, home design elements, food as well as socioeconomic condition play a part in selecting the one (or two as in the case for 2016) color that will set even more trends.

The Pantone Color Institute, the global authority on color, recently announced their pick for 2017’s color of the year. The color is…drum roll please…Pantone 15-0343 also known as GREENERY!

Greenery is a vibrant shade of green with blue and yellow undertones. It’s warm and cool making it an unexpected choice yet fitting with the people’s desire to reconnect with nature.

Leatrice Wiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute was quoted in The New York Times as saying:

We know what kind of world we are living in: one that is very stressful and very tense. This is the color of hopefulness, and our connection to nature. It speaks to what we call the ‘re’ words: regenerate, refresh, revitalize, renew. Every spring we enter a new cycle and new shoots come from the ground. It is something life affirming to look forward to (1).

After reading Wiseman’s quote on greenery you may be thinking, “Well, I guess this is a sign that our funeral home needs to start today in preparing for the influx of earth friendly funeral requests?”

While it is certainly possible for your funeral home to see an increase in earth friendly funerals and natural burials requests, it is important to think beyond the green burial connection that is obvious with Greenery’s symbolism.

Q: And so how can funeral homes embrace this ‘Spring Shade’?

Lacy Robinson: There are several ways in which your funeral home can embrace Pantone 15-0343.

As you prepare for 2017, consider these ideas that will help you to not only stay on top of the trends but help to honor unique color requests your client families may have.

You can also:

  • Plan to offer caskets with exterior and/or interior shades that hint to Greenery or perhaps compliment this shade of clothing well.

  • Consult with the local florist in creating exclusive floral designs featuring Greenery.

  • Offer keepsake jewelry that eludes to this particular tone.

  • Display cremation urns or stationary products that give families unique choices incorporating Greenery.

  • Be prepared to use the color with any favors or keepsakes available to attendees.

  • Take a close examination of funeral home’s lights and/or presentation lamps. Looks to see how they enhance the intensity of the shade or perhaps diminish its natural radiance.

  • Prepare your employees for exploring the deceased’s preferences for personal appearance (such as makeup, nails, clothing and accessories) that may include Pantone’s color of the year (or need to compliment this color used elsewhere).

  • Download a helpful cosmetology worksheet created by Darla A. Tripoli, licensed funeral director, licensed cosmetologist and owner of Funeral Service Consultants

  • Incorporate Greenery with your funeral home’s landscaping and bring nature indoors with live plants and trees—everyday, not just when someone dies. Go all in with plant life to reduce anxiety, sharpen focus, boost self-esteem and purify the air you and your employees are breathing.

As you prepare to stay on top of the Greenery color trend the color wheel will be your best friend. The colors that lie opposite of green shades on the color wheel will ones that will complement and enhance.

Your other best friend? Pinterest! Check out Pinterest for never ending inspiration on how to incorporate Greenery. And remember, just because 2017 Pantone’s color of year will take center stage doesn’t mean previous year’s colors should be locked away. Marsala, Rose Quartz and Serenity are still very much prevalent in weddings, parties, home decor and fashion.

Take Your Firm to the Next Level

Drawing insights on emerging trends—like those included in CRäKN’s latest Consumer Tech Trends Report—can help you better serve families’ ongoing needs. Download the free Consumer Tech Trends Report today to get more knowledge about the top 5 consumer trends will help you stay ahead of the competition.

About Lacy Robinson, CFSP

As Director of Member Development for the National Funeral Directors Association, Lacy Robinson develops and facilitates training programs for NFDA members. She regularly presents continuing education programs on both the local, state and national level establishing NFDA as the leading provider of training and development for funeral professionals. Find out more about NFDA on their website. For access to the NFDA’s annual Consumer Awareness and Preference Study survey, email nfda@nfda.org with your request.

Categories: Industry


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