Friday, April 24, 2015

Are conventions still worth it?

Ethan Darby,
Customer Service Manager
& Business Development
Our team returned from the 2015 ICCFA Convention and Expo a few weeks ago, and we're working hard on the details for our upcoming Trigard Vault Dealer Convention. But it got me really thinking. When nearly every company has a strong online presence, are conventions becoming a thing of the past?

If you think about it, you can find almost everything you see at a convention somewhere online. Presentations can be recorded, vendors have robust websites, and leads can be generated through LinkedIn. It seems like many of the best reasons to attend a convention could be handled through your laptop or tablet.

I know first-hand that attending a convention isn't cheap either. By the time you add in flights, hotel rooms, food, and registration fees, it can feel like you've spent a small fortune. And if you're a vendor on the Expo floor, that space isn't inexpensive. Plus you have to bring your booth display, materials, and products with you.

So, are conventions still worth it?




Even as a plugged-in Millennial who prefers to handle more things online than on the phone or in person, I can confidently say YES. I believe conventions are still worth our investment as vendors and as funeral professionals.
  • Your consistent attendance of a convention year after year shows consistency in your business as a whole. If attendees see you there often enough, they associate your business with lasting success.
  • You stay up-to-date with industry topics, news and new practices. Even if you don’t attend any educational seminars, there is a lot to learn on a convention floor. And of course, conventions are a great way to collect CEUs.
  • Relationships are best created in person. As much as I favor technology, I believe face-to-face interaction is still the most effective form of communication. You learn so much from body language and non-verbal cues. Relationships become deeper more quickly when you've spent time together in the same space.
  • All it takes is one solid lead. Have you ever heard of opportunity cost? It's what you could have gained when you decide to do something else. So what could you have gained by attending a convention? One great lead? One transformative idea?
I encourage you to continue to attend conventions. Whether they are small state shows or international expositions, they all have something to offer.

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Do you work with your family?

Donna Darby-Walthall,
Chief Financial Officer

Working in a family business can be the most rewarding experience in the world. My dad, "Big Jim" Darby, always said that running a successful business to be passed down to future generations is "living the dream."

Linda, Rich and I are Trigard's third generation of owners, following my dad and his parents. My daughters and Rich's sons are already working in the business as the fourth generation. We all have had an amazing teacher in my dad, and we have been very blessed as a family.

Statistics say that 30 percent of businesses survive to the second generation and only 12 percent make it to the third. I know many of our Trigard vault dealers and their funeral home customers are family-owned and -operated businesses. I am sure we can all agree that working with your family isn't always easy. You don't agree on everything, everyone has their own opinions, and to make it work, there needs to be compromise.

How do we make it work at Trigard? At the end of the day, we remember that we are all family, and family should support and trust each other, respect each other, have each other's backs and love each other unconditionally.

Just remember that you all are working towards the same goal of making your family business as successful as it can be.

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The greatest marketing campaign

Rich Darby,
Chief Operating Officer
I recently read an article that absolutely amazed me. It was the story of the greatest marketing campaign ever created. As I read the headline, big name companies such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Budweiser, McDonald’s, and even Chevrolet came to the top of my mind.

Wow, was I completely wrong. In fact, the greatest marketing campaign ever created was for a product that every one of you reading this article has likely purchased several times in your lifetime. Many of you paid 10,000 times more than its value and didn’t blink an eye. In fact, you may have been so satisfied that you went back and bought another one.

This product doesn’t take lots of expensive equipment to manufacture. Its packaging is basic and simple. You may often times walk past it if it isn’t on your mind. But when you are ready to buy it, you'll find a large assortment, and it can take up to 5 minutes to decide which is right for you. Can you guess what it is?

BOTTLED WATER. Yep, the bottled water industry has found a way to hook us. It is the greatest marketing campaign of all time! We have been bamboozled into buying a product that is so readily available to us. The campaign has placed doubts in our mind as to what poisons come out of the kitchen tap, when in fact many bottled water labels specifically say “contents derived from local water source.” Or, in other words, tap water!

I find this phenomenon absolutely intriguing. It's a great example of how to package a product or service in a way that speaks directly to the concerns of customers. If people can be convinced to buy bottled water when there is a water fountain close by, I'm confident that we can educate people about why a lined, sealed burial vault is a better choice for their loved one than a grave liner.

It doesn’t get any more simple than good old H2O!  


This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The "Logo Police" are looking for offenders

Julia Sullivan, Creative Director

When I was a kid, my best friend was called the "Cookie Sheriff" in her house. She was devoted to fairness and would keep track of how many cookies each family member had, insisting that they were divided equally.

At Trigard, the marketing team is known as the "Logo Police." You should see the look on my face when I find a brochure with outdated pictures still in circulation. If I came to your funeral home, cemetery or vault plant, would I be issuing lots of tickets for improper logo usage?

Whether it’s online, in printed materials or in your selection room, we want to be sure that the Trigard brand is being represented consistently and appropriately. We are constantly updating our product pictures and tent setup photos to be sure they look their very best.

How do you be sure you're on track? Whether you're a vault dealer, funeral home or cemetery, email orders@trigard.com. Our Customer Service team will send you a link to a folder containing all of our current images. It's the only way to be sure that the "Logo Police" won't come calling!


This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.