The American Floral Endowment (AFE) Board of Trustees established the Floral Marketing Research Fund to collect funds from industry sources that would be used to fund consumer research benefiting the entire floriculture industry. A recent survey was administered to members of the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA). It aimed to learn about their attitudes toward the use of floral tributes in funeral services.
The funeral directors were also asked about consumers’ reactions toward sympathy flowers and the symbolism connected to sympathy flowers; their current relationships and experiences working with local floral retailers; their opinions on the use of donations instead of floral tributes at funerals; what floral retailers can do to improve floral tributes, post-funeral floral tribute use, and additional services that would improve their relationships with floral retailers.
The findings from the survey offer insights into flowers and plants at memorial services from close to 200 funeral directors nationwide and can assist in enhancing the florist-funeral director relationship and the educational and marketing materials provided to funeral directors. These materials, aimed at consumers, would illuminate the emotional, psychological and physical benefits flowers bring to grieving families.
It is a very valuable report that will help any florist improve their sympathy business.
The complete report includes much, much more valuable information including ten key insights and detailed, actionable suggestions from funeral directors. It turns out they are probably more pro-flowers than you think. They like flowers, they want to work with florists, and this report shows you how to make it work.
There are other truly excellent materials available to florists from the SAF Sympathy Resources section. These include things like:
This checklist helps you take a look at your sympathy program, spot your strengths and identify areas that could use a bit of professional polish.
This page provides the suggestions to help you start a conversation with and win over your local funeral director(s) through education, support and service
This template helps you create a letter/press release that explains the role of sympathy flowers in the bereavement process and address the issue of the “in lieu of flowers” phrase in your community, for distribution to local funeral directors and state funeral industry trade publications.
For some funeral directors the phrase "in lieu of flowers" really means they don’t want to deal with flowers. To them, handling and transporting flowers is an inconvenience, a hassle, an expense. This document provides advice and materials to win funeral director(s) over to flowers.
This list of suggested alternative phrases eliminates the expression “in lieu of flowers” and achieves three important goals: It honors the family’s request for a charity, meets the high standards of good taste and decorum, and does not dictate to friends the manner in which they express their sympathy.
A state-by-state directory of funeral directors associations. The goal is to get involved with them – submit articles for their newsletters, advertise in their publications, exhibit at their trade shows and more.
A number of articles related to empathy flowers.
Resources to educate consumers about the benefits of flowers in expressing sympathy and the variety of sympathy services your shop offers.
Downloadable templates for print ads promoting your sympathy business.
Radio advertising can be highly effective and less costly than television and newspaper campaigns. Nine in 10 Americans listen to the radio every week. This section includes more information on radio advertising and scripts promoting different aspects of your business (including sympathy).
The About Flowers website also has an excellent section on sympathy business.