From my friend, Charles Cowling, who writes The Good Funeral Guide:

Tim,

your post of 13 April made me anxiously wonder why you hadn’t declared an interest, but I guess you hadn’t joined the AC at that stage.

I have to say that I don’t know that I share your enthusiasm for Eternal Space.  Sure, it makes Respectance look clunky, but it could be argued that it does that for itself.  The tributes currently viewable at ES fail to display its capability and are a poor advert.

I’d have thought that the ES market is a niche defined by taste; some are going to like it, others are going to find it tacky or mawkish — but perhaps I am speaking out of turn from a UK cultural standpoint.  I would dispute your assertions concerning the technical brilliance of ES (there’s no animation), and in terms of personalisation (the key to sales) it quickly takes on an air of seen-one-seen-them-all. 

For my money, it’s MuchLoved.com all the way — and it’s free, what’s more. But I shall be following ES with interest. It’s on to something, for sure, but I don’t think it’s anything like there yet.

Charles

This is what I love about Charles:  he writes crafty, insightful critiques.  Do I agree that Muchloved is better?  Don’t know since I only just visited www.MuchLoved.com after reading his response. 

Still, I stand behind my reasons for appreciating Eternal Space.  First, Eternal Space is truly different than a standard online memorial.  That difference is what consumers require if they’re spending money on the services; otherwise, they’d just use the free sites, like Respectance or Much Loved, and save their cash.

Second, Eternal Space will make money for funeral directors.  Will you be able to sell an Eternal Space to every client family?  Absolutely not.  In fact, I doubt more than 10% of client families will even want to hear about ES.  Nevertheless, it’s a simple add-on service that costs you nothing to offer and makes some cash when families do want it.

I think Eternal Space, as a company, has a slim chance of making it work.  But that’s also true for most companies!  Still, I think they’ve got to be very careful about how much cash they burn through as they try to make a big splash in the industry.

Thanks again, Charles, for your insight.  And I’ll pay more attention to MuchLoved.com.

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