Wednesday, June 27, 2007

National Cremation Society - Deception?

National Cremation Society

Who is the National Cremation Society and how can you join? You can’t. It is not a society. It’s a business. Does that shock you?

It appears that the National Cremation Society is no more a society then Bruce Willis has hair. Well yes, Bruce did once have hair but the National Cremation Society was never a society. So in that comparison it is Bruce Willis “one” and National Cremation society “zero”.

The National Cremation Society is not a society. It is a large corporation. It is owned by Service Corporation International (How’s that for a vague and unfriendly sounding name?) Service Corporation International is so big that they proudly claim to be “North America’s largest provider of funeral, cremation and cemetery services”.

They are like a Walmart, Microsoft or General Motors. How would you like your funeral or cremation handled by Walmart, Microsoft or General Motors? Doesn’t sound too intimate and personal when you are considering a very personal event - your death.

I am all for business making a profit and I support creative marketing. But I believe you should not lie. Calling your business a society seems to me jumping way over the line in terms of ethics and just plain deception. Some folks call that lying. Me too.

Is Service Corporation International being deceptive by calling their cremation service the National Cremation Society? I think so. What do you think? When you hear the word society what do you think and feel? Community and trustworthy? Maybe that is what Service Corporation International is counting on. And if you were deceived by that one word don’t feel bad. Now you know.

Imagine your outrage:
Imagine if Microsoft called themselves the “National Software Society”?
Imagine if a bank called itself the “National Savings Society”?
Imagine if the local drug dealer named his business “National Addiction Society”?

Each of those would be clever - and deceptive.

When I think society I imagine one of charity, community group or non-profit-association.

Why does the National Cremation Society need to be so deceptive in their marketing? Maybe what they offer is not such a good deal. Maybe they are trying to justify their products, service and prices on the basis that they are a "society". Maybe they are not nice people at all.

George Torok
Marketing Agitator
Marketing Myths

What does Wikipedia say about society?


barbara patton said...

How ridiculous of an article.
National Cremation Society was founded in Florida. When the founders sold it to SCI, they decided to retain the name.
Membership allows the use of all of the affiliated funeral homes and offices through out the United States if death were to occur out of Florida.
This is a fine respectable company that provides professional and compassionate serve to people at the most stressful time.
The author seems to have an axe to grind and it just isn't appropriate to bash such a fine organization.

George Torok said...

Does it seem fair to the consumer for a business to call itself a society?

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