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Market research to determine the potential market for funeral services in Monterrey, Mexico

Module by: Global Text Project. E-mail the authorEdited By: Dr. Donald J. McCubbrey

Summary:

Business Fundamentals was developed by the Global Text Project, which is working to create open-content electronic textbooks that are freely available on the website http://globaltext.terry.uga.edu. Distribution is also possible via paper, CD, DVD, and via this collaboration, through Connexions. The goal is to make textbooks available to the many who cannot afford them. For more information on getting involved with the Global Text Project or Connexions email us at drexel@uga.edu and dcwill@cnx.org.

Editors: Salvador Treviño and Carlos Ruy Martinez (ITESM, Monterrey Campus, Mexico)

Contributors: Carlos Alberto Alanis, Gaspar Rivera, Jorge Echeagaray, Jose de Jesus Montes, Juana Monica Garcia, Ramiro Robles, and Roberto Sanchez

Background: A group of investors thought about developing a new enterprise concept of funeral services in Monterrey, Mexico. The main idea was to offer improved funeral services, satisfying a need not yet covered in the city.

Concept of the project: The company will offer funeral services to people of socioeconomic level A and B+. The new funeral services will include: Sale of coffins or crematory urns, luxury transportation, memorial vigils, chapel, flowers and cafeteria services, religious ceremonies, wide parking with valet parking service, legal requirements, condolences via Internet, publication of brief letters, private room for the family with foods at the request of the client and pre-arranged funeral plans.

The architecture of the place will include many green areas, big spaces and a quiet and peaceful atmosphere.

The added value will be to support the client in his pain, reason why a specific executive will be in charge of all the proceedings and procedures for the memorial vigil and burial of his beloved.

Objectives:

  • To understand if a potential market exists for a funeral services enterprise in Monterrey City.
  • Identify current specific needs for the sector.
  • Evaluate project concept.
  • Evaluate project location.
  • Evaluate project name and logo.
  • Methodology:

Stage I

Qualitative study:

2 sessions group with the following profile:

Session 1: Men between 35 and 50 years of age, from socioeconomic level A and +B who experience in the process of hiring funeral services in the last year.

Session 2: Women between 35 and 50 years of age from socioeconomic level A and +B who had experience with the process of hiring funeral services in the last year.

Stage II

Quantitative study:

The size of sample was of 472 personal interviews to men and women of socioeconomic level A and +B, ages between 35 and 60 years old, who live in Monterrey and its metropolitan area.

Main findings and conclusions:

In this research we found an important opportunity at the funeral logistics services since 76 per cent of the interviewed people consider that it is necessary to have a company of this type in the city, since at the moment the companies that offer these services have many opportunity areas.

“Cedillas del Toro”, the most important funeral services enterprise up to date show us some opportunity areas as: lack of parking, mentioned by 15 per cent of the sample; the lack of a comfortable cafeteria, mentioned by 10 per cent of the sample; small chapel, mentioned by 7 per cent of the sample; and the temperature of the very cold climate, mentioned by 7 per cent of the sample, among others.

In the qualitative study, people interviewed mentioned what they dislike about “Cedillas del Toro” is that the memorial vigils have a common area for visits in where you can not identify whom each person is accompanying, turning it very informal.

The challenges that we found at the second more important funeral services company of the city, “Cedillas Carmelo” were: high price (20 per cent of mentions), lack of facilities for handicaps (crowded elevating) (15 per cent of mentions) and poor availability of chapels (only three) (10 per cent of mentions), among others.

The concept of the new funeral services enterprise was very well accepted by most of the people interviewed (70 per cent), mainly the idea of having a person who facilitates all the funeral proceedings, seems to be very helpful and important in those moments of grief.

The proposed location for the new funeral services enterprise had an acceptance of 80 per cent of the people interviewed, mainly because they are near the most important churches of the city with easy accesses.

The options of names people interviewed preferred were “Cedillas Marian” or “Cedillas de Maria” by 45 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.

The people interviewed in the qualitative study suggested some ideas to improve the concept mentioned like: To have a private area with all the comforts (telephone, computer, air condition, bath) for the family who does not wish to receive visits, that have a pleasant decoration (not funeral), and personal attention, among others.

Thanks to this market study, the investors could corroborate the idea that a funeral service enterprise in Monterrey may be a good business opportunity. In addition they could delineate the concept according to the market.

The funeral business has been an economic success so far, thanks to its clear definition of its mission and its market oriented philosophy: always searching for and delivering an excellent service to its customers.

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