Brand Strategy, Marketing, Website

Aloha Mortuary

“Alicia is a brilliant creative and strategist who effortlessly understands
client needs, even if they do not. She produces results and would be a
tremendous addition to any assignment.”

Lars von Sneidern
Co-founder, Distill Research

About the Client

In an industry dominated by old names, old men, and in particular old white men, this startup mortuary led by two Native Hawaiian women is charting new waters. The mission at Aloha Mortuary is to transform Hawaii’s death care industry through the integration of modern innovation, technologies, eco-conscious and traditional cultural practices - all while deploying the highest degree of integrity and compassion. They've worked hard to get water cremation legalized for the state - a process which would allow those who follow traditional Native Hawaiian practices to finally be able to honor their passed loved ones in accordance with their beliefs. Water cremation is already legal and in practice in 25 states within the US, and is groundbreaking in it's gentleness on the environment - a fact that is also incredibly important for the isolated and fragile ecosystem of Hawai'i.

 

Project Goals

  • Establish a foundational brand strategy that was based in market research and was deeply authentic to the mission of the founders. Define target audience segments and create journey maps to inform and persuade.

  • Create a year one marketing plan that ramped up and incorporated key milestones as the service offerings of the organization expanded over the coming months.

  • Create a website that could expand or have sections become live in phases to address the swiftly growing business. Create heartfelt copywriting for the website that was professional yet compassionate.

 

Challenges

  • The existing competitive marketplace is unenthusiastic about a new upstart competitor, especially one who sought to shine a light on the shortcomings of traditional burial practices with regard to cultural and environmental concerns.

  • The general public knows nothing about water cremation, and in general people don't want to think about death as a topic.

  • The website needed to account for future service additions and sections to be edited and built out by staff including water cremation, planning, crowd-funding a service, adding virtual obituaries, and more.

  • We had a rather tight timeline to accomplish our goals.

 

Solutions

  • A brand strategy guide outlines the core concepts of the brand, audience, competitive marketplace, and service offerings. This functions as a sort of "creative director in a book" and enables the client to quickly get new hires or other contractors up to speed.

  • The marketing plan I build out for the year took existing in-house capabilities into consideration so that the client could execute on it with or without by assistance.

  • Copywriting in the brand guide, the marketing strategy guide, and on the website are extensive and reusable for a wide range of future applications.

  • I created a series of training videos for staff to empower them to perform common website updates on their own.