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Good marketing doesn’t end when your customers are dead

Good marketing doesn’t end when your customers are dead

A designer custom coffin for people who want to make their final exit in grand style when they’re six feet under was the overall winner of this semester’s Marketing Trade Show at the University of Waikato Management School, held on Friday, 9 October.

The team of marketing students behind the product, ‘My Eternal Space’, said they thought a personalised casket would appeal to older people who are open-minded and want to express their individuality at their funeral. Far from being morbid, the concept hugely impressed the judges.

The girls exhibited a selection of coffin designs they might offer, such as one decorated with New Zealand seashells, a blinged-up jewel-encrusted coffin, and a pink coffin with bow ties.

“Most people were quite shocked when they first heard about our idea; it was a bit controversial; but after talking to us they soon changed their mind and thought it was really cool,” said team member Elly Moody (bottom right), who is studying for a Bachelor of Management Studies degree at the University of Waikato.

The Marketing Trade Show is a twice-yearly event that involves about 230 first-year marketing students, and is a final practical assignment for the paper MKTG151 Introduction to Marketing.

This semester students were asked to come up with product ideas aimed at retired people, but not to assume that all older people are sedentary and boring. They were asked to think of products that would allow retirees to pursue active hobbies and interests, or solve everyday problems that would improve people’s quality of life.

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“A custom coffin also removes the stress from family members of having to make that decision after their loved one has died, because it’s all been taken care of already,” said Elly. “We would also store the coffin for people until they needed it, because it’s not the type of thing you want hanging around in the basement!”

The other team members of My Eternal Space were Gemma Mecchia (Bachelor of Management Studies); Kaydi O’Connor-Stratton (Bachelor of Electronic Commerce), and Brittany King (Bachelor of Communication Studies).


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