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How Titan Casket is Disrupting an Industry With DTC Philosophies, with Founder Scott Ginsberg and Co-Founder Josh Siegel

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The DTC revolution can’t be ignored. Everywhere you look there are companies old and new reimagining the commerce experience and bringing more choice directly to the consumer. This is happening in every industry, including one you might not always think about — the funeral industry. For decades, consumers had limited options when they were making arrangements for the death of a loved one. Funeral homes monopolized the experience and often overcharged those who had few other choices. Scott Ginsberg and Josh Siegel wanted to change that. With Titan Casket, they, with their other co-founder, Elizabeth Siegel, have built a DTC business that puts the power back into the hands of the consumer at one of the most trying times of their life. On this episode, we talked about how Scott and Josh used the DTC playbook to disrupt the funeral industry, and we explored some of the ways they are mastering distribution and partnerships as a way to elevate their brand. Enjoy this episode. 

Main Takeaways:

  • Don’t Sell What You Don’t Have: Although customers are forgiving, that only extends so far. With the supply chain issues ravaging every industry, you have to be upfront about what you have, when it will be available, and when you can guarantee a product will get delivered. Especially with a product that is time-sensitive, you should never leave delivery up to chance or reliance on outside factors. 
  • The Key to Sales is Distribution: The more people who see and learn about your product, the more you will see sales rise and more traffic on your website. Don’t shy away from big channels like Amazon or large retailers, because being featured there will ultimately lead to a bump in awareness for your products.
  • Differentiate Yourself With Service: Even if your products can be found elsewhere, the reason customers will buy from your site and keep coming back is because of the experience they have. Differentiate yourself by providing the best customer service and an easy buying experience in order to build a solid customer relationship.
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For an in-depth look at this episode, check out the full transcript below. Quotes have been edited for clarity and length.

Key Quotes:

“When you’re at Amazon, you get calls all the time from vendors trying to get a leg up on Amazon. But Scott’s story was so different. And when he described this structure of the industry, that there was only two large casket manufacturers that control 85% of the market, they only sell to funeral homes, and so consumers really don’t have that choice and they’re overpaying — I recognize that pattern from other categories that have gone DTC like Warby Parker and glasses and Casper and mattresses. So I thought this is such an interesting opportunity and it can really help people going through one of the hardest and most meaningful times of their lives.” –Josh

“This isn’t an experience that customers are thinking about often before they come into the process. And then they want to get out of the process as soon as they are done. And so mostly our job is to be there for consumers who are searching for us, not to go out and get in front of consumers who are not thinking about or searching for casket and funeral needs.” –Josh

[On dealing with supply chain issues] “I would look to see which firms in here in the U.S. are still doing it and look for maybe a contract manufacturer perhaps in the U.S. that could perhaps help [your business] and look at their distribution model. Is it just on the east coast, west coast? Ask how can they help from a logistic perspective? Where would [the business] have to put its warehouses throughout the country to make it more efficient?” –Scott

“One of the keys in sales is distribution. So getting the biggest distribution of our product out there from Sam’s Club, Walmart, Costco, Amazon, and also our website, titancasket.com. That was really one of our strategies, get it out and getting awareness. Because more people looking at our product and seeing it gets that awareness and also drives people to our site also.” –Scott

“Amazon is the search engine for products. So it’s where people start. And if you’re trying to get volume and awareness, you want to be on Amazon.” –Josh 

“​​I look at it as ultimately we’re looking to become the digital solution for funerals at the end of the day. That’s our goal, and to really help our clients…not to take an emotional loss and turn it into a financial loss. That’s really the goal of what we do here. Help clients and try to give them a nice experience and be there for them.”

Bio

Scott:

Casket entrepreneur and market disruptor Scott Ginsberg has been a driving force in the casket industry for nearly three decades manufacturing and supplying caskets and building and shaping the direct-to-consumer casket market.

Scott Ginsberg founded Titan Casket in 2016. He owned and developed Northern Craft Casket where he realized the potential of the DTC market. Scott’s desire to support people in their time of need and vision of the untapped casket marketplace emerged as Scott dream of Titan Casket emerged. His interest in this space was born out of his desire to help people, and to shake up an industry that hasn’t innovated in a century that was ripe for disruption as consumers become comfortable making complex purchases online as well as offering more choices.

Scott received his BA from Salem State University and his MBA from Columbia Business School; he is based in Boston.

Josh:

eCommerce veteran and technologist Joshua Siegel is a co-founder of Titan Casket overseeing technology, marketing, operations, and finance.

After spending more than eight years at Amazon first leading high consideration, large-item retail categories and later product, UX design, and technology across consumer electronics and heavy-bulky last mile logistics, Josh and Scott connected through the Columbia Business School network. Josh paired with Scott’s industry expertise to build Titan Casket’s successful direct-to-consumer model.

Josh also serves as Chief Product Officer at RealSelf, a healthcare marketplace, and is based in Seattle. He joined RealSelf after time at McKinsey & Company and Amazon. He has a BA from Colgate University in New York, and an MBA from Columbia Business School.


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Transcript:

Stephanie:

Hey everyone, and welcome back to Up Next In Commerce. I’m your host, Stephanie Postles, CEO of mission.org. Today on the show we have two guys joining us. We have Scott Ginsburg, who’s a CEO at Titan Casket, and we also have Josh Siegel, who’s a COO at Titan Casket. Josh, Scott, welcome to the show.

Scott:

Well, thanks for having us.

Josh:

For having us.

Stephanie:

Yeah, thank you all for joining. So I will admit this is something that I have never talked about before in my life. I’ve been very lucky to not have people pass away around me, I haven’t even thought about caskets. And so when Hillary suggested you come on the show, I was actually very excited to hear about this industry and learn about what’s going on behind the scenes. So Scott, I was hoping you could touch on first, how did you get into this industry?

Scott:

That’s a good question. Well, what I’ve learned over the time period of being in this industry over 20 years, when you go to a typical funeral home you always have the same six caskets that they’ve always had. And I look at this, you have to pay the same high price. There’s got to be a better way, got to be a better experience than having that half a dozen choices. And looking at that, I said to myself, I started Titan Casket in 2016, and saying we could have a far better selection, make this a much easier experience, and save the customer 50% if not more of the cost of the casket. And doing that, that was really the whole thought process. What did I learn from that? And that was a big takeaway.

Stephanie:

So how long ago was that that you started spotting that there was probably an opportunity to innovate in this area? What year was that?

Scott:

I started Titan Casket in 2016, probably a little bit before that. That’s one of those a-ha moments, and how can we make this a much better experience for the consumer, essentially.

Stephanie:

Got it. And how much do caskets run? Like I said, I don’t even know what the ballpark is for what that looks like. When you’re saying you could save them maybe 50%, what’s the price?

Scott:

Well, they range, but our typical casket online is Orion series, that runs $1,099, and that can be $2,500 to $3,000 in the funeral home.

Stephanie:

Got it. All right, Josh, I want to hear how you got involved with Scott. How’d you guys meet, what’s the backstory there?

Josh:

Sure. So I was at Amazon for 10 years, running several heavy, bulky categories for them, like televisions, and later helping them build out their logistics arm. And Scott and I had both gone to Columbia Business School, so when he started the business and was getting it up and running on Amazon, he looked me up and gave me a call. And when you’re at Amazon you get these calls all the time from vendors trying to get a leg up on Amazon. But Scott’s story was so different. And when he described the structure of the industry, that there’s two large casket manufacturers that control 85% of the market, they only sell to funeral homes. And so consumers really don’t have that choice and they’re overpaying.

Josh:

And I recognized that pattern from other categories that have gone DTC, like Warby Parker in glasses and Casper in mattresses. So I thought, this is such an interesting opportunity and it’s a chance to really help people going through one of the hardest and most meaningful times of their lives. And so it was a pretty quick decision to start talking to Scott more and helping plan out what we think can help a lot of people.

Stephanie:

Amazing. So what did the early days look like when you both decided, “Okay, we’re going to tackle this”? I would be a little nervous going after an industry that’s very monopolized. What did those early days of planning and even thinking about how to create the product look like?

Scott:

Well, I’ve been in industry for 20 years, so I kind of knew what was necessary, how the funeral director thought, what the consumers looked at and needed. So bringing that to the table and discussing it with Josh and trying to plan out a strategy, really try to increase our product line. So essentially when we first started it was somewhat narrow, and with Josh’s help we grew it out, and now we have 1,000 different products, SKUs, currently.

Stephanie:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Okay. Josh, anything to add to that?

Josh:

I think we’re still early days, where, before we got on the podcast I mentioned we’ve been up since 6:00 this morning with our team, and we meet every day and plan out in sprints how we’re going to grow the company. And so there’s always chaos below the surface of the startup waters, and we’re growing really quickly and adding warehouses, but the joy of it is every day coming in and solving problems for the business and for helping individual customers through their journey.

Scott:

Yeah, I think Josh’s point also, what he mentioned, I agree with him, one of the things, for me, I think everyone on the team, is really at the end of the day we really get to help people. And that’s one of the things that gets us up out of the bed every morning, is how can we help? And help people in the worst time of their lives, really.

Josh:

Yeah.

Scott:

Walk them through the process.

Stephanie:

Yeah. When it comes to that awareness piece, I’m thinking about, during a really hard time it’s hard to maybe think outside the box. It’s hard to not be like, “Well, I’m told I do this, this, and this, and these are the five things afterwards.” So how did you grow the awareness around your company so people knew about a different type of model? What did those growth tactics look like, to have the really amazing growth that you’ve had?

Josh:

Sure. So in many ways we’ve followed the direct to consumer playbook, where we’ve invested in content to grow organic traffic and we’ve invested in paid marketing. And we’ve also seen significant word of mouth, where we will sell a casket into a community and families will tell each other about the experience they had. And we’ll sell a casket that, even though a consumer’s buying it, it’s in the hands of a funeral director who’s planning 80 or 100 cases a year and will come back to us and work with us. But you’re right in that this isn’t an experience that customers are thinking about often before they come into the process. And then they want to get out of the process as soon as they are done. And so mostly our job is to be there for consumers who are searching for us, not to go out and get in front of consumers who are not thinking about or searching for casket and funeral needs.

Stephanie:

Yeah. What kind of education goes into that? What kind of content are you making, or what was connecting with people when you were trying to find that niche?

Josh:

So our content, we think about it in a few different ways. One is the process. It’s such an opaque process. So when somebody is in a moment, they’re not often thinking the most clearly. And to put some structure around the process and give them education on each component of that is, if you look at how our content is structured on our site, that’s what our content focuses.

Stephanie:

Yeah.

Josh:

And then nearly every customer that works with us calls us or chats with us. And so a lot of our content strategy has just been answering the questions that customers present to us every day on the phone. And so having that type of qualitative data both to inform what products we have out there, how we’re answering questions, and then what content do we create, has been our approach.

Stephanie:

So I’ve heard quite a bit on the show about supply chain issues, logistics, shipping. And of course when you all are coming on I’m imagining you shipping very big, bulky items, which I think that, Josh, you have experience in, but what did the past year or two look like for you when it comes to shipping?

Scott:

Well, we ship everything within US for warehouses. And supply chain, everyone’s had issues. We’ve seen some issues, but it has not stopped us from shipping our product throughout the country. There have been challenges, but we’ve been fortunate to have no hiccups, essentially.

Josh:

Yeah.

Stephanie:

So are all your warehouses and everything and here in the US? Is that why it went a little more smoothly than, most of the people I talk to are more shipping from China and their ships were getting stuck. So you guys have all your warehouses and everything here in the US?

Josh:

Part of what makes us unique, Scott’s been in the industry for 20 years, knows everyone manufacturing domestically and internationally. So we’ve built a network of manufacturers that can work around the supply chain issues that have come up, especially in shipping in from overseas. We do store goods in warehouses in the US. And so we’ve consistently been in stock, although we have 1,000 items, and so obviously there’s pockets where we’re a little lighter. And then we’ve built an organization where we have an entire team that all they do is track shipments. So we are in a business where you can’t miss. If you’ve ordered furniture lately, you may know that the date you get when you check out is …

Stephanie:

Never correct. I personally know that.

Josh:

Exactly. And that’s probably okay. If your couch shows up a few days later or two weeks later …

Stephanie:

Six months.

Josh:

Yeah, exactly, six months, you’re okay.

Scott:

[crosstalk].

Josh:

But for us, we need to promise a date to consumers that we have to hit. And so we make sure ahead of time we can do it. We won’t sell an item if it can’t meet that timeline. We track items every day. We have [inaudible] cords to pull if we need to get a truck out, if a driver breaks down on the side of the road, but we make sure we don’t miss. Because we’re not in a business where that’s acceptable.

Stephanie:

Yeah. Do you ever talk to other folks in the industry, not your industry, but just other industries, where you maybe recommend like, “Hey, maybe you should bring more things into the US, diversify a bit so you wouldn’t have to worry about these problems in the future?” That’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot, especially in ICR trade deficit. I’m like, “Okay, maybe we just need to bring more things into the US here, and then we would not have as many issues as we have had.” But do you ever experience that right now when you talk to other people?

Scott:

We do see that. We see a lot of people out there saying, actually coming to us for help, actually. But right now, yeah, I just feel bad for a lot of companies out there, that they’re stuck.

Stephanie:

Yeah.

Josh:

We have those conversations with each other. To hit the demand that, to achieve the sort of vision we have, we know we’re going to have to expand manufacturing. And if we can avoid boats in that process, that would be great.

Stephanie:

Yeah. Well, what’s it look like? If I’m a founder right now starting a company and I’m like, “Okay, maybe I want to explore getting a system here, getting manufacturers here,” it sounds like, Scott, you have a lot of experience doing this. What would the first steps look like to actually make that the plan?

Scott:

To be here in the US?

Stephanie:

Mm-hm.

Scott:

Well, first off, depends on the product obviously. But I would look to see which firms in here in the US that are still doing it. Look for maybe a contract manufacturer perhaps in the US that could perhaps help them, and look at their distribution model. Is it just an east coast, west coast? How can I help from a logistic perspective? Where would they have to put their warehouses throughout the country to make it more efficient? So it depends upon the product. Like we just mentioned furniture, you could have one warehouse and location. It’s not a timely situation. Where for us it is timely. Like we mentioned a while back, a Halloween costume. It came a day after Halloween, what good is it? We have to get it there in a timely fashion.

Stephanie:

Yeah. Okay. So find some contract manufacturers already here doing something similar, see if you can start working with them. Anything else that you would advise or anything to look out for when you’re trying to set this up?

Scott:

What else to look out for? Having a good sales team, having just a team in general that you enjoy working with.

Stephanie:

Yeah.

Scott:

Probably the most important thing. When I reached out to Josh I just wanted to make sure whoever I bring on I like to work with and I enjoy to work with. And I would probably say that’s probably one of the most important things also.

Stephanie:

Yeah. Josh seems pretty cool. Seems like a good fit.

Scott:

Yeah.

Stephanie:

That’s great. So what do you think about maybe starting up your own facility? I was just talking with Hello Bello, and they started their own manufacturing facility here in Texas, and they were very bullish on more people doing that. Of course you have to have a big budget and be able to afford that from the start. But how do you think about maybe making something yourself versus hiring it out?

Josh:

That’s a good question that we were talking about before and after this conversation.

Stephanie:

I’m just getting into your brains right now.

Josh:

Yeah. So I think there’s obviously financial models you can do where you’re looking at the ROI of the capital expenditure that you’re putting out and making sure that you have volumes that you could either yourself sell or sell through other partners. Because there’s a minimum size they need to be. There’s the time and effort that that takes that may distract you from running your core business. Often, depending on who you are and how core is this capability that you need to own long term, it can take all of your time very quickly unless you have good people in place who know how to manufacture. And then you have to think about, what problems are you really solving? If you want to own manufacturing, for us it’s just achieving scale like, I mentioned, our two large manufacturers who won’t work with us, who control most of the market. And if we want to achieve scale, it’s something we may need to own, but that’s not the case depending on the strategy of the individual company.

Stephanie:

Yeah. I always wonder how many companies stop at that or they’re like, “Oh, well, these two companies own all the contract manufacturers here. So I can’t really do anything because of that.” How many businesses stop and then quickly go overseas because of that?

Josh:

Yeah. Not something that you may start on day one with, but I think Scott’s a big proponent of, in all parts of our business he pushes having redundancies where, what is our plan A, B, and C on the manufacturing side, on the shipping side? And so I think you have the plan, but then you want to make sure that if something goes sideways that you don’t go to zero.

Stephanie:

How do you think about that planning process, Scott? Yeah, it sounds like you definitely have things very buttoned up over there, so how did you think about this past year or prepare for that in a way that gave you options?

Stephanie:

As in creating a plan for if there’s a downturn, if one of our facilities goes down. Creating different scenarios, how do you go about planning them?

Scott:

Well, it’s a good point. Since we have multiple warehouses throughout the country, so we put them in strategic locations. So we have to ask ourselves, how fast can we get something from point A to point B? So from a logistics perspective we look at, try to have somewhat of an overlap. So for example, last year we were hit in the middle of the country with these ice storms. I don’t know if you remember that.

Stephanie:

Oh, yeah, being Texas, yeah.

Scott:

So that shut us down in one of our locations, but the other ones overlapped certain areas. So in some instances it was a hair longer to get to, but the redundancies kicked in. So that’s one of our strategies. And going forward we’re looking to expand that also.

Stephanie:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), got it. I want to hear a bit about the way that you sell. Because I saw you’re, I think, also on Amazon, you sell on your website, it sounds like you work with funeral homes. Tell me how you all thought about the different channels. And do people go on Amazon and buy caskets? That was also a big question for me. Do people do that?

Scott:

Sure they do. One of the keys, in my opinion, in sales is distribution. So getting the biggest distribution of our product out there from Sam’s Club, Walmart, Costco, Amazon, and also our website, titancasket.com. That was really one of our strategies, get it out and getting awareness. Because more people looking at our product and seeing it gets that awareness and also drives people to our site also.

Stephanie:

Yep. So what does that look like, keeping track of everything, going on Amazon? Were there any surprises? I oftentimes hear people saying, Oh, we started on Amazon, then we pulled off because we decided we didn’t want to sell there. And then we went back on.” What did that look like behind the scenes when you were basically selling everywhere?

Scott:

Yeah, each company has their own style, their own way of doing business. So adapting to each one is somewhat unique, and you just have to know how to work within that company, basically. And Josh is really good at this also, Josh brings a lot to the table when it comes to that.

Josh:

Amazon is the search engine for products. So it’s where people start. And if you’re trying to get volume and awareness, you want to be on Amazon. And so there was a lot of early traction with Amazon, but it’s an expensive sales channel. As you alluded to, it can be complex to work with, especially on the heavy, bulky side it does not deliver the customer experience that we would want in terms of having a hands-on process. And so we see it as a big part of where we advertise and drive awareness, but over 3/4 of our sales are through our own site. I think any direct consumer brand, especially now with the no code tools and the ease of being able to do that yourself with a small team, you really want to own that customer relationship and own that customer experience. That’s where you’re going to be differentiated, that’s where you’re going to create value long term. And that’s where you’re going to create that ongoing voice or ongoing two-way communication with customers.

Stephanie:

Got it. What’s it look like when you’re, if you’re advertising and you’re gaining awareness on Amazon, what does the process look like to also nudge it and be like, “Eh, go check out our website for more details and education”? How do you actually make that funnel work for you?

Josh:

So we want our customers to buy wherever they’re most comfortable buying. And so Amazon is obviously a very trusted place to buy, especially for such a personal item. Customers do like buying there and that’s fine. But we know customers do, we can look at the amount of direct traffic we have or brand searches where we know customers are seeing us elsewhere and coming to our site and finding us through Google. And so I think we manage every sale the same on our back end, where we’re a seller on Amazon, we’re not doing FBA. So it’s still our customer service team, product moving from our warehouses. And we’re not going to treat an order any differently. It’s a little harder to get in touch with the customer because you have to work through Amazon’s systems. And if they call us and need a different address, we can’t do that through Amazon. There’s some restrictions. But other than that, it’s the same.

Stephanie:

Got it. And what about Costco and Sam’s Club? You all are where everyone would love to be. So how did you get into Costco and Walmart and Sam’s Club, and what does that working relationship look like?

Josh:

It took years.

Stephanie:

Yeah.

Josh:

I think they’re both a little different. Costco is the original online seller of caskets. They’ve been in doing this for 15 years.

Stephanie:

Oh, really?

Josh:

And if you talk to most customers … Yeah. I don’t know if we’ve mentioned, there’s a FTC funeral rule. Did we mention that?

Stephanie:

No, what is this rule?

Josh:

So we mentioned there’s the industry structure where there’s a couple manufacturers, they only sell to funeral homes. So customers face this markup, but in the ’80s the FTC passed a funeral rule, which gives consumers the right to buy products outside of the funeral home and have them shipped to the funeral home, and they cannot be charged or otherwise burdened by that choice. And so when that was passed, years later Costco got into it, selling caskets direct to consumers at significant discounts. And so Costco’s, when consumers think about both buying caskets, if they think of anything, they think of Costco. And second, consumers just, the members love Costco. They just love Costco. And they trust that if you’re a product that Costco’s offering, it’s a very curated selection unlike Amazon, the product that they’re offering will be high quality and a great value.

Josh:

And so we only launched on Costco a few months ago after years of working with the buying team there and designing the right selection for them. And it’s been a phenomenal channel for us so far. Sam’s we approached differently. They were not in caskets. And so for them, we worked with the team to design out what is the experience and how could they be confident that they were providing excellent value and experience to their consumers. And so we helped launch that category earlier last year as well.

Stephanie:

Got it. That’s amazing. Congrats on getting in both of those. With Costco are you, because I know I was reading an article about them, and essentially their Kirkland brand always has to be slightly better than a name brand. So it’s like if they have Starbucks, their Kirkland coffee actually has to be better by whatever, maybe the ingredient’s better, maybe it’s organic and Starbucks isn’t. There has to be something. Are you all, is your name brand in Costco or are you kind of their Kirkland brand now?

Scott:

Name brand, yeah.

Stephanie:

You’re the name brand.

Josh:

Yeah.

Stephanie:

Okay. Got it. And were they-

Josh:

There’s not a lot of private label strategies in any retailer in caskets. I think at one point we talked to Amazon about a brand, but I think retailers would be cautious about putting a Kirkland casket out there. We’d be happy to work with it if they approached us on it.

Stephanie:

And were there any surprises? You’ve got Costco now. I’m sure you guys have been very busy over the past couple months since you signed with them. Was there anything that you weren’t expecting when it comes to working with these bigger retailers?

Josh:

They’re all so different.

Scott:

Yeah, that’s the thing. Every system, every company’s just different to work with. And the way you work with them too. Some are more hands-off, some are more, they’re just different, really.

Stephanie:

Yeah. How are you keeping track of everything then when it comes to data and the customers? How do you get a consolidated view when Sam’s Club is different than Costco and Walmart and …

Scott:

Well, I think the person that we haven’t spoke about here who is one of our co-founders is Liz Siegel. And she really keeps us going. Okay? I like to call Liz our secret weapon. Basically, she’s founded multiple direct to consumer startups. She has scaled that customer service team and operations team. She’s pretty amazing. She has a 97% on-time delivery rate on all our products, which is unheard of in a heavy, bulky space.

Stephanie:

Yeah, that’s great. Go, Liz.

Scott:

She’s great. And she also has over 400 five-star reviews. So she really, getting back to the initial question, who keeps us straight, who keeps us in line with each one of those organizations, it’s Liz.

Stephanie:

Wow. That’s cool. Amazing. So where do you guys want to innovate over the next coming years? Are there more things that you’re trying to disrupt? I’m just thinking this is probably just tip of the iceberg, the actual caskets. I’m thinking about paperwork and everything else that comes with it. Are there other areas that you are looking to disrupt right now and get into?

Josh:

Yeah. So if you think about, to your point, for customers today, when they are planning a funeral they often start with the venue, which is the funeral home. And every decision they make after that is from the book of business that’s at the funeral home. What we’ve done and what we started with is untethering the casket decision from that. So now you have more options and you have more selection and different pricing on the casket. And so for us, we see us evolving through every decision you would make as you’re planning a funeral. And so a consumer should really start with, “What is the way I want to honor this loved one and what is the way I want to remember them? Therefore, what is the end to end experience we want to have?” Including the product. And that’s how we see us working through, evolving our business, is having customers come to us and working with them on planning out the entire process, whether that’s in the moment or years in advance, if they’re thinking or planning with their loved ones ahead of a loss.

Stephanie:

Got it. Scott, anything else to add about areas you plan on disrupting on top of what Josh just said?

Scott:

No, I just look at it as ultimately looking to become really the digital solution for funerals at the end of the day. That’s our goal, and really help our clients. I don’t know if I mentioned earlier that we’d like to really hold their hand through the funeral process, not tell them what to expect … Tell them what to expect, what to anticipate, and show where the pitfalls are so they can make a really good, informed decision. Really at the end of the day not to take emotional loss and turn it into a financial loss. That’s really the goal of what we do here. Help clients and try to give them a nice experience and be there for them.

Stephanie:

Yeah. I love that. Are there any new material requests that you’re getting over these past year or two? We’ve seen this shift of consumers wanting more eco-friendly things and biodegradable, and it seems like a different style’s emerging and a different need. Have you also been seeing that in your industry as well?

Scott:

Yeah, there’s been a trend there. We do offer in our site eco-friendly and green options, that has been growing. And that’s a segment that we are currently looking at to expand also.

Stephanie:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Cool. I love that. All right. Well, let’s move over to the lightning round. The lightning round is where I will ask you a question and you have a minute or less to answer. Scott, Josh, I’ll just go back and forth and pick whoever I want to answer the question.

Scott:

I guess, yeah.

Stephanie:

Yeah, why not? All right. Josh, if you had a podcast, what would it be about and who would your first guest be?

Josh:

Oh, interesting. All right. So having spent 10 years at Amazon I’m probably biased, but the couple meetings I was in with Mr. Bezos are probably three of the most meaningful meetings that I’ve had in the last 10 years. Just observing the way he works at all levels and the way he’s thinking on a different … I don’t know what the … A different plane than you are in everyday, where he’s thinking 20 steps ahead and making decisions that will come to materialize three years out. And so every time I’ve had those types of conversations in my career, whether it’s with him or others at that sort of stratosphere, their conversations you are thinking about for weeks afterwards. And so I think a podcast that worked with individuals who had bootstrapped and built these sort of world-changing businesses would be interesting.

Stephanie:

Yes, I agree. And that’s awesome that you got to be in a room a few times with him. That’s cool. Scott, what’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received that you think about time and time again?

Scott:

A couple of them. Surround yourself by smart people, smarter than yourself. You don’t always have to have the answer, but you can recognize a good answer, a good idea. And don’t be afraid to fail, because that’s the way you grow. Those, if I pick some little … That would be it, essentially.

Stephanie:

Yep. Those are good. Josh, what’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for you?

Scott:

Oh.

Josh:

Well, Liz agreed to, we mentioned, agreed to marry me 14 years ago.

Stephanie:

That’s nice.

Josh:

It was nice, and we have three kids. And so there’s probably a lot of nice decisions along with that there.

Stephanie:

That’s pretty good.

Josh:

Yeah.

Scott:

Yeah.

Stephanie:

Scott, what’s up next on your reading list?

Scott:

On my reading list?

Stephanie:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Scott:

Well, I’m a Ken Follett person, so World Without an End.

Stephanie:

Okay, cool. I’ll have to check that out, I don’t know that one. All right. And then the last one for both of you, you can think about it and I’ll let Scott go first on this one. When you want to get creative and get in your zone, what do you do? Scott first. Yeah, when you’re like, “I need to be able to think about how to plan my logistics or how to do this,” what do you do to get focused? Do you read, do you meditate? Do you go outside?

Scott:

Think about crazy, if you see right behind me, there’s a couch.

Stephanie:

Yes. That’s your couch?

Scott:

Yeah, so what I like to do for myself is I have, I can’t say her name, the Amazon product, because she’ll go on. I’ll say, “Play classical music,” and I’ll just sit back there and just chill.

Stephanie:

Like it. Josh, what about you?

Josh:

So I do meditate. I use the Calm app every morning. And if I have a hard problem to solve or want to be creative, it’s sitting with a blank sheet of paper typically very early in the morning as soon as you wake up. And reading. When I was younger I used to be more of a writer, and you read how anyone from comedy writers and all was to, and the advice you always get is, don’t even get out of bed, just have a notepad and write for 10 minutes, whatever those first thoughts. And then revisiting those notes later in the day are a way I’ve been, both insights in my personal life as well as throughout the years, whether at Amazon or Titan, where new ideas have originated.

Stephanie:

Hm, that’s good. I’ll have to try that. Well, Scott, Josh, thank you all so much for coming on the show today. Yeah, thanks for sharing about your industry and what you all are up to. Where can people find out more about Titan Casket?

Josh:

So the best place is titancasket.com. That’s where we have everything about the company. And honestly, people can call us. We’re a company that has our phone number all over the site, and we love talking to clients and potential partners, because we’re here to help whether you choose to buy a product from us or not.

Stephanie:

Amazing. All right. Thanks so much.

Scott:

Well, thanks for having us.

Josh:

Yeah, thanks for having us.

Episode 183