Everyone turning 50 now has lived through the Age of the Customer. Where getting things your way is not an optional nicety but a pre-requisite for a transaction. So, if they fancy a dirty soy chai, it doesn’t matter whether it’s on the café menu or not – they’ll tell you how to make it if they have to.

Having had things their own way through life, the new 50s are certainly not about to be told how to die. This is causing a seismic shift in the way the funeral industry operates.

Back  in the good old days, funeral directors offered a limited range of services, a limited choice of coffins and pretty much dictated how the market worked. The 50+ market has other ideas. They want the funeral of their parents – and their own – to be a customised celebration of that particular life, not a stock standard option. So they’re planning ahead and – as ever – changing the rules.

In standard funeral services, as much as half the cost can be the coffin itself. New operators such are Coffin World are dramatically driving down that cost – which leaves more money for a customised service and celebration. Or, if dad was a big Rabbitohs fan, you can now order his coffin in Souths team colours from LifeArt Australasia, among many other non-traditional designs.

This sense of ‘my money, my way’ is also starting to change – like weddings before it – the actual funeral service. The location it’s held, who speaks, whether there are flowers, what the music is, the catering, the transport – every aspect will be challenged by the customer service kids. View dad lying in his coffin? No thanks, we want him sitting on his Harley – as wild in death as in life.

Expect more customisation and control in this most traditional of marketplaces.