The Ultimate Brand–Santa Claus

Santa Claus could arguably be the most influential brand on consumer behavior. Brand managers strive to have the kind of incredible brand recognition, emotional connection, steadfast consistency and measurable results that Santa Claus has.

Santa’s brand attributes are clear, consistent and desirable to virtually everyone: jolly, generous, hard-working, collaborative, giving and fair. Santa Claus is about goodness. His image is consistent, from the local Salvation Army to your next door neighbor’s rooftop. You will always find him sporting the same look no matter when or where you see him.

(Left) Quiet Room’s Brand Guidelines for the Santa Clause brand.

Santa traditionally expects to get a written wish list and also a personal visit from each of his “customers” annually.  This personal interaction keeps him connected with believers and ensures an understanding of how to attain what you’re wishing for.

Kids believe in him and what he stands for. They also know if they share those values and act accordingly, they will get something out of it on Christmas morning.
The true measure of a great brand is the desire for customers and others in the industry to affiliate. During the last few months of the year, Santa Clause is the world’s most sought after spokesperson. He is arguably the most imitated person, as well.
From Thanksgiving through Christmas, parents scramble to live up to the expectation of the Santa Claus brand. Pickle hiding, The Elf on the Shelf relocation nightly, remembering St. Nicholas (which we forgot this year), and shopping for gifts that total the same number of packages and that will equally excite each child in the family. It’s hard work. We all do it.
Give people something to believe in. They are more likely to buy why you do something over what you do. Dr. Seuss said it best, “And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

Retail sales were expected to clear $617 billion during the 2014 holiday shopping season–the strongest growth since 2011. In measuring goodwill, in 2012 $316 billion was contributed to non-profit organizations according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics. Respondents gave 24% of their annual total between Thanksgiving and New Year’s day. Not-for-profit organizations reported that they received 50% of their contributions for the year between October and December.

Like many brands, some of the most important impacts aren’t measured in dollars, but in affecting behavior. Promoting kindness and charitable acts during the holiday season is the “why” behind it all. Gerard Marketing Group wishes you a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year in every way!