Lead Like Santa Claus

MerryOldSantaI was looking through some files this weekend and came across my notes from a webinar I attended a few years ago. It was entitled “The 10 Branding Secrets of Santa Claus.” According to presenter Steve Miller, these very specific and deliberate actions provide Santa Claus with “uncopyable superiority.” I love that term.

As I listened to each point Mr. Miller made, I couldn’t help but think about the potential that lies within each business. I believe we are all in a unique position to provide a level of service and partnership to our customers that simply cannot be rivaled by the competition. Those who choose to capitalize on their strengths and outhustle the rest always rise to the top. And so I thought I would share these points from the presentation with you.

The 10 Branding Secrets of Santa Claus

  1. Santa manages expectations. If you’re good, you receive gifts. It pays to listen to Santa Claus.
  2. Santa makes a BIG promise. Compare gifts given for any other holiday – they just don’t compare to the expectations surrounding Santa’s visit.
  3. Santa facilitates referrals. Everyone talks about Santa. Parents even send their kids to him.
  4. Santa creates long-term relationships. Year after year, people turn to Santa with their Christmas wishes.
  5. Santa owns the date. From a business perspective, December 25th is Santa’s day.
  6. Santa delivers an experience. My daughter Abby is 15. She’s known “the truth” about Santa for a long time. But she still gets super-excited every year. And I do too.
  7. Santa owns a color. Who else wears a red suit, cruises around in a red sleigh, and totes a giant red bag?
  8. Santa looks different. You’re not going to confuse Santa with anyone else. Attempts to copy him are laughable.
  9. Santa reinforces his myth. Stores invite kids (and adults) to visit Santa. New movies are made about him every year. Even NORAD tracks his progress! He makes it easy for everyone to buy into his brand.
  10. Everything about Santa walks the talk. Everything about Santa – his North Pole workshop, the elves, the reindeer, the milk and cookies by the chimney – reinforces his story and his brand.

I hope each of you are as excited about 2015 as I am. I hope these observations stir your imagination. And I look forward to working with each of you as you catapult your business into a position of “uncopyable superiority.”

Merry Christmas!

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