From Marketing Guru Jon Ward…
My 5 yr old Hooper has been extremely excited this year about Santa’s arrival. For the past four days, he’s been like a broken record of badly butchered Christmas songs. The excitement at my house is like a balloon about to pop! Nearly every story and comment from the boys is about taking care of the Reindeer or what to leave for Santa.
What a great brand Santa is! From a branding standpoint it’s perfection in action. You can see him, associate him with colors, associate him with a feeling (cold, snowy, but he is warm and kind hearted through it all). His brand has taken different forms reflective of the audience and rather than fight to normalize the changes, his brand has been allowed to manifest itself to meet the needs and most importantly the desires of different regions of the world. As branding experts, we could take simple lessons from Santa:
1) Don’t fight your audience’s perception of you and what you should be – listen to your customers and BECOME that company for them!
2) A great brand takes dedication and consistency over decades, not months. If you are changing your brand presentation (not design, but BRAND), every year or two, you do not have a brand. It’s that simple.
3) A great brand is something that you can see, experience, get to know and rely on over time. Can your customer rely on you? Where do they see you? At industry events? Speaking on the latest industry trends? Do you have an audio brand (like Intel, Verizon and many others) that extends your brand to another sensory point?
In short, be like Santa – friendly, consistent, reflective of customer needs, and reliable and your customers will praise you!