The Holidays are Coming!

Seeing as I’m a big fan of Christmas, it’s time for a festive post! I love everything about this time of year; seeing friends and family, giving and receiving presents, Christmas trees and indulgent overeating!

Now, take a moment to think about the main character adorning retailers, houses and children’s minds at this time of year – Father Christmas. Thinking of him conjures up thoughts of the glowing red outfit, the huge snowy white beard, jet black boots and the bulging sack of presents.

Father Christmas is no doubt a powerful brand. A brand, which CPG companies and retailers use to maximum effect throughout December to boost sales. Coca Cola use our favourite festive character to a massive extent in their numerous commercials at this time of year. In the years that Coke decided not to run these famous ads, it actually prompted scores of calls to its customer information centre from people who said it marked the beginning of Christmas!

When you think of a strong personal brand like Father Christmas, or even a commercial brand such as Coca Cola, each one has such key values that if removed, the brand no longer works. Give Santa a shave, and dress him in jeans and a t-shirt and you’ll destroy the brand. Take away the faultless product consistency from Coke (a can of Coke is always a Coke no matter where you buy it – it always tastes identical) and no longer is Coke, well … Coke!

Think about what’s core to your brand. What’s so critical as a value that if removed, your business fails to exist in the way that it does today? What core value would you never sacrifice even if it meant going out of business? For many of the world’s best brands, their core values actually become their key differentiators.

Merry Christmas everyone.