The world’s most iconic brand? Hmm…Apple, Coca-Cola or even The Olympics? All excellent choices, but it’s actually Jolly Old Saint Nick. Yes, our very own Santa Claus has been described as the world’s strongest brand!
The Santa brand is worth a staggering $1.6 trillion. In contrast, Apple, one of the world’s brand leaders, is estimated at $323 billion, Coca-Cola at $84 billion and The Olympics at $419 million. While it’s hard to put a price tag on Santa Claus, let’s just say his value is out of this world!
Similar to its corporate brand valuations, Brand Finance analyzes the economic areas where Santa makes an impact including travel, retail and accommodations, then looked at the uplift in revenues during the holiday season and applied a royalty rate to arrive at the final figure. “Santa is truly in a league of his own when it comes to branding, according to Inkbench Founder and Chief Product Officer, Steve Goodman. “Santa’s elves must be working overtime trying to manage such an important brand image, and maintain that status and popularity from one generation to the next.”
So, like any brand in demand, Santa Baby needs nurturing and safeguarding, or the brand could become damaged and lose its relevance. Managing the Santa brand is certainly a challenge, but navigating brand challenges isn’t new to Santa Claus. His brand has endured the Dark Ages (not an ideal time to give out presents), Industrial Revolution (great time to automate gift delivery systems), and most recently the year, 2020—speaking of challenges, need we say more? Through the years, dear old Santa’s brand has always found a way to grow and turn a challenge into an opportunity.
Santa’s most famous corporate promotion was with Coca-Cola in the 1930s, a tie-in promotion allegedly because both brands used the same shade of red. The result was huge growth for both brands–and a rumor even spread that Coke invented Father Christmas. That, of course, is not true. But other issues have surfaced. With the growth of new technologies, social media, next-day delivery, and the world’s population blossoming to nearly 8 billion people, Santa’s workforce has become more and more dispersed. Maintaining brand integrity, at the edges of his organization, has become his latest challenge.
This year, Santa brought on additional helpers to make it easier for his elves to work remotely around the globe, as well as the North Pole. Together, they came up with a user-friendly system to empower the teams to customize their own brand materials and not wait on Santa. Calling their new system, Inkbench, a nod to both the octopuses’ Ink and Santa’s workbench, brand marketing materials are available on “the cloud,” a place that Santa and his reindeer are very familiar with. And Santa’s holiday partner is none other than Inky the Octopus. Inky’s skills are surprisingly complementary to Mr. Claus’. Of course, she has eight arms, but she’s also a master of disguise, has an extreme intellect, and four hearts, which allows her to give four times as much love and she is extremely generous.
With the new Inkbench system in place, Santa no longer has to venture out on outlandish delivery missions. The Inkbench system enables him to review what each of his elves does from a central location. Indeed, the system allows for infinite customization, and even has a built-in approval system. It’s truly ingenious.
And what’s more, Santa and Inky have agreed to share this smarter approach to brand management with the world.
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