We Brand. Santa Brands. You Should Brand.

At the heart of every company is its essence: core capabilities, values, key personnel, symbols and metaphors. The art of developing a powerful brand identity lies in pinpointing those defining qualities and bringing them to life through a creative theme. The result becomes a springboard for the company, its products, and all communications. A company’s brand identity becomes the foundation – the touchstone that all marketing and interactions come back to. That’s why it is so vitally important. And it’s from that unity and consistency that the business gains a competitive edge.

As we take a moment to indulge in the spirit of the holiday season, let’s do a quick examination of what is, quite possibly, one of the world’s strongest and most enduring brands… Santa. After all, it is Santa’s brand that inspires millions to dig deep into their pockets and purchase billions of dollars worth of retail and philanthropic gifts each year for those most important to them – even during the height of a recession! There have been many brand and marketing strategists who have come before us to dissect what it is that makes his brand so powerful; so while not a novel concept, we at King Design sat down to do our own analysis. The following is what we’ve come up with to describe the essence of Santa’s brand…


Key Messages:

  • Give Generously
  • Inspire Kindness, Goodness, and Hope
  • Laugh Often – ‘Ho Ho Ho’
  • Work Hard

Core Capabilities:

  • Quality products delivered on-time and on-budget
  • Brings joy to millions
  • Ability to know who’s been naughty and who’s been nice

Key Personnel:

  • Santa (duh)
  • Rudolph and the other reindeer
  • The elves
  • Mrs. Clause


  • Santa’s familiar red suit, long furry cap and black buckled belt
  • A sleigh filled with gifts
  • The North Pole
  • The famous ‘naughty vs. nice’ list

Color Pallete (PMS):

  • Main: Red-186C
  • Accent: Black-7547C, Cream-7499C, Green-341PC

When we compared our analysis to other studies, we found that all results were quite similar; further underscoring the power and consistency of this particular brand – everybody knows it well.

We also want to commend Santa for his ability to keep up with the times, remaining relevant through current technologies. Over the past few years, it seems Santa has developed his own website where, among other things, children can now send wish lists to the North Pole via email instead of snail mail.

While Santa’s brand is strong – there is always room for improvement. Our team suggests that a website re-design may be in order. We’ll get into the principles of effective web design in a future article…

Happy Holidays from our team to you!

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