Santa adds Summer to the Value Curve
Disclaimer: this blog is not intended for people who are still children in their hearts.
My business relationship with Mr. Santa Claus now goes back several years. We first met in a Finnish sauna and somehow ended up discussing marketing. One thing led to the other and suddenly I found myself acting as Santa’s chief marketing consultant. Some assignments included a rebranding, a new business model assessment, some M&A due diligence exercises (the target was Easter but the deal fell through) and molecule assessment to enhance Elfic immune systems.
Our chance meeting this year occurred in Vienna just a couple of days before Christmas (Santa needed a short break with Mother Christmas before the final run). As usual we started by exchanging our thoughts on how 2014 had gone. You have probably picked up by now that Santa is very business savvy and always looking for the latest idea to transform his business model.
“So what kept you busy this year?” Santa asked while settling down with his gluhwein.
After a pensive silence, “Space”, I answered. “Definitely Space.”
“What? Like the final frontier” questioned Santa with a tone of disappointment.
“No, no. Space as the unique environment wherein your offer can survive. Space as mind space where you can keep your customer engaged.” I riposted excitedly. “This year we created an entire new space, the Vital 90 Days, for our dairy farmers that will not just provide them untapped value but also allow us to engage without any interference or competition. In fact, I’m glad we met as I have some ideas on how this could help maybe your operations.” I added.
Being the innovator he is, Mr. Claus, CEO Merry Christmas Gmbh, didn’t hesitate to ask for more.
Expand your space with a Value Curve
“Here is the deal Santa, you are running out of space. Your traditional competitors but also the new usurpers are expanding their reach into your space. Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, St Nick, New Year, La Befana, people just don’t have the time to focus on you anymore. On top of that, remember when we discussed the Blue Ocean Strategy some years ago? Your value curve has become completely generic.”
“How so?” Santa asked his interest definitely piqued but still somewhat suspicious.
“Look,” I said grabbing a napkin. “Your value curve is entirely based on the following attributes: family, sharing, meals and holiday. This is how I believe you stack up against you major competitors” scribbling some value curves on the napkin. “You barely differentiate yourself on the sharing side with the Christmas gifts – and that is a loss leader that’s costing you a fortune.”
(Note to the reader: I would not recommend you to be so direct and brutal if you ever encounter Santa. It’s only our relationship that protects me from his well-known temper.)
“So Christian, I assume that you have the answer.” was his dry response.
“Well, you should validate this with some of your customers as I only did a rapid check. You basically need to find a new attribute. Something that really resonates. Something that people have lost and even forgotten to long for.”
“Spit it out.”
“Shameless and guilt free relaxation. You need to change the game. You, Santa, need to move Christmas into summer!”
This is the first time I actually shock Santa. After he recovers from wiping the gluhwein of his coat (no stain), I continue.
“Summer is ideal. There is practically no competition what’s ever in August. Kids are happy, the parents more relaxed, you will own the space. And forget the Christmas Eve and Day thing. Think big go at least for Christmas Week.”
“August,” rolled Santa. “No snow, no more getting burnt in those chimneys. I can pension off the reindeers. Anyway with global warming they haven’t really seen any real action these last years.”
“Yes, get rid of the animals. It helped le Cirque du Soleil“. I interjected.
“And if I go for, say, the 20th then I can save some 15% on the advent calendars, ” mused Santa. “But my sponsors won’t go for it. Coca-Cola is extremely rigorous. Look how they control what I can say and how I should dress.” persisted Santa shaking his head.
“Actually, think about it. Summer is their peak sales for soft drinks. Finally they will be able to link their sales and promotion.”
“And what are the Elfic Union – they are extremely conservative. They nearly went on strike last year when they heard about your immune stimulation project.”
“I would assume that they would actually prefer to work in summer than in freezing winter?”
“Nope. They love working winters. As soon as I close the works, they are off to Cancun disguised as Canadians or Majorca as Germans. I like the idea but it’s a big change and I have worked hard building up that December 25th equity.”
“Aah, but here is the clincher. I had my friend Max from Pepsi on the phone. Apparently they have signed up the Grinch and are looking around for a slot.”
So the evening went on, my friends. I won’t bore you with all the detailed planning around customer insights, key opinion leader preparation, communication plans and trainings.
But I sincerely hope that you enjoy this Christmas with your family and friends with the snow and the fir trees. Enjoy the sharing and meals but be ready to truly relax next August Christmas Week on the beach and under the palms.
Looking to innovate and grow your business. Check out how Santa Marketing can help you.