10 Essential Marketing Lessons From Santa Claus




Marketing for your small business can be a complex, time-consuming effort. Our Digital Marketing services can be the helping hand you have been looking for.

We offer a fully done-for-you digital marketing strategy, for less than what it would cost you to hire an intern! Learn more about how a Bespoke Digital Marketing plan can help you get more leads, so you can focus on doing what you do best: Running your small business!

[blank_space height=’1em’]

I’ve identified 10 key things that Santa does to solidify his brand, create raving fans, build trust and grow his Christmas Empire.

Here are the lessons so that you can set yourself up for an incredible New Year with the 10 essential marketing lessons every small business owner might learn from the Big Man in red…

1. Be reliable and deliver on time

Santa never lets us down and is probably the epitome of reliability. Would we still believe in him if he missed a year, or came late?

Essential Marketing Lessons:  How reliable is your business? Are you letting customers down?  Like expectant children on Christmas morning, your customers have high expectations and it’s your job to deliver – or risk losing them.

Make it a habit to ask customers if they’ve ever felt let down by your company, what areas you can improve upon, and what products or services they’d like you to offer.

Being painstakingly reliable builds trust – and people buy from companies they trust!

[divider style=’centered’]

2. Everyone loves a giver

Santa surprises and delights us. Who doesn’t think of Santa and smile?

Why is that?

It’s because he always surprises and delights us!

Whether it’s flashing a jovial smile and belting out a jolly “HO HO HO”, delivering that walking Buzz Lightyear doll or Harry Potter Lego Set our kids have been obsessed with for the past few months, or making a surprise appearance with a bag full of goodies at a local kids hospital, happiness and smiles follow Santa wherever he goes.  

Let’s face it, Santa is widely loved by people because he’s always handing out gifts.

Giving is one of the essential marketing lessons we can learn from Santa

Essential Marketing Lessons: Can you say the same about your brand? Does your business leave a lasting smile and happy thoughts? Do you surprise and delight?

If not, study your competition and your industry, talk to people, and find out where others let customers down. Then do something that no one else in your industry does.

Find that “something extra” to add to your product or service packages.  Customers love the unexpected, so what can you do to surprise – and delight – them.

[divider style=’centered’]

3. Systemise Your Key Processes

Santa gets the glory, but he doesn’t actually do most of the work. That is down to his team of elves who work hard to make it all look easy.

Not to mention mums and dads delivering the gifts. He has developed and put clear systems in place that run without his direct input.

Santa wouldn’t be Santa without his team.

Do you think he’d be able to read all of our letters, get together and pack all the toys into his sleigh whilst feeding and looking after his reindeer if he didn’t have a team to help him perform all of his Christmas responsibilities?

Of course not!!!

So then why do you expect to be able to take care of all of our business responsibilities yourself?

Maybe you need to hire some elves next year (Think hardworking and talented individuals)

Systems are important

Essential Marketing Lessons: If you don’t have the time to provide the level of service you want, surprise and delight customers – or market and build your business then it’s time to get your own team of elves and reindeer!

No one ever built an empire alone… and it may be time for you to get your own reindeer and elves!

Make it your mission to systemise at least parts of your business.

Hire a hardworking team to make you look good (your elves), create a great delivery process (your reindeer), run repeatable self-promotion events (shopping centre representatives), and create autonomous groups that can manage things locally (the parents).

[divider style=’centered’]

4. Build your database

Santa makes a list and checks it twice. He even finds out who’s been naughty and nice.

Santa has been gathering support and growing his list of “clients” for years! He even segments his list by dividing it into the good and naughty lists!

Constant building of your list is essential to long term success and yet, most small businesses don’t even have a list!

I talk with lots of small business owners and many initially tell me they don’t need a separate mailing list because they have a list of followers on their social media profiles.

I strongly disagree!

The reason for this is that you never own the followers you’ve spent so much time growing on Instagram or Facebook. The social media platforms could easily flip a switch and change everything.

Luckily, you do control your email list. 

So, even if tomorrow, Facebook changes their site so that only three people ever see your posts again, you’ll still have an email list full of dedicated followers who are there to open your emails and read your most important updates.

And as you are in business to sell products or services then you absolutely need an email list.

Think of it this way: a person’s email inbox is sacred.

If they allow you to send them emails, then they’re essentially inviting you into their virtual home. People hate getting useless spam in their inbox, but they’re willing to scroll through an Instagram feed full of photos from acquaintances they’ve talked to twice in their life.

Bottom line? Most people are less picky about who they “follow” on social media vs. who they subscribe to via email.

So, if someone subscribed to your email list, that’s awesome! It means they dig you and what you have to say. They’re not just a casual “follow4follow” account on Twitter.

They’re real. They’re engaged. And they might just want whatever it is that you’re selling.

[divider style=’centered’]

5. He has storytelling down to a science

Santa has storytelling down to a science. Marketing is all about telling a story in a way that makes visitors feel included, getting in touch with their emotions, listening and inspiring them.

Santa Claus not only has stories written about him, but we also sing songs about him. Plus it seems people even go to him when they need life advice (well they seem to in the movies that appear on the Hallmark channel!!).

He is a master communicator who knows how to get his message across in an effective and encouraging way.

He even makes time to visit shopping malls all over the world just to listen to the needs of children every year.

Storytelling is a powerful tool that you can use to market your business and connect in a more real and personal way with your audience.

Hairdressers, for example, are great storytellers and have a captive audience!!

Storytelling is one of the essential marketing lessons we can learn from Santa


When you come to craft your persuasive story, remember people like talking about experts who:

  • Inspire them
  • Challenge them
  • Educate them
  • Get them emotionally charged, e.g. angry, elated, furious, outraged, etc.

How can you use the power of personal stories in your marketing?

Want to learn more about the power of storytelling?

Check out this great video from Tedx Talks where Dave Lieber, a US-award-winning Watchdog newspaper columnist discusses the power of storytelling and identifies memorable stories that people care about.

[divider style=’centered’]

6. Limit access

Santa’s got things set up, so you can’t get him on the mobile, or just drop in to see him whenever you want. You’ve got to send your request to an obscure PO Box in the North Pole.

Are you making yourself too accessible to your customers/clients?

Remember, much like Santa, your time is incredibly valuable so guard it with a passion.

Customer service is critical part of your business. But if you are serious about success then you need to set up a system – there should be someone else answering the phone, screening calls and bringing you only the most important things.

Santa has been in business for many years and has a bit of a head start on you, but it isn’t actually that hard for you to grow big fast.

Learn from the best, implement the right tools and strategies and you could be relaxing on the beach with before long (spoiler alert: he doesn’t spend all his time at the North Pole!!), while your elves get the work done without you.

[divider style=’centered’]

7. Run special events

He’s the original Product Launch guy. It’s been said he was one of Steve Jobs first mentors!! And we all know how great he made the Apple product launches.

Santa clearly knows a thing or two on how to launch a product for maximum sales. He always builds massive anticipation and even gets your kids counting down the number of sleeps until the big day.

Can you do the same thing for your business?

I think so.

Maybe your company doesn’t have quite the reach Santa does, but every business, no matter how small, has the opportunity to revolutionise their business.

Do something none of your competitors have ever done before, take a position that’s bold and imaginative, paint a picture of the future that your customers want to live in, and then put your whole company into motion creating that vision.

It’ll inspire people. Right or wrong, we all love visionary companies with the courage to lead. Instead of fighting to get people to talk about you, they’ll be chasing you to find out what’s going to happen next.

[divider style=’centered’]

8. Costume and Self-promotion

Santa is one-of-a-kind and has an image like no one else:  long white beard, velvety red suit, and shiny black boots.

Not to mention a recognisable catchphrase, “Ho, Ho, Ho”.

He knows his target market is children. He also knows the things that set him apart from the Easter Bunny, the Grinch and the Tooth Fairy, and he uses this knowledge to build the Santa brand to be the unmistakable symbol it is today!

Essential Marketing Lessons: Take a look at your business and determine what can you do to make your business stand out from the crowd?

Do you have a unique image? A symbolic uniform? A bright red sleigh pulled by 8 tiny reindeer (Ok, a fleet of bright red vans will do!)?  A quirky catchphrase?

Find your uniqueness and do something big to stand apart from the competition!

[divider style=’centered’]

9. Get others to talk you up

His P.R. elves get everyone talking about Santa, so he never has to talk himself up.

As business owners, we know that the only way to grow our company and make more money is to increase our sales.

I’m sure you will agree that it takes a lot of work to make a single sale. With all the work and money involved, you’re always looking for a way to maximize your effort and expense so that you can grow your bottom line.

No matter how long you’ve been in business, you already know that getting a sale through cold calls is tough.

Referrals are a good source of leads

It’s always easier when a friend or client recommends your products or services to someone else. This is one of the reasons why customer referrals matter and should be an integral part of your sales and marketing plan.

Follow Santa’s lead and make sure you have a solid referral procedure in place in your business

[divider style=’centered’]

10. Build a business that gives you free time

With all his body doubles and the team of elves, Santa really only works a couple of days a year.

Most of the list-checking is done by his team of virtual assistants in Manila these days, so he and Mrs. Claus can kick back and enjoy 363 of fun and sun, splitting their time on the beach in the Caribbean sipping margaritas and playing poker in Vegas.

There are business lessons everywhere… if you look for them.

Feel free to share these 10 essential marketing lessons with your customers if you think it will help them and make you look good.

How about you? Where did you learn everything you know about business?

[divider style=’centered’]


The bottom line is this: Santa “gets” marketing – he has built one of the most recognisable brands that have ever existed by doing these 10 essential marketing lessons consistently well.

Sure, there is a good chance that you may never be as popular as the Big Man, but by following his example, you can certainly create your own little world of magic!

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2020.

Happy Holidays! Ho, Ho, Ho!!!

[blank_space height=’3em’]

Digital Marketing for your small business can be a complex, time-consuming effort. Our Digital Marketing services can be the helping hand you have been looking for.

Struggling to find time to invest in effective digital and inbound marketing for your business?

If your business is ready for an influx of new, good quality leads, then we are ready to help.

We offer a fully done-for-you digital marketing strategy, for less than what it would cost you to hire an intern! Learn more about how a Bespoke Digital Marketing plan can help you get more leads, so you can focus on doing what you do best: Running your small business!

About the author, Andrew Wallis

From two decades in the corporate world to finding my freedom in fitness, I'm known as Braveheart—a Personal Trainer turned marketing maestro for Fitness Professionals. I'm all about unlocking potential and empowering Fit Pros to grow their businesses. 'Finding Your Freedom' isn't just a mantra; it's a collective journey I embark upon with my clients.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Are You Making the Most of Your Fitness Business Marketing? Find Out Now with this Free Checklist!