What is the first thing that pops in your head when I say “Christmas”? Is it the decorated tree, the presents, the image of you next to a fireplace while looking at falling snowflakes out the window? Is it the “Last Christmas” song or the grandpa in the red suit stuck in your chimney?
When you look at the brand style guide of Christmas, it really seems that it could use some modernization and re-branding.
- Color Palette
Primary brand colors — the red ( #EA4630), the green ( #146B3A) and the white (#FFFFFF) — have been the same for hundreds of years . There would be an occasional darker or lighter shade introduced, but the more we would experiment, the less christmas-y it felt.
2. The Logo
I am pretty sure that Santa is in the logo, the reindeers as well, but I couldn’t say what it looks like exactly.
3. The Tagline
“Merry Christmas” is as old as the bible and it doesn’t say much about who is the audience, what is their problem or how to solve it.
And Santa’s “Ho, ho, ho” could honestly really use some work.
Usually some kind of decorative serifs or calligraphy scripts. It either feels like it came from an old book of Hans Christian Andersen or from a classy graffiti artist.
So what is it that puts Christmas atop of all other brands?
Christmas is not just a brand, it’s the brand we should look up to.
Although it shows up only one day a year, its message is loud and clear, the look & feel are instantly obvious, and the best thing is — people do all the marketing for it.
But, what it really puts it above all others is the power of creating an emotion. And it’s not a specific emotion that we all feel. It’s the one that was carved in by the years of our experiences with this holiday. It’s a complex web of closeness, anticipation, family gatherings and surprises. It’s a mix of nostalgia, anxiety, frustrations and arguments.
It’s the feeling of opening a present when you were 5 and the feeling of lying to yourself about Santa’s existence at 35.
Christmas time changes mindsets, wakes up desires and activates creativity. Its strength is making people feel. But not manipulating them into what to feel. We do this pretty well on our own.
Christmas doesn’t need to hide behind a logo or a tagline. It knows that in itself it’s an opportunity for some and an excuse for others to give themselves a chance to show up, to step up, to connect.
The strongest brands are there to share the story about what matters the most and accept people where ever they are in their life-cycle. They don’t just offer solutions to existing problems, but also give a hand taking the first step. They create a sense of belonging and trust by being there and giving it all. They build platforms where people can feel safe and become ready for the next step.
When a brand is true to itself, consistent in its message, transparent in its actions and when it’s an example for others — it doesn’t need to look for an audience. People find the brand because they are guided by emotion and connection. The only two things they need to feel is that they are understood and supported.
Christmas has built this narrative by welcoming us every year and letting us shape it how we want. For each of us it means something little bit different. And each of us knows what it stands for and how we fit into it.