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Santa Can Teach Us Advocates Plenty About Good Branding
Here come the holidays! And whether or not Santa plays a role in your own celebration, you have to give it to him – he may be THE most recognizable brand in the world. It struck me this week that what Santa stands for, and what advocates stand for, are very similar: selflessness and improving others’ lives. So what can independent health advocates learn from Santa Claus about branding ourselves, our work and our practices? Plenty. Basic branding is about three things: 1. Recognition We all recognize Santa. Even variations on Santa imposed by others – we still know they are Santa. Old Santas, young Santas, male Santas, female Santas, long-coated or short-coated Santas, even fat Santas and skinny Santas – we KNOW what Santa looks like. Why? Because the Santa look is consistent, whether it’s the red coat and pants with the white fur trim, or the wide black belt, or the hat, or the beard, or even the chimney or rooftop that accompanies Santa. Santa has had hundreds of years to hone his brand, of course. But like the rest of us, he had to start somewhere, too. You, too, can hone your brand by making sure you and your business are recognized whether it is in-person, in print or online. Maybe you wear the same color blazer every time you are working (remember those Century 21 gold jackets?) Or maybe you always wear a name tag that is large and easily readable. Stick a car magnet on your vehicle. Your marketing materials, like your logo, your colors, your type faces, your messages – they should always have the same look and feel. Consistency in look is the key to recognition. Like Santa – pick a look to help grow your brand. 2. Consistent behavior We KNOW what Santa stands for. And it’s not just about coming down the chimney and leaving gifts. Santa’s behavior is always positive, he always says and does the same thing (HO HO HO! and down the chimney he goes) Even when he’s exhausted from an entire day of talking to “gimme” kids…