With the holidays in full swing, America is indulging in a long and hearty food binge. Businesses have closed their doors, and neighbors and family members are opening them. Football is on nearly every television in the country. But before the merrymaking begins and the tryptophan lulls you to sleep, here are a few light-hearted marketing thoughts to consider while enjoying your holiday break.
Genuinely believe (in something)
Not just this holiday season, but all day, every day. And I’m not talking about Santa Claus.
But let’s talk about Santa’s cause. This guy has been around for years, delivering holiday cheer to the world of believers, and he’s never taken a year off! Sadly, there’s been considerable speculation surrounding the actual physical existence of this “Santa” character lately. Some have been bold enough to claim he never even existed! I’m here today to quell those thoughts.
Santa is real. Just as real as Apple, Martin Luther King Jr. or the Wright brothers, who flew the first airplane. Santa is real because his cause is real. He believes in the importance of giving, spending time with family and appreciating even the most humble of life’s gifts. Santa exists—not because kids wait up for him on Christmas Eve to catch him in the act of placing gifts under the tree, but because his loyal followers all over the world believe what he believes.
The same is true in business. If you want to be successful, you must truly believe in something. Then, you must get your consumers to believe what you believe.
Simon Sinek and the Golden Circle
In arguably one of the greatest TED talks of all time, Simon Sinek uses his concept of “the golden circle” to explain how truly great leaders inspire action through beliefs.
Every single person and organization in the world knows what they do. Some people and organizations even understand how they do it differently to set themselves apart. But, startling few people and organizations have a clear understanding of why they do what they do—that is, their purpose, cause, belief or reason for existence. This is often an organization’s most undefined quality, and surprisingly enough, it’s also what separates the successful from the unsuccessful.
To continue with our holiday example, Santa’s what is “delivering presents.” His how is “by flying a magical sleigh with eight reindeer from the North Pole to your house and sliding down the chimney when you sleep.”
Is this enough of an argument to get you to believe in Santa Claus?
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
The goal is not to sell to people who need what you have. The goal is to sell to people who believe what you believe. Take Apple, for instance—a company that embodies this sentiment to the core. It’s not likely you will be seeing an ad from them this holiday claiming to have the fastest computer, phone or tablet device. They will be too busy showing you that they exist to push the status quo, to think differently, to move the world forward through consumer technology. They just happen to sell some high-quality products that will make your life easier—want to buy one?
Broadcast your beliefs
The concept of Santa Claus is embodied in a belief of caring, giving, loving, spending time with family and being thankful for the blessings in one’s life. Around the world, from America to Africa, people believe what he believes. Thus, they buy into him, keep him alive through tradition and remain loyal to his purpose year in and year out. This is the reason why Santa, a fictional character inspired by men who may or may not have lived hundreds of years ago, is still such a prominent figure in global culture today.
For the same reason, Martin Luther King Jr. is an American icon who will hold a place in history books until the end of time. Apple is a company that will forever be remembered by the way it shaped and advanced the world through technology.
What does your business believe? What is its reason for existence? And what are you doing to ensure that it stands the test of time?
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