Christmas: a two-faced brand

12-21-07-christmas.jpgIf there’s one event with mixed signals about the brand, it’s Christmas.

Just think about the different stories associated with Christmas, and the multitude of icons they produce. One would hardly know the same holiday was being honored (or exploited) by the diverse messages we get and pass on.

Christmas is at least two very distinct brands.

There’s the story of the birth of Christ. Then there’s the Santa Claus story. (For business people and the economy in general, there’s also the economic and promotional aspect of Christmas with its own language, practices and set of principles.)

Associated with the child’s birth are:

   The manger scene
   The star of Bethlehem
   Shepherds keeping watch by night
   Three wise man
   Angels from on high
   Choirs and carols
   Christmas eve ceremonies
   Candles
   Bells
   Salvation Army bell ringers

For the secular aspects of Christmas you have:
   The north pole
   Elves
   Reindeer
   A Sleigh
   Cookies
   Candy canes
   Christmas trees
   Ornaments
   Stockings by the chimney
   Electricity-sucking light displays
   Holly
   Mistletoe
   Office parties
   And of course, Santa himself

Then on the commercial side there are:
   Commercials
   Sales
   Credit cards
   Commercials
   Sales
   Credit cards
   Commercials
   Sales
   Credit cards

No wonder there’s tension, hurly burly, indigestion and credit-limit challenged shoppers.

A time of peace on earth and good will toward mankind?

I certainly hope the latter is your experience this Christmas.
 

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