Brand ‘Christmas’ is the Embodiment of Joy

What does BMW have in common with Airbnb, the International Olympic Committee, Coca Cola, Zappos and a few other extraordinary brands? Success and ‘Joy’ – or, rather, success through ‘Joy’!

When we started writing ‘THE Enduring Strategic Brand, the perspective was clear: 13 Imperatives would be the building blocks of a Strategic Brand and constitute a system to assess, improve and ultimately transform the strategic strength of brands.

As the selection of exemplary and best in class brands progressed, a common characteristic surfaced, something that is shared by the most enduringly successful brands: ‘Joy.’

With Joy comes ‘happy’ and ‘optimistic’, a form of positive energy that imbues organisations with purpose and brings people together for the good of the business, their stakeholders and colleagues. Hence ‘Joy’ became compellingly the 14th Imperative for an Enduring Strategic Brand.

Brand ‘Christmas’ is Joy 

For many, the ultimate inspiration for ‘Joy’ is Christmas. The festive celebration is overwhelmingly about ‘Joy’ from start to finish: it brings back the emotions of childhood, makes you feel like you are part of something bigger, and offers the power of escape.

For these reasons, Christmas is our Exemplary ‘Enduring Strategic Brand’ for the ‘Joy’ Imperative. It is even the embodiment of an ‘Enduring Strategic Brand’ but more on this later.

The Science of ‘Joy’

Would you believe there is a science of ‘Joy’? It is this science we refer to when talking about the emotions of childhood, feeling part of something bigger or the power of escape.

It starts with Insead’s L’Oréal Chaired Professor of Marketing, Pierre Chandon, saying: “A brand that creates emotional joy is a rare thing.” He argues that when this occurs, an emotional attachment is created to the brand itself, which leads it to be better remembered, better liked and chosen more often – a good example is Zappos, whose customers are 75% repeat customers.

We find the following framework helpful when thinking of a brand’s relationship with ‘Joy’:

  1. Joy and Happiness as start and end point – In his book ‘Delivering Happiness’, Zappos’ founder Tony Hsieh explains that he began by focusing on culture and employee happiness, “where employees get so much out of it that they would do it for free.”  He then shifted the focus to “creating enjoyment and fulfillment for employees towards delivering happiness to both customers and the greater public”.
  2. Back to the Joy of our childhood – LEGO can attribute its resurgence from the mid 2000s to the way in which it focuses on the LEGO builder’s delight without compromising ‘Joy’. One key practice was to bring creative and non-creative people together to develop products the market would love.
  3. The Joy of belonging, being respected and being part of something bigger – J. Crew succeeds by engaging customers in an ongoing dialogue about style. Prius and Tesla drivers belong to a group of front-runners, those who protect the environment through smart technology choices. Airbnb is predicated on ‘belonging’ and its recent extension of communities offers the ‘Joy’ of belonging to literally everybody.
  4. The Joy of escaping routine – The local and welcoming presence of both McDonald’s and Starbucks offers many people, from mothers to independent workers, a break from their usual routine…and a joyful escape. Starbucks claims: ‘mini break, maximum happy’; while McDonalds ‘brings moments of joy to 24 cities across the globe’.
  5. The Joy of success… and of projecting success – As Professor Chandon explains: “The brands of the products we use are how we show people who we are.” Nike sees everyone as an athlete and helps him or her to feel like one through “Just Do It.” Dove makes every person “more beautiful than they think”. This is also about status and BMW makes people feel successful through “Joy of the sheer driving pleasure”.

Christmas, the epitomisation of an ‘Enduring Strategic Brand’

Brand ‘Christmas’ has all of this… and more. It is, in fact, our Number One Exemplary Enduring Strategic Brand globally.

Who could argue that Brand ‘Christmas’ is lacking ‘Purpose’, ‘Authenticity’ and ‘Emotion’?  Isn’t it amazingly ‘Connected’ and ‘People Led’, with billions of owners and promoters of the brand irrespective of their religious or societal beliefs?

Brand ‘Christmas’ seems eternal, hence ‘Future Embracing’ – which brand can claim over 2000 years of unchallenged success? And this with unchanged heroes and stories – Jesus Christ birth; Santa, his sleigh and reindeers.

And consider the outcomes – Brand ‘Christmas’ Strategic Power drives behaviors and activities of billions people; it imbues love and ‘Trust’ and creates unparalleled economic ‘Value’.

So why not get your brand think, act, connect and bring ‘Joy’ more like Brand ‘Christmas’ for a most successful 2018!

Wishing you, your families and friends an ultimately joyful Christmas.