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Is Santa Claus One of the World’s Greatest Entrepreneurs?

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by Startacus Admin

Santa an Entrepreneur

As 2016 draws to a close, we look back at all the achievements of all the entrepreneurs we've had to good fortune to have been able to work with.

Considering it's nearing the holiday season,
we here at Startacus felt it was pertinent to point out to our readers, the finest points of one of the greatest Entrepreneurs of all time; Big, Red and Jolly himself - Santa Claus! So Move over Bill Gates and cover your head Mark Zuckerberg...

Ignoring if you will the rather glaring flaw in his business model (the whole giving away his products free of charge) this jolly unassuming fellow who has captured the hearts and minds of people all over the world is actually an enterprising genius of the business world.

Just for a bit of Festive craic we`ve decided to put together a very unscientific (and appropriately fanciful) analysis of why our favourite figure of the festive season is truly one of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs...

Santa an Entrepreneur

Great Back Story

Think about it, all globally successful entrepreneurs have great back stories, heck Hollywood even immortalises them in blockbuster movies meant to inspire and enthrall us! Well what could be more inspirational than the story of a man working in the wintry wilds of Northern Finland to deliver Christmas presents to local children and then rising to worldwide fame and market domination?

Amazing marketing and PR

Great Branding!
He is everywhere... literally EVERYWHERE. From cards to carols, Christmas trees to Christmas cookies - he is completely inescapable and we love it!  He has made his merry likeness into the must-have marketing icon for every type of company imaginable, equally suited to the obvious and completely non-Christmas related alike.  

And, as if he weren't popular enough, in 1957 he somehow convinced the genius children's author Dr Seuss to create an evil alter ego `the Grinch` to further cement his position as ultimate good guy and the world’s darling of the festive season.  Even the most altruistic of Christmas opponents have adopted him as their unofficial mascot. We’ve all seen those black Santa Claus hats emblazoned with the Dickensian grumbling "bah humbug''... oh Santa you clever clever man!

Low Cost Labour* (we don't think the living wage applies) 

We imagine at least - not being well acquainted with elven salary requirements we cannot say for certain.  However if reports are true the Polar populace are content with the simple pleasures in life -  job satisfaction, a warm bed and a merry tune to sing as they go about their duties.

Santa an Entrepreneur

Low cost eco-friendly transportation

Santa was certainly ahead of the curve when it comes to the green revolution- having never abandoned his traditional method of product distribution.  Of course a hydrogen-fuelled turbo-jet sleigh would have been something of a time saver, but it certainly doesn't have the same ring to it - not to mention the unspeakable noise it would create.  

Yes, Santa is nothing if not a traditionalist... he knows that romanticism sells and a reindeer-drawn sleigh winging its way across a glittering night sky has that in spades!  Let’s not forget either the free fuel (carrots and such) left by grateful customers for Rudolph and his reindeer comrades.  

Simple value proposition to customers

It is quite possibly the least complicated of customer/business relationships to ever have been created - be nice and you will get presents, be naughty and you won’t.  Its beautiful simplicity removes all culpability on Santa`s part, customer complaints are futile, if you receive bad service i.e. no presents, you only have yourself to blame. No issues with Santa getting repeat business here. 

Dynamic / Innovative

Whilst Santa likes to maintain the traditional method wherever possible he understands that sometimes change is unavoidable.

Take for example the chimney - in times gone by this was the perfect way for him to gain access to his customers home with minimal difficulty (bar perhaps the occasional singed bottom). But today they are bricked up, they are replaced with stoves and sometimes they simply aren't there!  Did Santa give up ? Nope, he invented a key that would allow him to gain access to homes where traditional chimney check-ins are no longer an option. A smart home IoT invention perhaps! 

Santa an Entrepreneur

Great catch phrases

In all honesty what catchphrase / tagline is more instantly recognisable than the wonderfully simple "Ho! Ho! Ho!" - just seeing the words written down calls the jolly old fellow to mind in all his yuletide splendour.  He is the perfect example of how the sparing use of words can sometimes be the best possible approach - for who could hear his other great utterance "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night" without marvelling at the mysterious wonder of one of the most famous, successful and yet elusive men of all time?

Some people (including ourselves if we are honest)...

...will call into question the legitimacy of this analysis, but perhaps consider for a moment the reach and influence of Santa in comparison to that of some of the world’s largest and best known companies.  Even the giants like Google, Shell and Apple can't even come close to that of Santa Inc. And that is before you even begin to consider the cumulative value of his global empire - how could you even begin to quantify in monetary terms the global monopoly on festive giving which Santa has built around himself?

Just a little something to mull over… Merry Business!!

**First published December 2013**

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Published on: 19th December 2013

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