Business Class: The Claus Organization’s enduring business model
By Randall Kenneth Jones
Originally published in the Naples Daily News
Santa Claus is coming to town.
Plus, after years in the global marketplace, the man knows more about maintaining a successful business enterprise than an industrial stocking full of Gates, Buffett, Bezos and Apple’s seemingly omniscient “Siri.”
On this topic, my friends and I have much to say.
According to Claus insider Barb Brandon, Director of CRM at Chicos FAS: “Santa secretly hopes Amazon hasn’t perfected droid de-icing techniques. This would give reindeer/sleigh transport the upper hand for mass distribution in less temperate locations.”
New York Times Best Selling Author Craig Bouchard adds. “Santa’s North Pole HQ is centrally located—enabling him to reach North America, Europe and Asia with greater efficiency. Claus also reaches more customers on December 25th than UPS, FedEX and the USPS combined. He’s a logistics genius.”
On business operations:
“Led by a jolly humanitarian and mission-centric sleigh-man—the Claus Organization impacts everything from our visions of sugarplums to consumer buying habits, media relations and organizational manpower. After all, who wouldn’t want to hire a team of highly loyal elves?” Suzanne Leonard, Founder & CEO, LegendsandLegacy.com.
“Claus has revolutionized the concept of co-op advertising. Every consumer marketer on the planet seems more than happy to foot the bill for his PR. Though I would never divulge specifics, organizations sometimes pay big dollars for personal appearances by celebrities. Claus’ P&L may surprise you.” Phil Beuth, Former President, Good Morning America.
On an aging customer base:
“Claus’ ongoing challenge: how to be a leader despite a growing lack of support from an aging ‘non-believer’ customer base. The answer lies in his unwavering commitment to excellence. Customer service and quality products will always prevail.” Pat Boos, SVP of Marketing, Time-Life/StarVista.
On successful work habits:
In his book, “The Benevolent Dictator,” OfficeMax Co-Founder and Max-Wellness CEO Michael Feuer wisely advises: “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” Helpful for overly cautious professional adults—yet ironic considering millions of children have no problem asking Claus for exactly what they want.
On annual reviews:
“I have never met a manager who doesn’t keep some sort of list of who’s ‘naughty’ and who’s ‘nice.’” Melissa Cunningham, Senior Director of Development, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
On professional image:
“I’ll tell you what I like about Santa. I like anyone who is fatter than I am.” Janet Evanovich, New York Times Best Selling Author.
On the element of surprise:
“Claus has the spirit and determination of a true athlete. Don’t let his appearance fool you. Magic Johnson and I once played him and Mrs. Claus in basketball—and lost.” Jack McKinney, former NBA Head Coach.
On embracing your Mission Statement:
“When your reason for being is ‘to make children happy,’ you are already a huge success. As a great leader, Claus sets an excellent example: Giving and being kind to others is a wonderful goal for children of all ages.” Peggy Post, Author and Spokesperson, The Emily Post Institute.
Of course, when it comes to applying the best part of Claus’ time-tested, generosity-focused business model, one lesson is abundantly clear: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Marketing guru, business humorist, professional-courtesy advocate, branded-content writer, creative-development consultant, and entertaining motivational speaker Randall Kenneth Jones is the creator of RediscoverCourtesy.org and the president of MindZoo, a marketing communications firm in Naples, Florida.
Pictured above: Santa Claus and Randall Kenneth Jones. Photos by Derek C. Wakefield.