In the 1994 Christmas classic The Santa Clause starring Tim Allen, the North Pole is depicted as a Christmas-themed utopia. Take a step outside of reality and once again believe in Santa, only for the sake of appreciating this concept. Imagine the North Pole this same way, almost like Google’s corporate campus, think of the North Pole as a giant corporation with the elves being the employees.
If the North Pole continued a traditional approach to Christmas, Santa’s corporation could continue to lose marketshare due to innovation and competition. If the North Pole doesn’t act soon, they could suffer the same fate as Blockbuster Video. How would the North Pole contend with today’s fast changing times and mega-corporate giants? The North Pole would have to adapt to the demands of the market.
The Old Business Model:
Santa and the Christmas holiday began with a strange but somehow effective business model. Originally the North Pole was set up as a toy production facility with an innovative way to efficiently deliver toys―just save it all up and deliver everything in one night. No one understands how Santa is able to do it but he somehow pulls it off.
Throughout the 364 other days of the year, Santa’s elves produce toys for the many children of the world. Many years ago, back when cigarettes were considered healthy, it did not matter what the toy was, children were happy to be able to wake up one day each year to find toys under a tree in their living room. That’s exciting if you think about growing up in a time when television shows only existed on the radio because the television did not exist yet. The North Pole’s business model is as old as the time period depicted within this paragraph, it would be time for a change.
Adapting to the Market Demand:
The demand of today’s children―adults as well―has far surpassed the capabilities of the North Pole’s long standing production facility. Santa would need to get creative, he couldn’t continue to fight an uphill battle, he’s already at the tippy top of any hill. He would have to adjust his business model, step into the unknown and make the risky decisions needed to reinvent Christmas. Santa could no longer waste time holding true to ancient ideals and traditions, he would need to face the problems head on seeing that a better solution lies ahead. He would need to create and execute a new plan.
How would he do it? Santa would reinvent Christmas by revitalizing the Christmas experience. On their new hip website, NRTHpole.com, Santa could create a digital Christmas and shopping experience providing gifts and guaranteed delivery on Christmas with an appearance included by Santa. If you order through competitor websites, you’ll only have UPS delivery men or drones visiting your house.
Santa could position his website to be a communication tool built to spread holiday cheer while also being your go-to destination for all of your Christmas needs. In a live feed provided by Periscope, Santa would address his legion of elves of this change. He would get them as invested in this new idea as he was, Santa would make you believe as much as he does.
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… they’re going on the Naughty List”
What Needs to Change:
The long running production side of the North Pole’s business had a good run. The world loves to consume and through strategic partnerships, the North Pole could guarantee and provide high volumes of business to certain wholesalers and distributors throughout the entire world. These partnerships would make NRTHpole.com the Amazon.com of Christmas.
To sell goods on NRTHpole.com, Santa would need to set up a payment gateway. User accounts could be aggregated by the data from the user’s multiple online profiles. The data acquired could be used to build unique algorithms built specifically for each individual user based off of not only their daily online activity, but the activity of those listed on their Christmas Shopping List. NRTHpole.com could even use the search data combined with the letters to Santa to determine the year’s hottest selling items and prepare customized packages and lists for everyone on your christmas list. Everything of course backed by guaranteed delivery on Christmas with the Santa experience included.
Not even FedEx nor UPS can replicate Santa’s model, his delivery methods have been refined to a perfect science. Using his incredibly efficient One-Night Guaranteed Delivery Option, Santa could lessen the amount of product needed to be produced by or passed through the North Pole. With the strategic partnerships throughout the world, Santa could depart the North Pole with less of a load using the North Pole’s many distribution centers as refill points throughout his travels for the night. This would speed up the time of the initial travel as it will lessen the weight of the load making it easier for the reindeer to travel.
With the last minute need for additional gifts, Santa could travel with a mobile credit card swiper allowing for on-the-go transactions to take place.
Why Santa’s New Model Would Win:
Our relationship with Santa began with us visiting him at the mall and receiving none of the toys we asked for as children. Santa can continue to provide the same level of service but this time with a personal touch and with undeniable accuracy. From the child’s point-of-view, they still wake up with all of their Christmas presents nestled tightly under the tree. The cookies are eaten, the milk is gone, the stockings are full, Santa has obviously visited. From the parents point-of-view, they had an easy online shopping experience, a visit from Santa so they could post a selfie with him on social media, and the convenience of purchasing and receiving all of the best Christmas gift deals in one place.
If you’ve made it this far, clearly I’ve spent way too much time thinking and breaking down the inter-workings of an imaginary corporation. It is time to enjoy the holidays. Merry Christmas everyone!