Brand Equity and “The Holidays”

December 4, 2009

The holiday season has arrived, and, here at Soulsight, we welcome the turn of the calendar page and the dusting of fresh snow we received this morning.

We began to ponder how our brand equity relates to the holidays. Should our holiday gifts be adorned with the traditional holiday color palette or our Soulsight equity colors (as outlined in our shiny new standards manual)?

That opened the door for a confab about how the holidays relate to consumer brands. The holidays are an endorser of many of the products that we will buy this year for friends and family. They do have an emotional connection that fulfills a need state of many consumers, and, truth be told, the holiday season is one of the most globally identifiable emotional consumer touch-points.

It is the challenge of each brand, though, to determine their logical place in the aura of the holiday season. Some consumer brands, of course, will borrow the shiny equity of the holidays to reinforce their essence, polish up their image, or just bask in the halo effect of the beautiful twinkling light. But brands need to to be true to themselves and understand the consumer’s perception. The brands that can align the consumer’s perception with their own projected brand image will be most successful.

A few brands have made great strides in “owning” the holidays. Coca-Cola is a great example of a brand that completely dominates its category during the holidays. Soulsight has been privileged to be a holiday partner of Cola-Cola for an unprecedented 4 years. The holiday design created for last and this year’s season incorporates brand specific holiday iconography. Each brand (Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, Fanta, etc.) has their own unique “gift wrapping” that exudes their respective brand personality and ties into the parent brand essence.

Hershey’s brands also have a strong association with the holidays. Who doesn’t have a bowl of red, green and silver wrapped Kisses in their home for guests to enjoy this time of year?

Williams-Sonoma has a notably beautiful collection of holiday design. It does a terrific job of adopting the spirit of the season into the design architecture to further elevate their respective brand image.

What these brands do so well is make sure that the projected holiday personality is in line with the consumer’s current brand perception and expectations. In this way, the promise perfectly aligns with the experience, just like the heartwarming feeling you get on a snowy winter morning.