THE QUESTION

Santa's branding brilliance

What accounts for the fat guy's success as an enduring, worldwide symbol of the holiday? The quirky suit? The fawning elves? The antlered entourage? How often do unlikely figures catch fire and seize the popular imagination?

Posted by Success Editors on December 21, 2009 12:01 PM
FROM THE PANEL

No competition

Santa raises the spirits of the young with hope for gifts and fun. For those of us who are older, Santa brings us fond memories of our childhoods -- when we went to bed, awaiting his bounty.

Posted by Jan Scruggs, on December 23, 2009 8:27 AM

Offering delight

We love our symbols because they deliver multiple messages in the embodiment of one entity.

Posted by Virginia Bianco-Mathis, on December 22, 2009 4:41 PM

How, ho, how?

Things that really catch on usually have a combination of things going for them.

Posted by Garrison Wynn, on December 22, 2009 2:16 PM

Being generous

His generosity and kindheartedness are what allowed St. Nicholas to reign in the hearts of people across cultures and decades and become the symbol of "gift giving" at Christmas time.

Posted by Jeanine Cogan, on December 22, 2009 1:27 PM

Needing Santa

Adults say that they keep the Santa myth alive for the children, but, truth be told, adults really keep Santa alive for themselves.

Posted by Patricia McGuire, on December 21, 2009 12:26 PM

Santa, as spoiler

For those of us lucky enough to have known our grandparents, we can recognize that Santa fulfills a lot of the grandparent job description, but in a more vibrant, uncomplicated way: He spoils you.

Posted by Michael J. Berland, on December 21, 2009 12:17 PM

Something magical

During this season, children learn that faith, patience, and good deeds eventually lead to success.

Posted by Celeste Owens, on December 21, 2009 12:09 PM

FEATURED COMMENTS

jworthey: Yes, yes. The question answers itself. The red suit with white fringe stands out almost anywhere. Marvelously, it carries a bare minimum of ...

redd1: Santa Claus is a marvelous idea, removed in time, which adds mystery and romance to the idea. The figure is based in German folklore, and w...

truthhurts: I dunno what makes Santa the perfect Holiday Fit He is certainly no loser like that mommy's boy Pitt Could it be that the idear of deliveri...

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