The Christmas Gift Growth Strategy: How To Turn The Holiday Into A Lightning Strike Marketing Event For Your Superconsumers
If you can get talking to happen, you just might become the largest religion in the world.
ARRRRR!!!!! It’s been a big week, Pirates. Our first two big books, The Category Design Toolkit & A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design have both remained as #1 best-sellers on Amazon for over a week now. THANK YOU to everyone who bought/gifted a copy. This is only the beginning of our work, and we plan on building the category of Category Design for many years to come.
Also, if you’ve grabbed one of our new books and started reading, we would really appreciate it if you left a review for other pirates on Amazon. (Plus, it helps potential pirates know we have the treasure maps we claim to have!)
🛠️ The Category Design Toolkit: Beyond Marketing: 15 Frameworks For Creating & Dominating Your Niche
🗺️ A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design: How To Escape The “Better” Trap, Dam The Demand, And Launch A Lightning Strike Strategy
💻 Category Pirates Amazon: Our collection of mini-books available for individual purchase or gifting.
Dear Friend, Subscriber, and Category Pirate,
The greatest category marketing event ever is not a commercial, billboard, viral video, or festival.
It’s a religious holiday.
(Grab yourself a hot toddy, a chair, and an open mind and come join us on the deck—we have a story to tell you.)
In the classic animated television special, Merry Christmas Charlie Brown, the main character Charlie Brown asks, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”
To which his friend Linus responds, “Sure Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.”
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” —Book 42, Luke (2:08-14) The Bible, King James Version
ARRRRRRRR!!!!!!! Do you hear what we hear, Pirates?
Because this is not just an excerpt from the bible, or a quote from a television special from 1965.
This is a Category POV—and an origin story of the religion’s founder, Jesus Christ.
Today, Christianity (brand) is the largest religion (category) in the world.
According to Pew Research, Christians make up 31% of the world’s population. That’s 2.3 billion people (out of earth’s 7.3 billion). “Muslims make up the second largest religious group with 1.8 billion people, or 24% of the world’s population, followed by religious ‘nones’ (16%), Hindus (15%), and Buddhists (7%). Jews and members of other religions make up smaller shares of the world’s people.”
Which is interesting, considering Christianity’s origin.
When Jesus died, Christians were scattered. It was far from being a wide-reaching religion with believers and “hubs” around the world.
So how did Christianity become the Category King of religion?
Legendary Category Design + A Lightning Strike Called Christmas
On the surface, Christmas is not an overly religious holiday.
If anything, it has turned into a global display of materialism. As we wrote about in our mini-book, Rethinking Black Friday, Christmas and other holidays have become the largest shopping periods of the year—with companies doing everything from discounting to flash sales in an effort to juice profits before the end of the year.
Here are some jaw-dropping stats about Christmas:
Christmas is a $1 trillion category in the U.S. alone.
$15.2 billion (with a B) is the estimated total of unwanted presents.
America is expected to spend almost $6.1 billion on Christmas trees.
Women spend 20 hours, on average, shopping for Christmas presents.
10% of Europeans go into debt due to Christmas shopping.
46% of Americans are willing to take on debt due to gift shopping.
This is what Christmas is really about, Charlie Brown… ARRRRR!!!!!
And yet, despite the long lines at shopping malls and parking lot brawls over big screen TVs, signs of Christianty are everywhere during Christmas. Paintings of angels represent the news of the Savior’s birth; the man dressed up like Santa ringing the bell for donations outside of Whole Foods represents the bells that would guide lost sheep back to the fold; evergreen trees, everlasting life; holly is the crown of thorns worn by Jesus, and the red holly berries are the blood shed by Him; candles represent Jesus being “the light of the world” and to remind us to be a light to others; the candy cane is the shape of a shepherd’s crook (and Jesus is “the Good Shepherd”) with the white stripes representing the purity of Jesus and the red stripes representing the blood He shed for us; the Christmas star represents the first star of Bethlehem that shone on the night Jesus was born; and of course, Christmas gifts represent the gifts given to Jesus by the Three Wise Men: Frankincense, Myrrh, and Gold (and that God gave the gift of His Son to the world).
Now, are the vast majority of people who celebrate Christmas aware of all this symbolism?
Loosely. Maybe you remember a nun saying something about a crown of thorns back in Sunday School, but that’s about it. (Some people have little awareness of the roots of Christmas. Some people think Santa is Jesus’ father, and Bill Gates trained Big Foot to cause coronavirus via 5G towers so he could profit from selling the vaccines—which have tracking chips in them. But, that’s a whole other mini-book!) Which means despite the fact that Christmas is very much a religious holiday, it is inclusive in the way The Macy’s Day Parade on Thanksgiving is inclusive.
You have to be Muslim to celebrate Ramadan. You have to be Jewish to celebrate Hanukkah.
But you don’t have to be Christian to celebrate Christmas.
As a matter of fact, 81% of non-Christians in the United States celebrate Christmas. (That’s radically different amongst the various brands of religion.)
In our mini-book, The Lightning Strike Strategy, we wrote about the pitfalls of “peanut-butter marketing” (spreading your efforts around equally all throughout the year) and why mattering to everyone for 1-2 days per year is exponentially more effective than mattering to no one 365 days in a row. Christmas is a lightning strike for Christianity (not unlike how Salesforce created Dreamforce, their yearly conference). It happens once per year, and introduces the masses to the POV of Christianity (“Jesus died for our sins”) without requiring any real religious participation. If you want to go to Christmas Eve mass, churches are open. And if you just want to Amazon Prime a bunch of gifts for your nieces and nephews and get drunk on spiked eggnog, God bless you!
Which begs the question…
How can you hijack the holidays (or any other time of the year) through radical gift-giving to create a lightning strike of your own?
The Christianity Lightning Strike Playbook
Christmas is all about giving.
It’s about giving gifts, but it’s also about giving time, joy, and appreciation. When you buy an airplane ticket home to see your mother and father, you are giving them the gift of presence. When you tell your brother or sister, “I bought this for you when I was traveling,” you are giving them the gift of intention. And when you say prayers around the dinner table, you are giving each other the gift of warmth and connectedness.
All brilliant category marketing for Christianity, don’t you think?
The religion is a material part of Christmas—regardless of whether you believe in God, Jesus, or what the entire religion stands for. And because the two are deeply intertwined, every single year you are given the opportunity to “find your faith,” convert, and become a consumer (or a Superconsumer) of Christianity. Just like how, every year on Prime Day, Amazon asks you again, “Would you like to become a Prime Member? Prime Members receive same-day shipping as well as many other benefits.” (For context, in the U.S. 65% of adults consider themselves Christian and 76% of U.S. households buy Amazon Prime.)
So, imagine your company/product/service/brand is a material part of Christmas morning, or the Christmas holiday season.
Imagine owning part of the Christmas experience.
What might that look like?
In this mini-book, we are going to break down how to take advantage of the holiday season and Christmas, “gifting” as a marketing strategy, and how to make your product highly giftable by consumers, Superconsumers, and your own employees.
Let’s get sailing!