The Reason Behind Santa’s Red Suit – Strategy With RS

Merry Christmas!

Here is a question for you?

What is the colour of Santa Claus’ suit?


Yes, you are right. But if you turn pages of history, you may discover to your consternation that it was green.

Then how did the Santa Claus’ suit turn red?

To answer that question, let me pose a question to you.

It is a hot day and you are extremely thirsty. Lord behold, you see ‘red’ colour. Which brand of soft drink will come to your mind?

Chances are good that you will remember Coca-Cola!


Since the 1920s, Coca-Cola has made a conscious effort to own ‘red’ colour ‘in the minds and hearts of people.

Why did Coca-Cola make this attempt? Research indicates that if a brand owns a colour in customer mind then whenever the customer sees the colour it is likely to remind them of the brand – increases brand recognition by up to 70%.

And that’s what happened to you when you saw red colour on a hot afternoon.

Why did Coca-Cola opt for Santa Claus? Because Santa Claus personifies Happiness – he brings happiness to people’s lives – a trait that is also associated with Coca-Cola!

How did Coca-Cola achieve strong association with Santa Claus? Through consistent advertising, which featured Santa Claus, adorned in a red suit – in favour of a green suit!


Bottom line:

1. Get a colour associated with your brand, it is likely to increase your brand recognition by up to 70%.

2. It is a zero cost advertising vehicles zilch to the brand.




About the Author:


In this series, Rajesh Srivastava, Business Strategist and Visiting Faculty at IIM Indore gives you a regular dose of strategy case studies to help you think and keep you one step ahead as a professional as compared to your peers. Rajesh is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and IIT Kanpur and has over 2 decades of experience in the FMCG industry. All previous Strategy with RS posts can be found here.