Brand Finance logo

Jingle Sells, Jingle Sells

16 December 2013
This article is more than 10 years old.

Jingle Sells, Jingle Sells - Brand Santa Worth $1.6 Trillion

Most of us will be expecting the latest branded goods this Christmas and we’ll be relying on Santa Claus to deliver them to us. But the latest research from experts Brand Finance shows that Santa is more valuable than all the brands he delivers.

Brand Santa is worth a staggering $1.6 trillion. In contrast, Apple, the most valuable brand of 2013 was valued by Brand Finance earlier this year at just $87.3 billion. Using an analysis similar to its corporate brand valuations, Brand Finance took in the economic areas where Santa makes his mark such as travel, retail and accommodation, then looked at the festive period uplift in revenues and applied a royalty rate to arrive at the final figure.

Santa Claus has been integral to the festive season for over a thousand years and in that time has built up unrivalled brand equity. While first establishing his brand, Santa was frequently seen in a variety of different guises, appearing most often in green, red or gold robes. However a shrewd partnership with Coca-Cola resulted in a sharpening of his brand image and a more consistent visual identity. Santa now enjoys unrivalled recognition and is an extremely lucrative ambassador for hundreds of brands.

Brand Finance CEO David Haigh commented “Santa is the gold (or should that be red & white) standard when it comes to branding. Recognised the world over, his team have done a meticulous job of managing his image and building his profile whilst keeping him relevant to successive generations. Who knows what novel ideas his team of elves are cooking up as we speak?”

Head Elf of R&D, Doaivu Josefsen, commented “We are always looking for new ways to enhance engagement and drive awareness amongst his young, technologically literate target demographic. We are harnessing the power of ‘Big Data’ to create our most sophisticated algorithm to date; this will provide Santa with the most accurate information yet on who’s been naughty or nice.”

The elves are making use of technology in other ways. Chief Elf and Safety Officer, Hennet Olsen, stated “Though Santa and his team of reindeer make light work of delivering presents to billions of people, in order to accelerate quickly enough to reach every house in one night he is subjected to a force of over 17,500 g. Recent EU legislation on worker safety applies here in Lapland and so we have been forced to lighten Santa’s workload. Consequently we have taken the lead from Amazon and will begin deliveries by drone.”

David Haigh concludes, “There are many sceptics who suggest Santa is a fake and nothing more than a marketing gimmick, any such rumours are entirely spurious of course. There is no doubt that Santa Claus is the World’s most valuable celebrity brand and it is no wonder that brands from Coke to VW to KFC want his endorsement.”


Note to Editors:

Brand Finance is the world’s leading Brand Valuation agency with offices in over 15 countries worldwide.


For further information please contact Robert Haigh, Communications Manager, Bryn Anderson, Valuation Director or David Haigh, CEO.
Tel: +44 (0)20 73899400
Mob: +44 (0)7762211267
Tel: +44 (0)20 73899400
Mob: +44 (0)7894541442

Tel: +44 (0)20 73899400
Mob: +44 (0)7885153725

Appendix – Christmas Trivia

  • The name ‘Santa Claus’ is ultimately derived from Saint Nicholas via the Dutch name Sinterklaas.
  • Nikolaos of Myra, who would go on to become saint Nicholas, was a Greek born in 270 in Patara in modern day south west Turkey.
  • His feast day is December 6th, the day he died in 343 AD.
  • His association with gift-giving, and therefore perhaps the ultimate cause of the commercialisation of Christmas, stems from his reputation for secreting giving out gold coins.
  • He is said to have frequently left the coins in people’s shoes and stockings, hence the tradition of the Christmas stocking,
  • In the most famous example of his generosity, he threw three purses full of gold through the window of a poor man who couldn’t provide dowries for his three daughters.
  • Some versions of the tale have him throwing the purses down the chimney, possibly the origin of the idea that Santa brings our presents down the chimney.
  • He is the patron saint of bankers, pawnbrokers, thieves, pirates, sailors, children, archers and New York City.
  • Though Santa Claus is thought to live in Lapland, St Nicholas’ remains are buried in the Italian cities of Bari and Venice.
  • There is no consensus on why Christmas falls on the 25th of December. One idea is that the Annunciation (commemorating the moment Gabriel told Mary that she would give birth to her special baby) is on March 25th, i.e. nine months before December 25th.
  • Christmas was banned by Oliver Cromwell in England & Wales from 1649-1660 and by American Puritans from 1659-1681.
  • The first printed reference to a Christmas tree was in 1531 in Germany.
  • British illustrator John Callcott Horsley created the first Christmas card in 1843.
  • When visiting Finland, Santa leaves his sleigh behind and rides on a goat named Ukko.
  • You can follow Santa’s journey on Christmas Eve using NORAD Santa tracker website.
  • Christmas purchases account for 1/6 of all retail sales.
  • 328 million apps were downloaded on Christmas day 2012.
  • ‘White Christmas’ by Irving Berlin is the best selling single of all time, with over 100 million sales worldwide.
  • Nearly 3000 tons of aluminium foil will be used to wrap Christmas turkeys this year.
  • 4,000,000 tons of rubbish is generated annually from gift wrapping and shopping bags at Christmas.
  • 1.5 million new items for sale were listed on eBay Boxing Day 2011.
  • World population – 7.2 billion
  • Christian population – 2.2 billion
  • Mince pies eaten / year – 250 million
  • Christmas trees displayed / year – 500 million
  • Baubles used / year – 10 billion
  • Santa’s many pseudonyms include:

Kanakaloka – Hawaii
Ông già Noel – Vietnam
Siôn Corn – Wales
Jultomten - Sweden
Naththal Seeya – Sri Lanka
Dedo Mraz – Macedonia
Tonton Nwèl – Haiti
Djed Božičnjak – Croatia
Viejito Pascuero – Chile
Gaghant Baba - Armenia

Media Contacts

Penny Erricker
Communications Executive
Brand Finance

About Brand Finance

Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. Bridging the gap between marketing and finance for more than 25 years, Brand Finance evaluates the strength of brands and quantifies their financial value to help organizations of all kinds make strategic decisions.

Headquartered in London, Brand Finance has offices in over 20 countries, offering services on all continents. Every year, Brand Finance conducts more than 5,000 brand valuations, supported by original market research, and publishes over 100 reports which rank brands across all sectors and countries.

Brand Finance also operates the Global Brand Equity Monitor, conducting original market research annually on over 5,000 brands, surveying more than 150,000 respondents across 38 countries and 31 industry sectors. Combining perceptual data from the Global Brand Equity Monitor with data from its valuation database enables Brand Finance to arm brand leaders with the data and analytics they need to enhance brand and business value.

Brand Finance is a regulated accountancy firm, leading the standardization of the brand valuation industry. Brand Finance was the first to be certified by independent auditors as compliant with both ISO 10668 and ISO 20671 and has received the official endorsement of the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) in the United States.

Definition of Brand

Brand is defined as a marketing-related intangible asset including, but not limited to, names, terms, signs, symbols, logos, and designs, intended to identify goods, services, or entities, creating distinctive images and associations in the minds of stakeholders, thereby generating economic benefits.

Brand Strength

Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors. Brand Finance evaluates brand strength in a process compliant with ISO 20671, looking at Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and the impact of those on Business Performance. The data used is derived from Brand Finance’s proprietary market research programme and from publicly available sources.

Each brand is assigned a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score out of 100, which feeds into the brand value calculation. Based on the score, each brand is assigned a corresponding Brand Rating up to AAA+ in a format similar to a credit rating.

Brand Valuation Approach

Brand Finance calculates the values of brands in its rankings using the Royalty Relief approach – a brand valuation method compliant with the industry standards set in ISO 10668. It involves estimating the likely future revenues that are attributable to a brand by calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for its use, to arrive at a ‘brand value’ understood as a net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market.

The steps in this process are as follows:

1 Calculate brand strength using a balanced scorecard of metrics assessing Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and Business Performance. Brand strength is expressed as a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score on a scale of 0 to 100.

2 Determine royalty range for each industry, reflecting the importance of brand to purchasing decisions. In luxury, the maximum percentage is high, while in extractive industry, where goods are often commoditised, it is lower. This is done by reviewing comparable licensing agreements sourced from Brand Finance’s extensive database.

3 Calculate royalty rate. The BSI score is applied to the royalty range to arrive at a royalty rate. For example, if the royalty range in a sector is 0-5% and a brand has a BSI score of 80 out of 100, then an appropriate royalty rate for the use of this brand in the given sector will be 4%.

4 Determine brand-specific revenues by estimating a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to a brand.

5 Determine forecast revenues using a function of historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts, and economic growth rates.

6 Apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues.

7 Discount post-tax brand revenues to a net present value which equals the brand value.


Brand Finance has produced this study with an independent and unbiased analysis. The values derived and opinions presented in this study are based on publicly available information and certain assumptions that Brand Finance used where such data was deficient or unclear. Brand Finance accepts no responsibility and will not be liable in the event that the publicly available information relied upon is subsequently found to be inaccurate. The opinions and financial analysis expressed in the study are not to be construed as providing investment or business advice. Brand Finance does not intend the study to be relied upon for any reason and excludes all liability to any body, government, or organisation.

The data presented in this study form part of Brand Finance's proprietary database, are provided for the benefit of the media, and are not to be used in part or in full for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.

Get in Touch