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COMPETING with Other Santas…

Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen several Facebook posts about Santas competing with one another… Santas lowballing to get gigs, etc. The topic even came up during our sessions The Santa Claus Conservatory his week and again yesterday in a phone call with a Santa in the mid-west.

Here’s my take on it…

Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal said, “All failed companies are the same: they failed to escape competition.”


I see competition as a double-edged sword. It causes us Santas to “raise our game” and that’s definitely a  good thing… but if you fail to escape the competition you can find that competition sucks the fun and money out of portraying Santa.

The reason? If you don’t escape the competition you can find yourself in an ongoing battle of who can slightly out-do the other for cheaper and cheaper rates. It’s a race to the bottom for all parties involved.

Instead of trying to compete with other Santas, it’s better to escape the competition by doing something completely novel or to focus on a tightly defined niche.

Once you’ve established yourself as particular kind of Santa, a singing Santa, magician, storyteller, ‘Smart Santa’, etc. you can set your own terms — rather than reactively responding to the competition, you escape it.

I call this becoming ‘sought-after’.

When customers, or potential customers, want YOU… not just ‘a Santa’… but YOU SPECIFICALLY, that’s when things change. At that point, you are not competing with anyone.

Of course, many people will not hire you, many people will not want a ‘singing Santa’, or a ‘storyteller’, etc. that’s OK. And of course, there will be people who won’t want to pay a premium fee. That’s OK too.

I’m OK with not being the right Santa for everybody… What I want is to be the perfect Santa for some people, people who are looking for exactly what I love to deliver as Santa.

How about you? Can you distinguish yourself from other Santas in your area? Can you build a customer base who want exactly what YOU provide?

I believe that by developing a unique skill set, or persona, and implementing a little marketing you can stop competing with other Santas… and you can become sought after.

By doing that you can escape the competition and you can define success for yourself based on own own unique values and you can opt-out of the race for the bottom.

What do you think? Does this make sense to you or is it utter nonsense? LEAVE YOUR COMMENT BELOW

One Response to COMPETING with Other Santas…

  • Well said Santa Ed. I’ve portrayed Santa for only 6 seasons and I believe I have been blessed with my success due to my desire to give each child the best Santa experience I can. I try to improve each year.
    I haven’t really changed my price structure much though as new types of events come to me I find it evolving. I charge I believe near the top of rates in my area. But I would rather turn down work than do it for less than I’m happy with. Of course one of my favorite events is charitable and no fee. I don’t ever want to go to an event thinking “I should be making more for this.”
    Most of my work comes from word of mouth. I have business cards but I only give them out if asked. I am going to try to get some work through out the year as well as filling my week days more during the season.

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