Santa Gets Being Awesome! 5 Business Lessons from Miracle on 34th Street
This is embarrassing to admit. I only recently watched Miracle on 34th Street for the first time and I loved it!
Not only did the story warm my heart, there are awesome messages about running a business in it too! Here are 5 business take aways I gleaned from Miracle on 34th Street.
#1 Employees Represent Your Brand
If you haven’t seen Miracle On 34th Street or if it's been a while, the story starts off with Macy’s famous Thanksgiving Day Parade having a little trouble with the Santa they hired. He was suffering from the whiskey flu.... and unable to be in the parade.
A man named Kris Kringle notices the poor image of Santa and sees that Macy’s wasn't being well represented. He complains to the event director who in turn asks Kris Kringle to be in the parade.
Business Lesson: Employees are an important part of your business. How are your employees acting and representing your brand? It is how you want it to be? if not, make some changes, starting with you being a role model.
#2 Sales Through Service
Kris Kringle saves the day! He does such a great job Macy’s hires him at the store as Santa. Kris is given instructions by the Toy Manager to influence children to ask for presents of items they sell at Macy’s. Especially the things that are not selling....
When a child asks for something not sold at Macy’s, Kris ignores his direction from his manager and tells the child’s mother exactly where to get the requested toy…. at another competing store!
The mother hears this and can’t believe it. The Toy Manager also hears this and is ready to fire Kris Kringle. The flabbergasted mother runs into the Manager and shares how impressed she is with Macy’s and is now a devoted Macy’s shopper because of this goodwill and
Business Lesson: Kris made serving the customer the top priority over sales and in return made a loyal, lifetime customer. How many businesses really do this today? You know the answer... do this and stand out!
#3 People Create Profits
Kris is a high performer at the store. Customers love him but there's still concern from the Event Director and others that he is crazy and to “protect customers” they are still out to fire him. Mr. Macy himself finds out and puts a stop to that as Kris Kringle’s nonconventional ways are actually creating great business results for Macy’s and says,
Business Lesson: This approach is not just found in movies! Smart businesses get it. For those who don't believe putting people first leads to profit…there is proof! Research for over 3 decades has proven this connection between people and business results to be true. It is common sense yet not common practice.
#4 Average is So Basic. Choose Awesome!
The other department stores noticed Macy’s success and to not seem greedy and not customer focused they change their sales policy to be like Macy’s. Once rivals, the big department store heads now come together.
Business Lesson: Don’t be average, like everyone else, and don't even be extra. Be awesome. Be the first, be different, do what feels right and others will be following your lead to success and there is enough for everyone.
#5 Remember Your Purpose (Your Why) Even When Times Get Tough
Throughout most of the movie, Kris Kringle is strong about his purpose and what he believes. There is a time when he has doubts less about himself but the belief of others in him and the spirit of what he stands for. He is pulled out of that funk by his friends and is reminded of his purpose.
Business Lesson: Believe in your people, always. Put people first and don’t let others get you down and lose your purpose because you are different. Support others by showing you believe in them even when things get tough.
Miracle on 34th was made in 1947, in black & white, simple dialogue, and no technology that I could see other than telephones. This classic shows us what is important in business. Have heart, be human, put your people first, believe in them, and profits will follow. You can do it!
Do you have any lessons from Miracle on 34th Street? Please share!