Want Your Brand to Grow? Let it Snow!

Want your brand to grow? Let it snow! | KOTAW Content MarketingSanta’s sleigh is fueled by children’s dreams.

That’s what I believed when I was young, and that’s why I never stayed up late on Christmas Eve. I willed sleep and Santa to arrive. And, for a half dozen years or so, I succeeded.

When Santa stopped needing my dreams, I spent many wide-awake nights waiting for another kind of magic: snow.

Bundled in a quilt, sitting alone in front of the living room window, I’d stare into the darkness waiting for the first snowflake and watch it pirouette in the air, a split-second solo act soon joined by a troupe of snow-dancers that seemed as breathless as I by their performance.

As they landed gracefully onto a tree branch or lay themselves like folded swans on the lawn, I’d fall asleep. But I’d listen for the early signs of morning life — the thump of a newspaper on our porch or the roar of a snow blower on our neighbor’s driveway — so I could witness the snowflakes’ triumph, a cloud brought to earth.

Sleepless in Snow

When my daughters were young, I introduced them to the wonder of snow. They weren’t as content as I to merely watch so we went sledding at midnight in Ontario, Canada and built snowmen at dawn in Central Park. And, though the memories never melted when we moved to California, they became somewhat wistful over the years.

A few winters ago, we took a trip to Idyllwild, CA, a small, pine-scented town nestled in the San Jacinto Mountains, about a two-hour drive from Los Angeles. We were excited to renew our bonds with snow but more excited to introduce Woofie, one of the dogs that inspired the KOTAW story, to its joys.

A Lion in Winter

Woofie in the snow | KOTAW Content Marketing

Woofie, Katherine and her daughters’ forever snow angel.

Small children often mistook Woofie for a lion or a bear, and their parents seldom corrected them. By anyone’s measure, she looked born for cold winter weather. But, by her thirteenth birthday, our California girl had never set paw in snow.

And we weren’t sure she would on this outing. Snow falls in Idyllwild, but it doesn’t stay for long. Our trip was prompted by reports of a blizzard there but, by the time we wound our way up the mountain, the roads were dry and the sun hot. We rolled down the windows to stay cool.

As we neared the cabin we’d rented, my heart ached. Not for Woofie or my daughters but, selfishly, for myself. Where were the snow-dancers of my childhood? Where was the enchantment of those long ago nights?

A Witch and an Angel

Woofie in the snow | KOTAW Content Marketing

Woofie bringing back the magic of snow.

I never saw a snowflake in Idyllwild and the snow outside the cabin looked sadder than I felt.  It was dissolving as fast as the Wicked Witch in her final encounter with Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

Woofie was stiff-legged and tentative when she exited the car. I worried that the dampness would aggravate her arthritis, that a slip on an icy patch would harm her hips. I watched anxiously as Woofie eased her way toward a mound of white. She looked shocked when, one step forward, she found herself belly-deep in this strange substance and confused when one paw after another disappeared in the snow.

Suddenly, her face lit up in understanding and delight, and the years receded. With puppy exuberance, Woofie bounced through the snow, sweeping it with her tail and plowing it with her nose.

Then she rolled onto her back and created a perfect snow angel.

Woofie joined the heavenly angels in February and anyone who has loved a dog for 14 years — or 14 days — understands that this holiday season will shine less brightly without her.

But this year and always, we will remember Woofie’s yuletide gift to us: she brought back the magic of snow.

Dust Your Personal or Company Brand with Snow

When you are defining or building your brand, a good strategist will tell you to focus on such things as your audience, your target market and your goals. And will show you how to create a brand that establishes loyalty and delivers profits.

A great brand strategist will do all this and teach you how to imbue your brand with the indefinable but essential ingredient to marketing success: magic.

You don’t need fairy dust or sorcery. But snow — and imagination — help.

It’s better to give than to receive, but I do want something from you: your comments!  Please share your thoughts below. Wishing you and your loved ones a fabulous holiday season!


  1. “Bundled in a quilt, sitting alone in front of the living room window, I’d stare into the darkness waiting for the first snowflake and watch it pirouette in the air, a split-second solo act soon joined by a troupe of snow-dancers that seemed as breathless as I by their performance.”

    Lady, like timeless wine, you only get better with every article!!!! #IBOWdowntoYOURprowess

    Confession: I too mistook Woofie for a lion! #oops

    Hun, I am so sorry for your loss #KitHugs4MYKat, but I am sure she is grinning from above, happy and content that she was blessed enough to have been raised by someone as warm, funny, gentle, kind and beautiful as you! #LOVEyou


    • Katherine Kotaw says:

      Dear Kit,

      Your note warms my heart. So much so that words escape me as I try to properly express my gratitude! It makes me smile that you too mistook Woofie for a lion. A dear friend of ours always called Woofie her lion care bear! It made me happy when kids thought she was a real lion and I felt that it just added to the magic for them to go on thinking that :) Thank you for your kind and heartfelt condolences. I love that you say you’re sure that Woofie is grinning from above because that’s how she left this world. She passed away peacefully with the biggest smile on her face and she was always, always smiling (and laughing) every day of the 14 years I had her, so I too believe that my snow angel is smiling from the heavens watching me and my daughters take care of her pit sister, Ivy.

      Sending lots of love to you,


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