The December holidays are a time of wonder. The anticipation, the lights and the warmth of the season create a special magic we don’t see the rest of the year. It’s in the lights that decorate our homes, the Hanukkah candles flickering in the window, and the bright eyes of children peeking out from coats and scarves.

The holidays inspire a wide-eyed sense of wonder. Possibilities abound. Cynicism, callousness and gloom retreat. In spite of all the commercialization, the feelings in our hearts are simple and true. We only want to brighten the darkness, connect with others and believe that miracles can occur.

The feeling is appealing. Engaging. Captivating, even. It’s all the things we want in our marketing communications. This is a good time to reflect on how we can capture that magic and use it throughout the year.

It comes down to two words: authenticity and innocence.

Three steps to bring magic to marketing

Number one, be truthful. Your product or service needs a clear differentiator that appeals to your target audience. Not a clever trick of language or an exaggerated claim, but a believable benefit that sets you apart from your competitors. If you can’t identify it, you’d better go back to the drawing board and take a closer look at either your product or your positioning.

Secondly, speak with an authentic voice. Your marketing communications — whether print, digital, broadcast or outdoors — should speak to your audience in simple, understandable terms. There’s no need to gild the lily… people will see right through it and you’ll do your brand more harm than good.

Finally, appeal to the child in your target. Is there an emotional benefit that connects them to feelings of childhood? Can your product or service make them feel more secure? Can you help them overcome fear? Connect with those they love? You must tread carefully here, and proceed with humility. You’re not offering Love Potion #9 or the cloak of invisibility. The appeal must be gentle and true, but still strike that deep emotional chord.

Communicating a sense of wonder isn’t right for every brand. But when integrated into a well-conceived, strategically driven campaign, you can build an aura around your brand that draws customers in. And they may not even know why.

What’s your opinion? Can we capture this sense of wonder and use it to cast a glow on our brands throughout the year?

Wishing you all the best of the holiday season, and a New Year filled with happiness and health.