Graphic by K8 Strassman

5 Reasons why Momentum for 2021 is Surging Early This Year

September 27, 2020

Mike Berland
5 min readSep 28, 2020


The momentum for 2021 and the Holidays is surging early this year.

Holiday and Christmas campaigns are already picking up (thank you Burger King) & New Years parties have already started (did you see Reese Whitherspoon on Emmy’s night?). Christmas decorations and New Years Eve countdowns before Halloween? No one’s complaining this year.

Momentum for 2021 and the holidays (aka “the most wonderful time of the year”) is UP because we are eager to get on to the future — everyone is ready for 2021. Amid a global pandemic and ongoing social unrest, there’s optimism for the new year, a fresh start and new beginning. The holiday season gives us a reason to feel joyful and celebrate with our friends and family. Even more necessary in 2020.

To no surprise… momentum for 2020 is DOWN because people simply cannot wait for the year to be over.


Ready for an extended holiday season?

The MFactor for 2021 increased 27% in just 4 months, from 40 in May to 51 in September.

Decode_M Proprietary MFactor Score

Momentum for Christmas this never been this high in September. The MFactor for Christmas is up almost 65% from this time last year, 49 in September 2019 to 80 in September.

Decode_M Proprietary MFactor Score

Here’s how the brands, businesses & organizations are already hitting the 5 drivers of momentum:

DISRUPTION: We’re all in need of a little extra serotonin (you know, the stuff that makes us feel good). The holidays are here early to disrupt the malaise we’re all feeling. Brands get it. They’re rolling out holiday campaigns earlier than usual to give us an excuse to feel joy, celebrate and escape 2020’s reality. And holiday campaigns make us feel like 2021 is almost here.

  • Burger King celebrated Christmas in July with their #WrapItUp Christmas campaign. Acknowledging the madness of 2020, Burger King did its “part to wrap it up early” and fast forward to the end of year with a fully decorated & lit-up Burger King and Christmas music playing outside. Customers loved it: “I’m over it, it would be awesome if we woke up and it was Christmas now.
  • Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington hosted a New Year’s Eve party while watching the Emmys last weekend. When asked by the Emmys host Jimmy Kimmel why they were celebrating three months early, Washington said what everyone has been thinking: “Because we’re ready for this year to be over.

INNOVATION: Toys are having a renaissance as they’re serving a whole new purpose this year. Our MFactor indicates a 50% increase in momentum from this time last year, and a 77% surge just since July.

Decode_M Proprietary MFactor Score

Pre-quarantine: toys were seen as a luxury or a distraction — bought for special occasions and time-boxed to only a few hours a day (particularly if they required “screen time”). Now toys are valued as an essential item to get kids and families through quarantine. They are for more than just fun — toys are helping kids learn, escape, grow and connect with others. Sales surged during the peak of quarantine and are expected to continue to rise through the holidays as parents try to make their kids feel extra special this year.

POLARIZATION: Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) has been polarizing over the years: Waiting in lines all night, stampedes when doors open, races to get the best deals. Ironically, the chaos that was so contentious is the type of excitement and hype consumers will now crave and miss this year without an in-person Black Friday. Brands will need to create a new call to action this year to generate excitement and passion around their holiday sales.

STICKINESS: For most, celebrations over the past 7 months have been canceled, delayed or downplayed. But the memorable holiday moments we know & love will still happen this year (even if digital-only or smaller in-person crowds). Macy’s 94th Thanksgiving Day Parade will still go on as a TV-only production (for the first time in history). New York’s Times Square will still ring in the New Year with a virtual Ball Drop.

SOCIAL IMPACT: We expect that momentum for the holidays will mean more holiday giving. Food Bank for NYC started its holiday giving campaign early with virtual fundraisers to reach its goal of providing 10 million meals by the end of the year. #GivingTuesday 2020 (December 1) is expected to set a new record and surpass $605M (19% increase from 2019).

DOWN: 2020

Decode_M Proprietary MFactor Score

To put it simply: we all know 2020 needs to end.


Living in the momentum mindset requires living in the future, thinking 3, 6, 12, 18 months out. Momentum for 2021 is a clear indicator that more people are getting into the momentum mindset and planning for the future.



Mike Berland

Momentum Maker, Author of Maximum Momentum, Founder & CEO of Decode_M