So-called corporate characters, or brand mascots, are traditionally thought of as embodiments of the brand identity – a way to personify the brand in the consumers’ mind. In some case, though, the characters seem to take on a life of their own.
We looked at different industries’ most popular corporate characters to see if their messages mesh with their applicable brands.
While there are many different brand images and positioning strategies, when examining corporate characters, we found a seemingly consistent approach. Although E-Score Character measures 33 different attributes, among the corporate characters, Funny was consistently one of the top attributes followed closely by Unique. In contrast, these attributes do not rank highly for most brands.
In a cluttered media environment where brands have to stand out among the rest, a funny and unique character can quickly grab a viewer’s attention and raise awareness and mindshare even when character attributes do not match up with the brand.
Sometimes it is a matter of recognition first, message second. Or it may be the desire on the part of the brand to be seen as more lighthearted and down to earth. Either way, understanding how consumers see brands and their mascots is an important first step in the branding mission.