Topic: Branding

Brand Character Social Media Presence

Posted by amir.mohajer on 250 Points
Brand Characters (eg Colonel Sanders, Tony the Tiger etc) if developed well can become valuable and distinctive brand assets.

Why don't more companies invest into building a social media presence for these characters on their own, bring them to life, and have them engage with the audience based on the personality/tone designed for them?
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  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Member
    For every famous brand character, there are many more that are failed attempts. Have you researched the ROI of developing characters vs. other marketing approaches to increase market share?
  • Posted by mgoodman on Moderator
    One possible reason is that the companies feel that emphasis on the character can detract from the core benefit positioning. Colonel Sanders, for example, doesn't automatically communicate finger-lickin' good chicken ... unless/until you spend millions of dollars making that connection with advertising. Ditto for Tony the Tiger and gasoline performance.

    "If developed well" is key ... and that takes a lot of time/attention and money.
  • Posted by amir.mohajer on Author
    To clarify, I'm presupposing the success of the characters. In other words, for companies that already have a successful character developed; why aren't there specific social media presence developed for the characters?

    If we assume for the sake of argument that these mascots have some innate characteristics that resonate with brand audience. Hypothesis is by investing in building and engaging an audience for the mascot itself, the impact of the brand messaging conveyed by them can be amplified. They can become an owned/managed influencer.
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Member
    My opinion is these characters were an important differentiator in years past (pre-modern social media). Something fun/cute. In modern times for adults, these brand ambassadors seem artificial and not worth engaging with for their own sake. Maybe worth watching a fun video/advert showcasing them. But If there's a contest/prize associated with the engagement, no doubt that'd change the engagement value.
  • Posted by mgoodman on Accepted
    I agree with Jay Hamilton-Roth.

    As a former brand manager of "Mr. Clean" I can imagine the current brand manager weighing the benefit of making the character more visible versus demonstrating product performance/efficacy and just letting the brand name and character be present to enhance memorability. I'm pretty sure I would always come down on the side of demonstrating product performance.

    Giving the character more visibility (in social media) would likely require more time/resources than its perceived worth when compared to repeating the brand positioning and linking it to the brand name. ("Mr. Clean" name and character are already linked to the brand's core benefit, of course.)
  • Posted by amir.mohajer on Author
    Very helpful - thank you very much both!

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