How character branding can help your business leave a lasting impression on users’ minds


Character branding has been used since time immemorial by many brands all over the world. Our own ingenious Amul is a classic example of this technique.

According to a study, brand characters contribute more to brand buzz, especially on digital as compared to celebrity endorsements. The study reveals that most celebrities contribute, on average 3.19%, to a brand’s buzz, while mascots have much more contribution; for example, the Pillsbury dough boy contributes to 22.14% of the brand’s buzz on digital.

While many marketers debate the relevance of character branding in today’s time, the above modern evidence prove that characters and mascots, if done well, help the audience identify with and trust your brand better.

Here’s my take on how to make character branding work:

  • Visualize your ideal customer

Do a detailed profiling of your prospective customer in terms of age, financial status, demographic and even the kind of clothes he/she wears, and the decisions he/she takes. The first step is to understand your consumer. If your product is something like food, which can be basically consumed by anyone, make a list of consumers in order of priority.

  • Visualize an idea you think a customer love to interact with

Now visualize who your ideal customer would like to interact with. For example, McDonalds has a clown who children love. Even today, children are the influencing factor in visits to McDonalds. It’s their favorite, partlybecause of Ronald McDonald, partly because of the iconic Happy Meal.

  • Communicate the message of your brand through the attire, colors, gestures and words of the character

If yours is a service business, make the character wear professional clothes; if yours is a fun brand, choose an adorable animal with characteristics similar to your brand’s vision. For example, twitter has a very simple yet powerful character; the bird. They centered their brand’s name around the character’s terminology.

  • Don’t attract a cheap laugh by making too weird a character

Sometimes in pursuit of a “quirky”character, people end up making one that is too weird to be appreciated. It makes no sense whatsoever to do so, and the purpose is lost. Subtlety is always key. Going overboard has never helped anyone (positively)–look at Miley Cyrus and her twerking!

  • Refrain from copying animals/figurines/art from the internet

A huge mistake that most cash-strapped, and sometimes wealthy businessestoo, do is to copy some other brand’s, or a cartoon character’s, image and paste it on their website. It is totally fatal for your brand. A copied image can never communicate your ideals and vision. Moreover, it maybe highly detrimental for your brand. I know this sounds likean obvious thing, but believe me, many people are guilty of committing this “little”mistake.

Concluding, if your team/agency is able to carefully and successfully come up with a perfect character that accentuates your brand and speaks its language, there is no better brand recall strategy!


image credit: Shutter Stock