Creating something unique and memorable to help make a brand into a household name is an achievement every brand manager hopes for. Some think there’s no better way to do this than to create a likeable character to represent the brand to its primary target market. But to be successful, an avatar must engage, compel and even entertain the brand community.

jeanAlas, some brand avatars just don’t make the cut. However, some brand avatars and mascots have become so recognizable and successful over the last century that companies go to great lengths to create one before they ever launch a new product-brand. Since as early as the 19th century, these loveable and engaging characters have been some of the most effective advertising tools around, using their amazing abilities to connect their audience to the brands they represent. When we see a relatable character, with a familiar personality or problem, a powerful psychological connection is created between us and the brand. This is true whether you are talking about their presence in internet videos, websites or on product packaging.

When your audience associates your brand with a likable and relatable mascot, sales and name recognition have the potential to undergo a healthy boost. This boost is the gift that keeps on giving. Mascots never get in trouble with the law, they don’t increase their fees or take vacations, and you can use them for a long time. Mascots are now taking on the role of some brands’ best social media accessory. Think of them as the familiar, age-old marketing feature we know, that has found new relevance as brands look for their voice on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.