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One Brand, One Mascot, One Book Deal
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Brands are always told to create a human side. That bit of character that allows customer to relate to the brand on a deeper level and form a connection. One that lets customers see that there is more to a brand than corporate sales, but that this brand can think, feel, and do. But what about a brand that uses a “mascot” of sorts and places all these human attributes on that character? It’s almost like taking this human stuff to a whole other level. Do brands need mascots? Do brand mascots need emotions? Is it getting confusing or is it actually clarifying the unknown for customers?

Maybe it’s too much of a stretch to assume that customers can understand what emotions a brand might have. After all, it is a company. Can Dove really be sensitive and strong? Can Gatorade be athletic and sweaty? Can Apple be innovative? Well, yes, of course, Apple can do anything. But for every other brand, it might be hard to determine what emotions the brand encapsulates and even harder to explain this to customers. So maybe the idea of a brand mascot makes this whole brand emotion thing just a little easier to handle.

Geico has a Gecko; everyone knows that. He’s funny, a little charming, and carries a cute accent. But more recently Geico has given its Gecko some more responsibility. Being the carrier of brand emotion — making this idea a little more transparent for customers. And probably a little funnier as well. Gecko has a book. Yes, a book. Apparently, there was a book deal sometime that the world missed because this so-called book will be on sale in April. For $11.95. Oh, and get this: The title of the book is “You’re Only Human: A Guide To Life.” That’s right; the fictional Gecko wrote a book on real life. Geico, you are pretty witty.

But maybe the brand is on to something. It allows them to provide customers with information that normally would seem boring and preachy. Maybe using the Gecko makes it easier. Maybe it just makes this brand that much more human. It certainly has a sense of humor and apparently Geico doesn’t plan to hide that just because it is in the boring business of insurance. This is not to say that all brands should run out, create mascots, and sign book deals. But it does provide a nice little reminder that brands need to be creative, show that personality, and always keep the customer guessing.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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