my previous post, I explained why being ready for a brand is, in a way, more important than getting the brand. If you are not prepared to live up the expectations of that brand, the brand will provide a “face” to which people can attach negative values after experiencing your less-than-exemplary business.
Oregon State University has produced a study discussing this precise mechanism. Only this study takes the “face” concept a bit farther and makes it literal. Logos and brands are figurative faces, but one way to brand is to create an actual face. Think Tony the Tiger, the M&M guys, or Ronald McDonald. This is called anthropormorphizing, literally, making human-like.
By adding human characteristics to a brand, the emotional connection becomes even stronger. This means that, when correctly implemented, the benefits can be large. But poorly implemented, as this study shows, the detriments can be just as large.
As I've stressed, this confirms the argument that a brand is what your company does. The first step to a good brand is making sure that what the company does is exemplary.