Some people support a brand because they like the actual product or service while others support it because they like the personality behind the brand. Having a personality behind a brand is something many companies do and it is easier to do if the business is small but the bigger it gets the more a brand then has to rely on a mascot in the form of a personality or some kind of character even if it is fictional. Tony the tiger, the monkey from coco pops, Super Mario or Crash Bandicoot and even Henry the Hoover.
However when it comes to personalities these are usually played by real people even if they are simply using their voice to go over the image of a character but when a real person is being used including their face this means how they act outside of business can play a part.
Arsenal, one of the world's most recognized soccer clubs, has it's own personality mascot called Gunnersaurus
Imagine you are a supporter of a particular publication for whatever reason and every time you go to this publication, it is presented to you by a particular person. You follow them on social media and like a lot of their posts and then you realize something... they don’t have the same political views as you or they have a different kind of religious belief. Maybe their views on the current prime minister or president conflict with people that like the brand. There is a fine line between brand and personality when you factor in the individual personality on their own beliefs which is why people representing a brand end up having their social media scrutinized by the public.
What you need to do if you have a brand is decide if you mind people knowing the real you or if you prefer to give a sanitized version of yourself, both choices have their pros and cons. If you decide to be outspoken or express some of your beliefs you will no doubt connect with people who feel the same way but you will also end up upsetting people who don’t.
So many comedians are known to be controversial in their stand ups and political views, such as the stand up of Eddie Griffin's Freedom of Speech
If you want to go for a more sanitized social media presence then you may actually lose supporters as they will start thinking that your social media is just a generic account run by a marketing firm but on the flip side you will avoid being publically scrutinized as you won’t be partaking in anything worthy of gossip.
In any case social media has changed everything for branding as far as personalities are concerned and it is now very common for key spokes people and celebrities who endorse brands to have their old social media posts brought back to light by all kinds of interest groups who do so for their own reasons. If you have said something the masses doesn’t agree with it really doesn’t matter when you said it because the context can be removed and depending on what you said it could be damaging for your brand.
The founder of the iconic 90s clothing brand Tommy Hilfiger, went from being a famous brand for diversity, to being caught up in a racist scandal, which sparked uproar and lost many sale losses
The key thing to remember here is that playing it safe doesn’t always work as you don’t know what people may find offensive 6 months from now or even 6 days.
Be careful as your personality online will be part of your brand.