In games iconic characters are the way to build a franchise and expand it beyond the game. Some of the best examples are Mario and Lara Croft. Mario and his friends have expanded into dozens of different games and other products. Lara Croft has had success on the silver screen as well as the lead character in Tomb Raider franchise.
The most famous character shop has been Disney who have build an empire on top of animated characters. Disney has in recent years invested over $10 billion on Pixar’s and Marvel’s iconic characters.
Iconic characters have great impact on marketing. Familiar game character or animated fish can sell almost anything. And the best thing is that they are very predictable compared to athletes or movie starts who can go crazy in their personal life. Although hard it’s also possible to build an iconic marketing character. One of the best examples is The Most Interesting Man in the World who is promoting Mexican beer:
I can’t wait before someone builds a beer or other masculine brand on top of this same concept in Finland. I can guarantee that it will work.