I have been a fan of marvel comics since I was a teenager. My favourite comics? The X-men series, and the line extensions such as Cable and Uncanny X-men. It helps that my room mate then was an avid comic fan, who worked part time at a comic shop, and who later opened a comic shop of his own later.
Here’s what Marvel Comics taught me about branding:
1) You need to exercise a lot of creativity and create a story around each character. This is the character’s branding. Regardless of decades of time since the birth of Iron Man, the story and branding behind the character have lasted through generations.
2) You can have parent branding for individual characters by putting them in a group. E.g. the Avengers defend planet earth from alien threats, and the members are the Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and Hawkeye.
3) Each of the characters form a stronger portfolio (group) than if they fight enemies on their own. Hulk provided his amazing strength and fury, Thor used his heavenly hammer to punish invaders, and Hawkeye uses his sharp accuracy to shoot enemies down.
4) The characters can change their personality to suit the changing times. E.g. during World War 2, Captain America was active in defending US from Axis enemies. During the 1960s, Captain America was active in Avengers defending against alien threats instead.
5) The characters each has an admirable quality that the readers can aspire to. Iron Man was aspirational in his intelligence and passion in science, while Captain America inspired with his patriotism and athleticism.
6) The characters can change their costumes (packaging) to suit changing times. Spiderman started off with a bright blue and red costume, then eventually turned into a dark blue and darker red colored costume. When he turned into venom, the costume turned black to signify the shift towards evil.
7) The characters always meet obstacles along their fight against evil, but through perseverance and willpower they managed to always defeat the enemy in the end. Likewise in branding, we may meet difficulties at times, but if we persevere, we will prevail in the end.
8) Comic characters are always full of fun, as they use their unique powers to add fun to their lives. Similarly, branding can be fun, so always see it that way.