It’s a strange fact that many people intuitively understand the phrase “brand avatar” and yet there is no clear definition of what it is.
There is one line in Wikipedia that defines it as “a company’s online brand personality, which is a summary of what users are saying online about the organization and its brands.”
I definitely agree that it encompasses a company’s online brand personality, but it is not a summary of what people are saying about a brand online.
A brand avatar is the digital version of a brand persona. It brings together these two things: the personality and values of the brand, with an avatar – a digital representation of it.
This is different from a logo in so far as there often isn’t a personality to a logo. A logo is more of an icon than a voice. It is a visual shortcut for people to recognise the brand.
A brand avatar, on the other hand, is all about providing a voice for a brand online. It is a digital spokesperson that brands can use the engage their audiences. These can be internal or external audiences.
In this sense, a brand avatar has more in common with the traditional brand mascot. The difference being that an avatar comes “alive” in digital form.
It provides a point of connection between the brand and the people it influences whether they’re staff or customers.