To be able to establish a mascot character and product, like Mario, Sonic or Tomb Raiders for a game is the Holy Grail of game design and should never be taken lightly by any designer, if so tasked.
While the post is aimed at electronic game developers there’s wisdom in it for board game designers as well: does your design lend itself to creating an ongoing franchise? If not, can you tweak it in such a way that it does?
Take a look at what AEG does with its shared world. These types of considerations are making their way into board games, too.