Why does your brand need a mascot right away?
There are so many ways to build brand character and awareness. We’d like to discuss the importance of integrating a mascot into a business and what benefits it has for you.
Today’s consumers are much more demanding when it comes to advertising practices. Years ago, everything depended on the seller and the name of the company, but now that practice brings little to the table. If you want to stay relevant, you have to keep up with new marketing and sales trends.
Companies have begun to pay full attention to their identity and individuality. As a result, companies have realized that brand awareness increases exponentially due to the smallest details. Therefore, we'd like to discuss one detail that helps to shape the character of a brand - the brand mascot.
About brand mascots
A mascot is a character endowed with living qualities such as having the ability to speak, walk, and possess personality and values. It can be an animated object, a person, an animal, a cartoon character, or an abstract figure that represents the brand and distinguishes it from other companies.
In marketing strategy, a mascot is never superfluous; it's a part of the company, symbolizing its products or services. The way the mascot speaks, what phrases and the tone of the voice it uses, how it looks and what behavior it has should all reflect the essence of the brand and disclose the values of the company for future buyers. Moreover, the mascot should attract both young and adult customers, where the former tend to appreciate a mascot for its uniqueness, and the latter tend to appreciate a mascot for its recognizability.
Let’s look at three basic types of mascots:
1) A human mascot can be real or imaginary and embodies the values of a brand and its creator. A well known example is Colonel Sanders (KFC - Kentucky Fried Chicken), a graying grandfather with glasses and a stark white suit. Another example is Mr. Clean. Unlike KFC’s mascot, Mr. Clean’s character doesn’t resemble the founder, but it’s said that he was inspired by a sailor in the United States Navy.
2) Animal mascots often have an affiliation with a specific group of consumers, such as pet owners or those with an affinity for animals. One character, such as a restless cat named Felix, conjures images of cat food and a hungry pet. Their cute nature and association to a specific product or service helps inform the makeup of the brand.
3) Objects as mascots are perhaps the most difficult to conceptualize. Additionally, you have to prescribe a character, come up with an image, a color, a shape, and a behavior for them. Most often, objects repeat the shape and color of the product that they represent. For example, the most famous character objects are the Yellow and Red M&M buddies.
A brand character as a part of brand visual identity
Every mascot tells its own story as well as the story of the business it represents. To better understand what you want to tell or convey to people, you need to understand the components of storytelling. First of all, the character. Walk consumers through a story based off of the character’s appearance, clothing, accessories, and other elements, then introduce them to their personality, such as their habits, emotions, and attitude towards anything you fancy advertising.
After coming through all of this, your brand should let consumers see the whole picture. Don't forget to prescribe its values, goals, and message. Keep in mind that the character’s internal characteristics must be correlated with external characteristics. The external should complement the behavior and personality that you’ve created for the mascot.
Okay, I have the idea, what’s next? After we’ve created the image and all the key components of our character, it needs to be drawn and visualized.
1) Sketching and Editing: First, you need to sketch your character. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes or not getting it right the first time. Primarily, you need to transfer it to paper and then edit it according to its distinctiveness and similarity with the brand message.
2) When you achieve the perfect appearance for your character, you should add personal details: facial expressions, additional attributes (a hat, a wand), style (a costume, a dress, traditional attire), the nature of its movement (if it's animated) or static poses (if it’s stable), and emotions.
3) Coloring: When you’re done sketching, all the character needs is color to come "alive". Keep in mind that colors, in addition to the style of sketching, must complement the personality of the character and tell a story about the brand it represents.
By the way, we know one design agency which carries out everything exactly the way we’ve described. It’s Sketchy Digital! Sketchy Digital is a graphic design agency with a team of professionals – designers, illustrators, art directors, and copywriters. We provide not only high-quality design services but also set a high standard for managerial excellence. We can handle and deliver a bunch of tasks in a short time thanks to our art directors’ professionalism. We can assist with any task, campaign, or project. Take a look (ссылка?)
Let’s consider the advantages and the disadvantages of having a mascot.
The prospect of creating a character for your brand is exciting, but is a mascot suitable for every brand? The simple answer is no. If your company is engaged in serious matters, creating and setting a personified mascot would be too much. Imagine how bizarre and careless a law firm would seem if their mascot was a fictional character. Would you trust that company with your legal documents? It’s doubtful. That’s why making thoughtful goals and plans for your message in advance is an important step in deciding whether or not to integrate a mascot.
Once you've realized the importance of a mascot, you might wonder how to visually integrate it so as not to change the brand identity. Mascots should match the rest of the brand in terms of color palette, shape, and other elements. If a brand's logo consists of round organic shapes, the mascot often follows suit. That’s how it typically works.
We’ve been over how a mascot affects an audience and potential consumers, but we'd like to highlight the most important goal of all - to help create and strengthen brand identity. It’s also a good way to increase brand awareness. When people see your mascot on a permanent basis, they’ll be ready to fix and establish a link between your brand and the attributed mascot. A mascot and its character is often the first thing that pops into the consumer mind, and has the potential to increase sales and growth in your company.
Let’s sum it up. A mascot and its creation takes an incredible amount of effort and time, and also money. However, its results may very well cover the cost down the road. If done correctly, an effective mascot can breathe new life into your company, increase awareness, and help develop an expanded consumer base. Don't forget to properly integrate it into your brand identity and utilize it as a powerful supplement to your company’s visual identity.