Are brand mascots for your business a good investment?
With changes in consumer behavior, old marketing patterns fail to deliver the results companies need to generate leads. Earlier, the markets were seller-oriented, where the companies created a product and sold it to the customers.
However, the changing landscape of branding and advertisements has made the customer the king of the marketplace. The current customer base is highly aware of the market and its offerings and does not fall for shoddy marketing tactics.
Companies are compelled to level up their marketing game to attract and retain customers in a scenario like this. Lately, in order to establish a competitive edge, the marketing departments are focusing on adding a personal touch to their campaigns.
This helps create a product niche and develops a unique identity for the company.
One rising marketing gimmick that companies have highly stressed is the use of brand mascots.
A brand mascot is a personified character that represents a product or company. It’s an animated object, human, animal, or an imaginary figure that creates a distinctive brand identity for a brand.
As a part of the marketing strategy, mascots are symbolic of a company’s products or services that allow better customer engagement.
Companies make their brand more visible through a unique mix of animation and personalization and leave a lasting impression on consumers’ minds.
One powerful aspect of mascot branding is that it caters to every customer segment — whether young or old.
The younger generation is attracted to the exclusive mascot that engages them on various levels, whereas the older generation finds it easy to recognize them among other competitors.
Depending on the use cases, there exist different types of mascots. Mentioned below are some of the types.
1. Human mascots
Human mascots add a personal touch to the brand’s image and make it more interactive for the audience. The mascot can either be an imaginary human or a real-life face of the brand.
For example, Ronald McDonald is the human mascot of the fast-food chain McDonald's.
2. Animal mascots
The use of animals is used for brand marketing, especially for younger generation brands.
For example, Tony the tiger for Kellogg’s cereal breakfast.
3. Object mascots
Apart from the other two options, companies create a mascot out of particular objects that speak for themselves.
For example, M&M’s mascot of their chocolates.
Mascot branding is one of the most creative and intriguing ways to establish brand recognition. A large portion of the consumer goods have mascots that help differentiate themselves from other players.
Importance of mascot branding for a business.
Brand engagement is a repetitive process — it does not end with achieving sales targets. Neither does one marketing strategy works for a long time. Making customers come back to your brand is one of the most challenging tasks.
Through mascots, companies add a unique touch to their brand vision and marketing strategy.
Creating a distinctive brand mascot increases identification and allows customers to connect with it. It can also help you convey your brand story and make a more profound impression on customers.
Conventional marketing campaigns do not attract today’s consumers. Outdated promotional techniques fail to deliver the right message to the target audience, due to which they are not motivated to purchase a company’s product.
Brand mascots are highly innovative that bring freshness to a company’s identity. Through their help, marketing teams can engage and attract audiences by creating various campaigns.
Digital marketing is the new way for businesses to impart product knowledge and maximize exposure.
Here there is no rule of thumb for campaigns and techniques to attract the audience. Companies stretch their creativity to any level to bring in their target audience.
Mascots are again very important in social media marketing. The marketing team can use the animated mascots to create posts and various campaigns and add a fun element to their feed.
How often do we forget a brand’s name but remember its logo and unique identity?
That’s precisely what a mascot does. Visual images tend to last longer in a customer’s mind. Mascot branding allows your brand to become more recognizable among others.
Approaching public figures might seem an excellent way to increase brand awareness, but it can get equally taxing if your brand face falls out of popularity or engages in negative publicity.
On the contrary, mascots always radiate a positive image of the company. Since they are not attached to the real world— they can impact customers’ minds without worrying.
Brand mascots are undoubtedly an effective branding strategy; however, not every business might need them. Many successful companies have created a solid customer base without advertising brand mascots.
So how can companies know if they require mascot branding and whether or not will it yield expected results.
Mascots do not go well with heavy industrial goods and the manufacturing sector. These companies do not require advertising expenditure as they do not deal with customers directly.
This marketing technique is primarily used for daily consumer goods required on a large scale. Through the help of mascot branding, these companies attempt to attract customers and create brand awareness.
Advertising brand mascots depends on the type of your target audience. Companies can use different mascots based on their product category and the segment that benefits from them.
One advantage of promotion through brand mascots is that companies can make as many changes and upgrades according to what works best for them.
For example, animals or cartoon characters can act as a mascot for breakfast cereal for kids.
Your mascots should be customizable for every target country and segment. Because after a certain period, companies have to go for rebranding, where they change the complete look of their product and service.
And during this time, modifying your mascot also requires input and effort. If your design does not allow you to create a personalized mascot — companies can face a considerable setback while rebranding.
Also, what works for one country might not work for another because changes in geographical location affect customer choices and preferences.
Before opting for mascots as a marketing strategy, companies should consider other alternatives also. Because even though mascots work best for consumer goods, not every company can achieve guaranteed success from them.
Mascots undoubtedly help companies create brand awareness, especially if they are new market entrants. Also, sometimes brand names sound similar, or the same color logos can mix up the target audience.
A personalized mascot that goes well with your brand voice allows easy differentiation among other brands.
Human mascots are capable of communicating and spreading information to the audience. Companies can use their animated video in a marketing campaign to educate and convey any product development.
In the digital marketing era, where memes and innovative marketing techniques dominate social media — mascots are another way to ensure virality. Entertaining campaigns promote your product without having to incur high costs.
Creating a mascot is a time-consuming task. Companies cannot simply make it based on their likes and dislikes — customer mindset needs to be understood to develop a strategic mascot.
Similarly, it takes time for the mascots to be perceived by the audience. They are not capable of creating an immediate impact.
Another major disadvantage of advertising brand mascots is that they need to be revamped time and again. Companies cannot stick to one design for the product's entire lifetime.
Neither do fast changes in the product is appreciated by the customer. Hence, organizations need to strike a balance between product development and upgrades.
Heavy investments in mascots can go in vain if it does not work out well for the company. Creating a mascot is not a major task, but addressing customer needs while developing it is the challenging part.
These animated objects do not promise success even after continuous struggle and efforts.
Creating a mascot for your company involves marketing design, sales, and finance departments.
If your design team is an expert in creating animated objects — they should be able to design and develop a mascot from scratch. Or else, companies have to outsource it and get it ready by design professionals.
The cost of designing from outsourcing depends on your company size, color palette, customization according to country, features, gestures, different emotions, and other factors.
For in-house mascot creation, the design department needs to form a concept of the character, the color choices should be according to the brand’s pitch, and the accessories must be in alignment with the product’s features.
Developing brand mascots is different from creating animated images and videos. Your selected character will represent your brand and values; it should be entertaining but not childish.
To make a suitable mascot, the design team needs to traverse a creative process where they ideate different character elements.
Designers need to draft a sketch of the mascot rather than going for 2D or 3D prints first since the first sketch might not be the ideal choice and may require multiple rounds of edits.
Brand mascots are a winner if companies use them wisely to target their product to the right customers. Without a strategic approach toward your mascot branding, companies are bound to burn their pockets.
Therefore, before opting for this marketing method, companies need to analyze whether they actually need it or simply do it to match their competitors.