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Mascot Branding: Bringing Your Brand to Life

Mascot Branding: Bringing Your Brand to Life

Are you tired of blending in with the crowd? Do you feel like your brand is just another face in the group, struggling to stand out from the rest? Well, it's time to give your brand a personality – and what better way to do that than with a mascot? Yes, you heard that right – a mascot! Think Tony the Tiger, the Geico Gecko, or even Ronald McDonald.

Mascots are more than just cute, cuddly creatures – they're a powerful tool for branding and can help take your brand to the next level. So, add some personality, flair, and a touch of humour to your brand with mascot branding. It's time to bring your brand to life and give your customers something to cheer about!

What is a Brand Mascot?

Brand Mascot Personality

Picture this: You're walking down the street and see an older man with a giant chicken walking towards you. No, it's not the beginning of a bad joke; it's just the KFC mascot, Colonel Sanders! That's the power of a brand mascot – a character that adds personality and a touch of humour to your brand.

Whether it's a person, animal, or even an object (like the Michelin Man), a brand mascot is a great way to “humanise” your brand and make it more relatable to customers. It's like having a friend representing your brand – someone people can connect with personally.

But it's not just about being fun and games – a brand mascot can help extend your reach and make your marketing more effective. People are more likely to remember a brand that has a memorable and likeable mascot, and they're more likely to share that brand with others.

So, where can you use your brand mascot? The possibilities are endless! You can incorporate it into your logo, use it on your website and social media profiles, and even appear at events or advertising campaigns. Ensure it aligns with your brand values and speaks to your target audience.

In short, a brand mascot is an innovative and fun way to make your brand stand out in a crowded market. So, get creative and bring your brand to life with a furry (or feathered or scaly) friend. Who knows? You might end up with the next Tony the Tiger or Geico Gecko on your hands.

Why use a Mascot Branding Strategy?

Mario Nintendo Mascot

It's not just about being memorable – a mascot can help strengthen your brand identity and express its personality. It's like having a friend who speaks on your brand's behalf- someone who can add a touch of humour, relatability, or emotion to your marketing.

And the best part? A mascot can do all of this without using a single word. That's right – no lengthy captions or annoying hashtags are necessary. Your mascot can convey your brand's message and personality through visual cues and actions alone.

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But it's not just about looks – a mascot can also increase brand awareness and engagement. People are more likely to remember and interact with a brand that has a memorable and likeable mascot. Plus, a mascot can connect with your audience personally and emotionally, creating a loyal fanbase that will stick with your brand through thick and thin.

And here's the kicker – sometimes, a mascot can be more reliable than an influencer. After all, influencers are human and can make mistakes that negatively impact your brand. But a mascot? They'll never betray you, steal your spotlight, or forget to tag you in their latest post.

But what about the cost, you ask? Fear not – a mascot can be a budget-friendly, long-term marketing strategy for small businesses. Think of it as an investment in a furry (or scaly or feathery) friend that will increase brand recognition and customer loyalty.

How to Develop a Mascot Branding Strategy

Captain Morgan Branded Mascots

1 – Create a unique brand identity

First and foremost, let's talk about the essentials of starting a business. And no, I'm not talking about a cool logo or a catchy tagline. I'm talking about the real deal – a brand identity and a website!

You might think, “What's the big deal about brand identity? Can't I pick a fancy name and call it a day?” Oh, my dear friend, you couldn't be more wrong. A brand identity is like a fingerprint – what makes your business unique and differentiates it from the competition. And let's face it; in today's world, you need to stand out like a unicorn in a sea of horses if you want to make it big.

So, how do you go about creating a brand identity? Well, it's pretty simple. Just think about what makes you tick. What gets you out of bed in the morning (besides, your dog needs to pee)? What are you passionate about? Is it baking cupcakes or building robots? Whatever it is, use that as the foundation of your brand identity.

And don't forget about your website – it's like your virtual storefront. You want it to look snazzy and professional, not like something your cousin put together in 1998. So, invest in a good web designer and ensure your website is as sleek and sexy as you are (well, as you want your business to be, anyway).

In short, starting a business is like starting a relationship – you want to make an excellent first impression, be memorable, and stand out from the rest. So, get to work on that brand identity and website, and who knows, maybe one day you'll be swimming in a pool of money like Scrooge McDuck. Or at least have enough to buy yourself a fancy coffee occasionally.

2 – Determine the purpose of your mascot

The best way to give your brand a little pizzazz. These cute, cuddly (sometimes creepy) characters can be an extension of your brand identity or an independent voice. And let's be honest, who doesn't love a good mascot?

But here's the thing, folks, your mascot must be more than just some run-of-the-mill character out of a children's book. No, no, no. You want your mascot to tell a story about your brand, to be a walking, talking representation of who you are and what makes you different. Think of your mascot as your wingman (or wing woman), helping you to stand out in a crowded room and catch the eye of that special someone (aka your customers).

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Now, I know what you're thinking. “But aren't mascots just for kids?” Well, marketers initially created them for children, but that doesn't mean they can't be fun and engaging for adults. Who doesn't love a good laugh or a little bit of nostalgia?

But when it comes to creating your mascot, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind. First and foremost, it should represent your brand in a meaningful way. Think about your values, your personality, and your unique selling proposition. What makes you stand out from the competition? Use that as a starting point for your mascot's design.

And, of course, you'll want to make sure your mascot is fun and engaging for all ages. Nobody wants a mascot that's a total buzzkill, right? So, let your imagination run wild (within reason, of course) and develop a character that people will love to see and interact with.

3 – Decide what your mascot brand's personality will be

Chester Cheetah Cheetos Logo Mascots

Your logo is like the fancy suit you wear to a job interview – the first impression you give your audience. But let's not forget about the real MVP here – the mascot. Your mascot is like the life of the party, the one who gets everyone excited about your brand.

So, what makes a good mascot? Well, it should be able to speak for itself. You don't want a mascot that's so confusing or unrelatable that it needs a whole explanation. Keep it simple, folks. And cute and cuddly, never hurt anyone.

But don't limit yourself to just the cute and cuddly route. A pirate or a unicorn would be more appropriate if you're a tech company. Your mascot could be a robot that's also a cat. The sky's the limit, people.

When choosing your mascot, you want to ensure it embodies a character similar to you but that your customers can relate to. You don't want your mascot to be the opposite of your brand's personality, right? That would be like attending a fancy dinner party in your pyjamas.

And let's not forget, the more outrageous and wacky your mascot is, the better. Who doesn't love a good laugh or a little bit of weirdness? Just think of the Geico gecko or the Kool-Aid man. They're not just mascots; they're legends.

4 – Brainstorm mascots with the following traits

Coco The Monkey Mascot Design

Intelligent, resourceful, adventurous

They understand that their brand's success lies in the overall health of their business. It's like a game of Jenga, folks. If one piece is off, the whole thing comes tumbling down. But these brand masterminds know how to keep that tower standing strong.

They're not just about providing a reliable experience – they want to make it fun, exciting, and relevant to their customers. Because let's face it, no one wants to be bored out of their minds while interacting with a brand. These folks know how to make a party out of anything – even accounting software.

In short, these brand masterminds are the MVPs of the business world. They're like the quarterbacks of branding, throwing the perfect pass to get their team to the end zone. And with their incredible ability to see the big picture, they're always one step ahead of the game.

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Funny, outgoing, energetic, cheerful, active

Let me tell you about Mr Met, the actual New York Mets baseball club rockstar. This guy has been around since 1963, and he's not showing any signs of slowing down. Who needs to retire when you're a beloved mascot?

Mr Met is more than just a mascot – he represents the Mets' team spirit and fan base. This guy knows how to bring the hype and get the crowd going. He's like a walking energy drink, with a constant smile that could light up Times Square.

And let's talk about his personality for a second – this dude is the embodiment of happiness. He's outgoing, energetic, cheerful, and always ready to party. You can't help but feel good when you're around Mr Met. It's like he has some contagious positivity that rubs off on everyone.

But don't let his happy-go-lucky attitude fool you – Mr Met is a superstar. He's appeared in several commercials and even been elected into the mascot hall of fame. Who wouldn't want to be inducted into a hall of fame for mascots?

So if you're ever feeling down, remember – Mr Met is out there somewhere, spreading joy and cheer like it's his job (which it is). And who knows, maybe one day you'll meet him and bask in his radiant positivity.

Friendly, approachable, warm, sincere, kind

Picture this: a corporate mascot so friendly and approachable that you want to give them a big ol' hug. They radiate warmth and sincerity, and their kindness knows no bounds. Sounds like the perfect addition to any workplace.

Having a mascot with those exact qualities can benefit your company in more ways than one. A happy workplace is productive, and having a friendly and approachable mascot can contribute to that happiness. Imagine walking into work and being greeted by a mascot with a big smile and a warm hello. It's like having a friend at work, but without all the awkward small talk.

But it's not just about employee morale – a friendly and approachable mascot can also work wonders for your brand image. When potential clients, partners, and customers see a corporate mascot that embodies kindness and sincerity, they're more likely to trust and connect with your brand. It's like having a mascot that acts as a human (or animal) embodiment of your brand values.

So if you want to attract top talent and retain top employees, and if you want your brand to gain recognition and credibility, consider investing in a mascot that embodies those qualities. It may sound silly, but if it works for companies like Disney and Coca-Cola, it could also work for you. Plus, who wouldn't want to work for a company with a mascot that's just so darn lovable?

Tough, tenacious, determined, courageous

Tony The Tiger Kellogs Brand Mascots

Who said mascots couldn't be tough, tenacious, determined, or courageous? Some of the most iconic mascots in the world embody these same qualities. Think of Tony the Tiger from Frosted Flakes. He's tough enough to tackle any challenge, tenacious enough never to give up, determined enough to succeed, and courageous enough to stand up for his beliefs – which are Frosted Flakes!

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And let's remember the Energizer Bunny. He's a little pink bunny that never stops going, and he's been doing it for years! That bunny is more determined than most can muster on our best days.

So, feel free to think outside the box when designing your mascot. Your mascot can be cute and cuddly, but it can also be tough and tenacious. A character with a little edge is more memorable and impactful than one with all rainbows and sunshine.

So, think of a character that embodies these qualities, and let it teach you something about being inflexible, tenacious, determined, or courageous. You can learn something about yourself along the way!

Clever, quick-witted, humorous

Geico Gecko Mascot Branding

Facebook is the land of likes, shares, and cat videos. It's the perfect place for mascots to strut their stuff and win over the hearts of potential customers. But how can a mascot stand out in a sea of funny posts and memes?

Firstly, they need to be cute. Cute sells like hotcakes on Facebook. People can't resist adorable creatures doing pretty things, whether a fluffy kitten playing with a ball of yarn or a mischievous puppy stealing a sock. So, if your mascot is already cute, congratulations, you're halfway there!

Secondly, they need to be funny. Facebook users love to laugh, and if your mascot can make them chuckle, they're more likely to remember your brand. Think of a witty caption or a silly scenario where you can place your mascot. Perhaps your mascot is a chicken and is afraid of crossing the road. Or your mascot is a giraffe trying to reach a cookie jar on a high shelf. The possibilities are endless!

And finally, remember that Facebook is a place for sharing. You shouldn't focus your mascot's posts on selling your product but rather on creating a connection with your audience. Your mascot should embody the values and personality of your brand, and its posts should reflect that.

Resilient, brave, confident

We need a tougher mascot than a hunk of beef jerky left in the Arizona sun. We need a mascot with more confidence than a politician on a campaign trail. We need a mascot that's positive enough to make Mr Rogers look like a grumpy old man.

Mascots like the polar bear, lion, and tiger are known for their fearlessness and bold personalities. They're the heavyweights of the animal kingdom, and they can easily command attention without saying a word. With their fierce roar and sharp claws, these mascots are ready to take on any challenge that comes their way.

These mascots are also popular with the young ones, who always seek a hero to follow into the unknown. And let's be honest; adults secretly want to be them too. Who wouldn't want a lion's raw power or a tiger's agility? A good mascot can inspire us to be stronger, braver, and more confident, even if we're sitting at a desk all day.

Intelligent, logical, rational

The Pillsbury Doughboy Mascot

Well, it's unsurprising that cute animals tug at our heartstrings more than our fellow human beings. After all, have you ever seen a puppy or a kitten without feeling like your heart might burst with joy? I know I have!

But not just their cuteness makes anthropomorphic animals such a popular mascot choice. They also have a certain level of familiarity and relatability, making them approachable and endearing. Plus, they can easily be given human-like qualities, making them relatable on a deeper level.

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In the world of advertising and marketing, the use of anthropomorphic animals has been a tried-and-true tactic for decades. From Tony the Tiger to the Pillsbury Doughboy, these mascots have helped to sell everything from breakfast cereal to baking products. And it's no wonder why. Who wouldn't want to buy a product endorsed by a friendly, cuddly creature?

But don't be fooled into thinking that all animal mascots are created equal. You can't just slap a picture of a sloth on your product and expect it to sell like hotcakes. It would help if you chose an animal that fits your brand's image and messaging. For example, if you're selling an energy drink, a sloth might not be the best choice (unless you're marketing it to combat sluggishness!).

So, when choosing a mascot, remember: that a cute and cuddly animal might be the way to go, but you need to ensure it aligns with your brand's identity and messaging. And, of course, a touch of humour never hurts!

Ambitious, eager to succeed, dedicated

Mr Clean Mascot Logo Design

If you're in the market for a mascot, look no further because they have all the qualities you could ask for! These furry creatures are the epitome of hard-working, enthusiastic, and passionate. They take their job seriously and understand the importance of attracting customers.

I know what you're thinking: “Why do I need a mascot when I have an outstanding sales team?” Well, my friend, let me tell you, a mascot brings a certain je ne sais quoi to the table. They have an energy that cannot be matched and personalities for days.

You want a mascot to jump, dance, and do cartwheels to get people's attention. They're the life of the party and the light in the room. Have you ever seen a customer turn down a photo op with a giant, fluffy mascot? I think not.

So, if you want to take your business to the next level, invest in a mascot. Trust me; your customers will thank you for it. And who knows, maybe you'll even get a little extra joy from watching them in action. It's like having a furry little employee who loves their job and always brings a smile to your face.

Helpful, kind, compassionate

Creating an emotional response in your audience can be tricky business. But fear not, my dear friend, for I have some tips to help you connect with your audience's emotions.

First off, it's essential to understand the emotions you want to evoke. Don't just throw spaghetti at the wall and hope something sticks. Instead, take some time to think about what makes your audience tick. Are they a group of die-hard cat lovers? Or they're super passionate about saving the planet? Whatever it is, please get to know their emotions and connect with them.

Tell you about a fascinating study published in Stanford's Encyclopedia of Psychology. In 2003, some clever researchers found that people who watched an animal help another person were likelier to help others. Helping others and feeling empathy is like getting a social reward. So, if you want to create a more empathetic mascot, your audience will behave more compassionately toward the mascot and other humans.

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So, there you have it! Connect with your audience's emotions, make your mascot more empathetic, and watch the magic happen. And remember, if all else fails, add some dad jokes – they always get a good emotional response!

5 – Research other brands to determine their characteristics

The Energizer Bunny Mascot

First things first, let's talk about personality. No, not yours, silly. I'm talking about your mascot's personality. You want your mascot to be like a good friend – fun, quirky, and relatable. And if you're lucky, they might even have a few good dad jokes up their sleeve.

But how do you decide on your mascot's character type? You've got a zoo of animals, or you could go for something more high-tech, like a robot. The possibilities are endless! Once you've sorted that, you need to figure out what personality traits your mascot will have. Will they be cheeky and mischievous like a monkey or calm and collected like a sloth?

Now, here's where things get interesting. It would help if you researched other mascots with similar personalities. Don't worry; it's not creepy but it makes good business sense. You want to ensure that your mascot isn't too similar to an existing one. Otherwise, you might end up in a furry legal battle.

Check out what other mascots are doing and see if you can learn from them. But remember, you want to stand out from the crowd, not blend in. So ensure your mascot's personality is unique and authentic to your brand.

All right, that's enough mascot talk for now. Remember, the most important thing when creating a mascot is having fun with it. Don't take yourself too seriously; your mascot will be your brand's life and soul.

6 – Create a mascot that matches the personality of your brand

Ronald Mcdonald Company Mascots

So, what's your brand all about? Is it quirky and whimsical like a unicorn on a pogo stick or sophisticated and sleek like a sports car? It could be bold and daring, like a skydiver or just plain fun, like a bouncy castle.

Once you've figured out what makes your brand unique, it's time to give it a face (or a furry body, if that's your thing). That's right; we're talking about a mascot. But not just any mascot – one that embodies the essence of your brand's personality.

Think back to your childhood when you had your imaginary friend that embodied your wildest dreams. Well, your mascot is like your brand's imaginary friend – except this one is real and ready to make a lasting impression on your audience.

Now, here's where things get exciting. You can create a character representing everything your brand stands for – a fierce tiger, a friendly bee, or a mystical dragon. The possibilities are endless, but make sure your mascot is consistent with your brand personality.

And don't worry if you're not a creative genius like Picasso or a master storyteller like J.K. Rowling. There are plenty of companies out there that specialise in creating memorable mascots. So, sit back, relax, and let the experts take the wheel.

Remember, your mascot is more than just a logo – it represents your brand's core values and personality. So, go ahead and give your brand the superstar treatment it deserves. Your mascot will be as famous as Tony the Tiger or Mickey Mouse one day.

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Listen up, folks, because this is the secret sauce to standing out. You can have the fanciest website in the world, but you might be shouting into the void if your visual identity is lacking. So, put on your thinking caps because we're about to get creative.

Enter mascot branding – the ultimate way to create a visual identity that sticks in the minds of your customers. Whether you want to keep it simple with a cute and cuddly mascot or go all out with a fierce and fiery dragon, the possibilities are endless.

But let's remember the most crucial part – brand recognition. Your mascot is like the Batman to your brand's Gotham City. It's the symbol that customers will associate with your brand, which sets you apart.

And let's be honest, who doesn't love a good mascot? They're like the life of the party, except they're always there, ready to represent your brand and make a lasting impression on your customers.

So, don't be afraid to get a little wild and crazy with your mascot branding. It's a fun and unique way to bring your brand to life and create a lasting impression that your customers will be proud of.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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