A brand mascot is everywhere, from sports to schools to restaurants to social media. A mascot operates as a brand character that breathes life into your brand, making it more relatable. Some of the famous mascots include Ronald McDonald of McDonald’s and GEICO Gecko. Mascots can come in various shapes and sizes; they can be either cute mascots or sophisticated depending on your choice. Developing a mascot idea is not an easy endeavor.
It requires a master plan that lays out the idea, how to produce it, and how you intend to execute it to a larger audience. Once you get the full picture, you will face no hurdles in your mascot, creating and launching prospects.
Businesses sometimes are unaware of the importance of a mascot, how to design a mascot, and how much it can contribute to their growth in terms of traffic and revenue. They need a character that acts as a spokesperson on their behalf and acts as a medium between the clients and the business.
Businesses are still confused in terms of how to introduce a character or how to design a mascot, especially when they don’t have a game plan at their disposal. We will expand on a step by step process of how you can kick start your mascot designing process and lead your brand to the path of success.
Step 1: Plan Your Content Strategy
The mere existence of a visually appealing character is not enough to garner your better brand awareness. This is why you need to strategize and create a timeline of when you will use a mascot, where you will use it, and what kind of design you intend your mascot to look like. It can be something friendly, humorous, welcoming or something diversified that your viewers can relate to. Avoid unattractive, dark, or any grim related mascots that will turn visitors away from first sight. Once you have created your mascot, please test it out on different mediums such as your website, social media, print materials, etc. You need to ensure that the mascot is visible regardless of its size.
If the mascot is not visible enough on a small screen, disengage from the process immediately and develop a new mascot. A mascot that is not easy to decipher is a failed endeavor. Focus on recreating a new mascot with a modified version or a completely new version that is flexible on any medium. Once you have clarity on the visibility of your mascot, decide which medium of your brand you want to place them in. You need to develop a handful of content characters when you use your mascot to greet your visitors.
An animated mascot gains a lot more effective as viewers are much more receptive to a mobilized visual. You will be posting new content for your mascot now and then, which is why it is better to have a handful of your mascot’s body content at your disposal before you can launch your mascot. Just a visually appealing character does not guarantee better brand awareness.
Step 2: Plan Your Initial Steps
Once you have created your long-term strategy, you need to decide upon your approach before you can officially launch it or declare it as a representative of your brand. There are two processes to launch a mascot. You can either introduce your mascot little by little or keep it in secrecy until officially launching it and declaring it as a representative of your brand.
Keep the Mascot in Secret until the Launch Day
This is standard practice for many companies when they are about to reveal their mascot. It has the element of surprise, which gets the audience excited and enthusiastic. It is revealed in conferences or any special event before unveiling it and officiating it to the target audience. Within moments the audience will decide if the mascot is memorable or relatable, which will determine whether they are receptive to the mascot or not. You need to fix the date and create an aura of eagerness among your audience to keep them looking forward to your official launch. This will garner you more traffic and more feedback.
Introduce the Character Little by Little
This is an alternative approach which is usually unconventional for many businesses. If you do not have the drive or the resources to launch your mascot after keeping it in secrecy, you can place it little by little on your medium platform without making an official announcement of the custody of the mascot. This will enhance your audience’s curiosity until the day of the official launch.
You can take the example of the Blogging Wizard, who applied this tactic and garnered positive feedback. The Blogging Wizard introduced their mascot to their audience on their blog post detailing how they formed their mascot and what their mascot represents. They also placed their mascot on their subscription page before officially launching it. This plan of action also serves as a testing phase.
You can observe how the audience reacts to the mascot, and if they are receptive or provide good feedback, then it will make you even more confident about the mascot’s official launch. If the viewers dislike or respond negatively to the mascot, you can discontinue the mascot and come up with a new one until you create one that the audience likes the most.
Step 3: Launch It Officially
It is time to decide the content you will use to educate your viewers about your mascot and its intent. There is a certain plan of action you can adopt to launch your mascot.
Write a Blog Post
As mentioned before, the best way to introduce a mascot is by elaborating on your mascot’s introduction on your blog post. You can describe your mascot, explain how it came to be, and how it will guide your viewers and assist them wherever it can. The concept of the content needs to be concise, interactive, and succinct.
Extra information that is irrelevant and added for the sake of showing off will deter the interest of the audience. They want fast-tracked explanations and information. You can share your article about your mascot through your social media, emails, and other channels and see if the audience is responsive. Test some of the articles on your first viewers and decide whether the content you published meets your reader’s satisfactory criteria.
Announce on Social Media
If you do not have a blog in your arsenal, you can always introduce your mascot via social media. Social media gives you the advantage of having it shared and displayed on different social media channels making the possibility of the mascot getting viral attention a reality. If the mascot is memorable and generates excitement, it will trend among thousands of online users and be welcomed by a diverse crowd audience. Most companies opt for this strategy as there are millions of online users that can easily be converted to clients if guided by the mascot in easy terms.
It should be noted that some social media channels have limited characters, so you need to implement laconic information about your mascot and its objective to your audience. Expanding your mascot content on social media will hinder attention and lose the audience’s interest making your social media investment pointless.
Request for Opinion
The post you create needs to pique the audience’s curiosity and have all the components in place that get them absorbed and engrossed in the information. You can do this by giving the audience the space to convey their input on how they perceive your mascot and where they believe some alterations can be made. The majority opinion is what matters most. If the majority opinion is unequivocally favorable, you will know that your decisions were correct.
A provocative post does not mean that you develop controversial, inappropriate, or disturbing content. You need to provoke only the viewer’s curiosity and interest with compelling content that arouses their notice. The post you create needs to have a triggering effect on your viewers such that they have to write comments and engage in productive discourse with you and even one another.
Now you may question to what extent the content should be provocative. Since a mascot was constructed by your imagination, you can do the same concerning your content infused with fantasy and digital reality since there is no limit when it comes to your thought process. It is probable that you make your mascot even more realistic by associating with ageism and death.
Take the example of planters, whose mascot Mr. Peanut passed away at the age of 104 in January 2020. But the Planers used the element of surprise by reintroducing Mr. Peanut as Baby Peanut, who was brought back to life!
While Planters did receive criticism for this tactic, it paid off in the end. Their Facebook profile garnered thousands of posts with the announcement of Mr. Peanut’s death and received even more with his rebirth.
Step 4: Place the Mascot on Key Places
Once your mascot has been introduced to the masses, it is time to place it in every part of your brand, including the website, products, social media, apps, etc. It is not necessary to add the mascot as part of your logo. However, you can make an image on your website of your mascot engaging with your logo in a creative fashion. Your audience will connect with your brand much faster. You can also portray your mascot as part of the team, assisting and helping you out in imagery. This will establish a closer relationship between the mascot and the viewers.
Your service pages can also be depicted by your mascot character, who can tell the story of your products and brand to your customers. It can basically act as a promotional entity for your brand awareness. It is a viable practice to utilize your character in providing factual information to the client.
Introducing the Design Ogre!
We in Designster know all too well about the importance of hiring our own spokesperson for our platform. This cute cuddly friend of ours is dedicated to guide you through our homepage and get to know everyone he encounters. You can engage with the ogre anytime you want. He is our first team members you will meet when you enter the Designster platform.
If you can adhere to the following steps mentioned in this article, your mascot’s development will be a piece of cake. Remember, a mascot is created with a blend of creativity, innovation, and imagination from the depth of your mind frame. The mascot you create can range from humorous or fun as long as it can draw enough traffic to your brand. Always be prepared for the best and worst-case scenario when testing it out. You will soon get the hang of it and pick the right one.