Looking to use character mascots for your business’s branding identity? You’re not alone, a lot of businesses make use of such branding styles, because it offers several advantages over most other approaches. Obviously not all businesses can benefit – it really depends on the industry the business is in, and the customers and clients that the business serve. Can character mascots work for your business?
1. Mascots are expressive
Unlike typical types of branding styles, such as text-only, emblem-based, minimalistic icons, and so on,… mascots usually feature a face, and/or at least a body. Either or both can be adjusted to exhibit just the right expression and pose that suits the approach the business wants to take. Although other types of branding styles are certainly capable of expressing similar ‘emotions’, it’s usually a little more challenging and somewhat subjective in terms of impression.
Should the character be happy? Should it exhibit energetic capabilities? Expressions and poses can also be further bolstered with the use of an object related to the business. A wrench, an umbrella, a mouse, or whatever. One constant to keep in mind though, is that such character mascots do not need to be sad, depressed, or otherwise express similar negative emotions. Unless the business is in the business of sadness, the outcome is almost always negative.
Tweaking expressions and poses correctly can mean a world of difference to the audience, the right expression gives you more business, whilst the wrong one takes it away – so you will need to experiment and test out each of these expressions, so that your audience gets exactly the right impression for your business. The best advantage a mascot can give a business, is that multiple poses and expressions can be used – allowing it to express varied, yet complimentary emotions to the audience.
2. Mascots gives your business a face
Character mascots are an excellent way of gaining recognition with an audience. Whilst typical corporate or business branding styles are certainly memorable in their own unique way, character mascots achieves far more. This is due to how people’s brains are wired – characters, especially if they feature faces, are instantly recognizable, whereas shapes and text aren’t quite as much.
What this means is if your business has a character mascot behind its branding, your audience will be able to recognize it better. This may or may not translate to better business – once again, it depends on a whole range of factors. Generally however, if your business suits the use of a mascot, and the competition isn’t taking advantage of using one, you might achieve better brand recognition, and thus stand out more compared to them. This indirectly translates to better business.
3. Mascots work very well for certain demographics
For all of the benefits of character mascots, unfortunately not all business are capable of utilizing them as their branding. If the industry that the business is in revolves around professionalism, then such branding strategies would be rather out of place. Character mascots are much more suited for businesses with the right demographic to target – young kids, teenagers, and young adults. There are various exceptions of course, businesses that are in newer or light-hearted industries and fields for example could also employ such branding styles. Other examples include businesses that serve parents, mothers, and families. Generally speaking, any business that doesn’t take itself too seriously, are capable of having character mascots as their branding.
To find out whether your target customers and clients responds better with a character mascot, some research will be needed. Observe the first ten competitors you can think of, and analyze their branding, their marketing strategies, and the makeup of their audience. This is probably the easiest way of discovering whether your business will benefit, but it’s also important to realize that this by itself isn’t enough to determine with absolute certainty. Some conventions may be well-worth breaking, especially if it results in increased recognition and thus profits. Besides that, even if most of the pieces fit for the strategy to work, utilizing a character mascot may still not work because of the particular and unique identity and soul of your business. In either case, to know for sure whether character mascots will work for you, you will need to employ a design house to do some brand testing of your business, and gather results from test audiences that closely matches your real audience. This will go a long way of discovering whether you’re on the right path. Ultimately, the only way to be absolutely certain, is to try it out on your audience.
4. Mascots gives off a certain impression
Character mascots gives off far more a friendly vibe than other types of branding styles. Because of the light-hearted appearance of cartoony branding, audiences are inclined to trust it more. Character mascots projects a certain aura, which some people understand, in that they serve and know how to handle family-friendly customers – which is one of the reasons why people see it as less of a ‘threat’, compared to cold and professional branding of other companies.
Due to the flexible nature of character mascots in how they’re presented, specifically by which business are able to have it pose in a variety of poses and expressions, audiences will be exposed to a range of emotions being exhibited by the character. These emotions compliment each other, thus providing the audience with an overall message that is controlled and coordinated, which then builds up trust for the brand. If the product and service being offered by your business is competitive for its price, at least compared to the competition, and combined with a trustworthy business character mascot that sends a single message, your audience will be much more inclined to do business with you.
Check out some of our work on mascot designs: