Marketing Questions: Does Your Brand Need a Mascot?

Marketing Questions: Does Your Brand Need a Mascot?

Marketing Questions: Does Your Brand Need a Mascot?

According to social data and monitoring tool uberVU, the insurance company Aflac brought in 6,135 social media mentions in just over a three-week period, while its duck mascot alone brought in 1,361 mentions. Promoting and bringing fun brand recognition to a company that sells supplemental insurance is no simple feat. But Aflac manages to bring life to its brand with a white duck that barks out, “Aflac!” to people wondering where to turn for insurance help.

Your own company might sell a notoriously less than sexy product such as dental tools or insurance, or it might offer millennials travel or social media services. Regardless of your product, a mascot can help bring personality and brand recognition to your company. But before you sketch out a cute animal or friendly robot, here are some mascot strategies to consider.


Define Your Goals

Not every company needs a mascot to establish a brand. To determine if creating one is a good idea for you, lay out your company’s goals first. Outline the branding strategy behind your mascot and how it will help bring recognition and clarity to your business and services. Remember, the mascot will represent your company at all times. Your team should know your mascot’s purpose, identity and personality and embrace it as a team member. Otherwise, a poorly formed idea and brand mascot will only bring confusion to your branding and marketing efforts.

Make It Memorable and Recognizable

Recognizing and understanding your product is one of the primary purposes to use a mascot. Your business is also at the advantage that your mascot isn’t a real person or celebrity who might make the news for acting inappropriately. There is no chance the Aflac duck will tarnish the company’s reputation by getting caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. In addition, their duck mascot helps people remember the company’s name: American Family Life Assurance Company. The shortened Aflac is easier to remember, and the duck helps it stick in people’s minds.

Get Creative With Celebrity Recognition

Consider hiring a talented actor to bring life to your mascot. Dish Satellite TV hired Australian comedian and actress Rebel Wilson to voice it’s mascot Hopper the Kangaroo for the Hopper DVR. Wilson’s engaging delivery brings personality and life to the brand.

Although many will recognize the actress’s voice, some may just think the commercial is about a funny kangaroo. Even those who don’t can enjoy her deadpan delivery and personality. And because DISH doesn’t use Wilson’s likeness, it doesn’t really matter what she does in her personal life. The company is relying on her voice and talent, not her own personal brand recognition to help promote its product.

Personalize Your Company

Mascots can bring personality and life to otherwise dry industries like insurance. The Geico gecko is practically a celebrity, and everyone recognizes the charming little spokeslizard. A mascot should help bring your core values front and center. The popular forum Reddit uses an alien that helps identify its practical use and audience as intelligent and often discussing less than mainstream topics.

Mascots can also help educate people on what your company does and put a name to the face. Smokey the Bear helps children learn about forest fires. Meanwhile, the energizer bunny displayed how long its battery life could go on while Mr. Clean showed even household cleaner could be tough and manly. Remember, while a mascot can be fun and engaging, the factors behind why you created it are serious ones.

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