• Branding and Visual Identity
  • 7 minutes

Does Your Company Need a Mascot?

  • Author
  • Ian Bower
  • Published
  • Nov 18, 2020
7 minutes

Does Your Company Need a Mascot?

Imagine having 98% of your target audience worldwide instantly recognize your brand, all thanks to your company’s mascot. For Disney, with their famous Mickey Mouse mascot, this is a reality, and it can be for your business too.

Having a company mascot can present many benefits for your brand, something which – as graphic designers – we’ve seen first-hand for numerous businesses.

In this guide, we’re going to look at what a mascot is, as well as the advantages they can offer you, and the questions you need to ask to determine if your company needs a mascot.

 Firstly, what is a mascot?

There’s no doubt you’d be familiar with sporting mascots, but did you know businesses can use mascots too?

You see, mascots are simply brand characters who serve as ambassadors for your company,  products and/or services.

If you take a moment to think about some of the most memorable mascots, images of Ronald McDonald, Michelin Man, Geico Gecko, the M&M’s Spokescandies, and Colonel Sanders may come to mind.

Thankfully though, it’s not just large, global companies who benefit from the use of a mascot. Many smaller, digital businesses have also taken advantage of what a mascot has to offer. Here are some great examples:

 

 Fusion Charts

Nophster

Gamezaur

Download our Free Swipe File Of Five Versatile Company Mascot Examples Here!

The different ways mascots can be used

Mascots are commonly used in a company’s logo design or might be used separately when the company is being promoted through print and digital marketing methods.

Let’s dive deeper into some of the ways a mascot can be used to effectively promote a brand by taking a close look at one mascot in particular: the Energizer Bunny.

When we examine Energizer’s marketing efforts, we can see that they utilize their mascot in the following ways:

● On their website (for example, on the homepage)

● On a landing page dedicated solely to the Energizer Bunny

● Through merchandise, such as apparel, accessories, and plushes

● On TV commercials

● Through an Energizer Bunny Twitter profile

● An iMessage ‘sticker pack’ available from Apple's App Store or Giphy

● Making appearances at various fundraising events

● On their product packaging

● In their print marketing materials, such as magazine advertisements

Want to find out additional, effective ways to use a company mascot? Read the next blog post in this series, ‘How to Get the Most Out of Your Company Mascot’.

 

The major benefits of a company mascot

Now that we know exactly what a mascot is, let’s take a look at the many benefits they can offer your brand.

  Mascots build brand recognition

In a world flooded with marketing messages, brands need to go the extra mile to not only stand out, but to also remain memorable. When a mascot is designed to be eye-catching and unique, it instantly captures an audience’s attention. This, in turn, boosts your brand awareness, and since your company mascot leaves a lasting impression in peoples’ memories, it also leads to instant brand recognition.

  Mascots increase your exposure

Picture this: you’re at a tech summit, wandering past booth after booth promoting brands within the industry. After a while, they all start to look the same. Stifling a yawn, you start to look for the exit, until commotion further ahead captures your attention. One of the brands has employed someone to don a full T-rex costume as their mascot, while posing for photo opportunities and passing out marketing materials to the crowds of people gathered around.  

Such is the power of a mascot. As humans, we’re drawn to the fun, the new, and the exciting. With a mascot that ticks all of these boxes, it can do wonders in increasing your company’s exposure and helping you stand out from your sea of competitors, whether that’s at a business summit, in a newspaper advertisement, or simply on your website.

  Mascots can create merchandising initiatives

When we look at brands such as M&Ms, Kellogg’s, McDonalds, and just about every sporting team, it’s clear that there is plenty of potential for creating merchandise using your company’s mascot. While plush toys, caps, t-shirts, or beanies may seem like a small and fun investment for your customers, they mean big business for your brand.

Not only does it boost your company’s exposure, but it also turns your customers into walking billboards advertising your brand, and therefore, creating a positive brand image in the minds of those around them.

The Telegraph UK

  Mascots can be used across different media

Speaking of advertisements and websites, a company mascot is versatile enough to be used across all types of media, whether print (such as a brochure, newspaper, or trade magazine) or digital (including social media, TV advertisements, or even radio, if they have a distinctive voice).

In fact, the greater exposure your mascot receives, the greater the exposure for your business, as both are intrinsically linked.

Want additional mascot design inspiration? Download our swipe file of 5 versatile company mascot examples that can be used across multiple types of media.

  Mascots appeal to the human psyche

It doesn’t matter if your mascot takes the form of a human, animal, or object – all mascots are given human qualities, including being able to speak, act, and portray emotions. This allows them to appeal to our human psyche, as we still recognize them as familiar, and therefore, can’t help but engage with them.

A mascot’s personality can also distinguish your brand, as audiences will associate the mascot’s qualities (i.e. excitable, caring, honest, funny) with who you are as a company. Therefore, a likeable mascot can instantly create a positive connection with your potential customers.

  Mascots are timeless

While humans aren’t immune to aging, mascots are. Sure, they might be redesigned slightly over time as the company grows or changes, but essentially, the very idea and persona of your mascot remains timeless. Take Freddie the Mailchimp mascot, for example. He’s been representing Mailchimp since 2001 and has undergone some design tweaks during this time, but to this day, his essence remains the same: he’s a cheerful chimp wearing a mailman’s cap.

Robert Katai

It’s also important to mention that, unlike celebrity endorsements, a mascot can’t do damage to your brand by being caught in public doing something they’re not meant to be doing… As a design element that’s part of your branding, you have full control over your mascot – including what they do and say.

 

  Should your company have a mascot?

While it’s clear that mascots present several benefits for a brand, there are some cases where a mascot may hinder, rather than boost, your business.

Typically, mascots aren’t often used in industries relating to the physical appearance of its customers, such as hair and beauty, or fitness. The reason for this is simple: when audiences are considering using a product to enhance the way they look, they want real-world examples of what the product can do for them, and therefore won’t connect with a fictitious mascot in the way other audiences would.

Instead, you’ll find that brand mascots generally belong to companies within industries offering a more complex service that needs the injection of personality that a mascot can provide.

Niches that benefit the most by having a mascot include:

● Health (such as vitamin brands)

● Technology

● Food services, including restaurants

● Digital marketing agencies

● Insurance

● Other financial services

Of course, there are some exceptions to this general rule, with industries such as food heavily featuring brand mascots.

Mishpacha 

To help you decide if creating a mascot for your brand will be beneficial, we’ve provided a list of questions below you can brainstorm yourself or discuss with your team.

 

  Questions to ask to determine if your company needs a mascot

● Do you offer a product or service that can be represented by a character? Is it relevant in your brand category?

● Are you struggling to sell your products or services because you have complex or technical offerings?

● Does the tone of your brand allow for a likeable mascot?

● Will the brand mascot have longevity?

● How can a mascot be used to support and communicate your brand’s values and characteristics?

● How can a mascot be used to appeal to and communicate with your target audience? What benefits would this add over the way you’re currently communicating with your target audience?

● Do your target audience already find your logo memorable and instantly recognizable, or can this be boosted through the use of a mascot?

● Is there any way a mascot may overshadow your brand, products, or services?

 

As you can see, mascots can be a fantastic investment for your business, as they offer benefits relating to brand awareness, exposure, communication, marketing, and more. While a mascot might not be the right decision for every company, they certainly can take brands across many industries to greater heights.

If you’re considering acquiring a mascot to represent your company, we can help you out. Simply get in touch with our graphic design team to discuss your mascot ideas or any questions you have.

Want to read even more about how a mascot can benefit your brand? Read the next article in this series: ‘How to get the most out of your company mascot’ Here!

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  • Ian Bower
  • Ian is the owner of Graphic Rhythm as well as other businesses that revolve around design, copywriting and Amazon marketplace selling. He's an expert in communicating persuasively and loves helping business owners and digital agencies breathe life into their projects and ideas.

    He values generosity and attention to detail and strives to make sure these values are apparent in the services he provides and the businesses he owns.

    When Ian isn't working, you can find him outside hiking, camping and spending time with his wife and children

  • Ian is the owner of Graphic Rhythm as well as other businesses that revolve around design, copywriting and Amazon marketplace selling. He's an expert in communicating persuasively and loves helping business owners and digital agencies breathe life into their projects and ideas.

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