A brand mascot is the key to skyrocketing your marketing. Who wouldn’t want to be instantly recognized by your customers, your competition, or even your prospects? Mascots, avatars, or spokesperson are a pretty simple concept and can be used in a multitude of ways, unique to your brand and type of business. A brand mascot or avatar will set you apart from your competitors.
So let me make a case for getting a brand mascot. I’m sure you know insurance companies spend billions of dollars on advertising to get their message to you. Insurance is a very competitive industry. And insurance companies are cold, calculating profit machines that will squeeze every dollar to profit. So, it isn’t by blind luck that every car insurance company has a brand mascot or spokesperson. It’s because they work. Let’s look at how they use mascots and spokespeople.
Here are few:
This cute little lizard has captured our hearts over the years. He sure put that funny-sounding insurance company on the map so that people could remember their name. And we remember Geico. Excellent branding.
Even if you can’t stand Flo or progressive’s commercials, (I can’t) you know who Flo is and she stands for Progressive Insurance. It would be interesting to have a quiz on whether you like or dislike Flo. A memorable mascot is better than none.
Now, this mascot is a twist. Liberty Mutual has a funny man (looks like someone better call Saul) with a sidekick of an EMU. So far, it hasn’t been very funny to me. Limu Emu and Doug. We’ll see how that plays in the next decade. Again, you remember them.
Now some interesting statistics:
The Geico Gecko is the most recognized mascot in car insurance. But would you believe the Gecko has a 94% recognition rate? Again, excellent branding.
Geico’s brand performance is closely followed by Progressive’s Flo’s branding (93 percent), the Aflac Duck (92 percent), and Allstate’s Dennis Haysbert (91 percent). The least recognized mascots were the 21st Century Guy (19 percent recognition) and John Krasinski for Esurance (8 percent).
Any of these brand mascots are great recognition for adding a mascot/avatar/spokesperson. Just think. You could increase your brand recognition by 20%, just by adding a mascot. Better performing ads, better performing social, which equates to increasing profit margin.
Now you might not be in the same league as these insurance companies, but what you can do is get a unique and individual character to represent your business. It will differentiate you from your competitors. If it is memorable, mentioning it will instantly jog your customer’s memory. You’ll be able to insert into emails signatures, email campaigns, ads, invoices, website presence….and so many places to use this mascot.
Most companies will choose a brand mascot or avatar over a spokesperson for a multitude of reasons. But the number one reason to choose a mascot or avatar over a spokesperson: Less cost. With a spokesperson, you’re hiring a person/personality and all the headaches that can come with it. You are now in show business.
An avatar/mascot doesn’t have to cost a fortune. We charge anywhere from $500-$2,000, depending on the complexity and the time to create and modify. And of course, we charge additionally for renditions and marketing campaigns for the brand mascot or avatar.
The beauty of an brand avatar or mascot is if it doesn’t work, you move on. You’re just involved, but don’t have to be committed.
Okay, so now you’ve decided to choose an avatar or mascot, you should strive for a mascot that is memorable and can be used with all your marketing materials. It doesn’t matter if it’s a person, animal, bug, superhero, or inanimate object. Just make sure it’s unique and represents your brand.
When we create a mascot or logo for a company, we ask the following questions:
- What type of company image and brand do you have?
- Do you want a serious or funny mascot/avatar? Funny always sells better, but it’s tough to be funny.
- How is it to be used? You should outline how and where the avatar will be used. Advertising? Stationary? Creating Promotions?
- Is it going to be static or dressed up or down? I love creating the different personas for an avatar.
- What is your brand avatar or/mascot going to be doing? Talking on the phone, holding a sign, waving, or just looking pretty
- Is it going to be 2D or 3D? Or 2D that will eventually become a 3D character?
Here are two examples of brand mascots we created:
The first one was for our company. We took our logo and created a character whom we named affectionately, Geeker. Geeker is a rendition of all our personalities, for better or for worse. We are geeks.
As you can see, this is the first rendition of Geeker. We wanted him playful with arms that could tell stories and tennis shoes that could run fast (ahead of our competition). As Geeker developed, we used him for various tasks, holding signs, waving, and residing on all our marketing materials. As Geeker grew up, we added more functionality with kicking, winking, clapping, and other functions. Also, with advertising, we used him on all our materials.
The second brand mascot is one of my favorite. We spent a month working on him. He is an Iguana with attitude. Reefer. He was named this for the Cancun Reefs, but you can choose how to interpret the name. He is fun, fun, fun. We did this for a travel company, who, in the end, didn’t pay us. Oops. So Reefer is for sale. Poor Iguana needs a home. Reefer went through many, many, many renditions, as you can see:
This was the final:
Then the fun began. We made Reefer into the most fun partier around. We gave him sunglasses, we dressed him up, we put him in a hammock, he’s dressed for Fourth of July. He looks like the party animal you wanted to be in the Caribbean with. All fun and all play. Can you imagine him on Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas?…..or being the life of the party on New Year’s Eve? He’s certainly my type of guy. Laid Back, Super Laid Back, Cool and All-American Reefer.
Then we got Reefer to work. We used him in advertisements. In emails, and and brand clothing and other swag. Everyone wanted Reefer. Or maybe they wanted a Reefer. hmmmm.
A really great use of Reefer could be make him into a 3D toy that anyone would remember, especially with the new 3D inexpensive printers. What a great way to remember a vacation and a reminder to book the next one with!
The best way to get a brand mascot or avatar is to hire a Graphic Company or Graphic Artist who has a graphic artist and will draw from scratch, transferring to digital copy. That way you never worry about copyright infringements and you don’t worry about someone copy and pasting parts of another copyrighted character.
Make sure the Company transfers the copyright to you, once it is paid for. Otherwise, legally they can use it again and again.
So wrapping it up, there is no doubt that a brand mascot will strengthen your brand, while dramatically increase engagement with your prospects and clients. So ask yourself, who represents your business?
Want to see more brand mascots and avatars we created in the past decade: Avatars and Mascots
And of course, if you are interested in pursuing a mascot for your business, we’d be happy to help!