Brand mascots are the single most powerful marketing tool in the world. Here's why:
Make eye contact.
Have you ever had the feeling that someone was staring at you? It's human nature. We all have the innate ability to sense when someone is looking at us. It gets our attention, and that is one of the things that makes a brand mascot so effective. It's easy to ignore a sign, an advertisement, or a package label, but when it has a pair of eyes staring at you, it's a little harder to ignore. And when it's accompanied by a friendly smile, it triggers another natural response - it puts a smile on your face. It's human nature to look at eyes, and it's human nature to smile back at a smile.
People prefer to do business with people/companies they LIKE. It's simple, but very effective, and true! Using a good brand mascot is like having the most popular kid in high school as your best friend. People will like you because they like him. It's simple association, and powerful marketing!
It's a fact - every purchase has a strong emotional element in the decision. How many times do you choose one company over another simply based off of "I just like them better." Stack the deck in your favor by putting a friendly, likable face on your business.
A brand mascot can help you build relationships, and today, with social media, and customer relationship management systems being so important, having a powerful relationship-building tool is a valuable asset.
Loyalty is not dead. It just takes a catalyst to convert quality, service and value into a "warm-and-fuzzy" that translates into repeat sales and viral/enthusiastic support. A brand mascot can help you develop an avid fan following that can go viral. One of our clients, Fireplaces Plus, in Manahawkin, NJ, has done an excellent job of building a Facebook fan page and using their brand mascot (Burnie the flame) to engage people and build a following. They print stickers of Burnie, hand them out, and encourage friends to take a picture of Burnie in the fun places they go, and then post those pictures on their Facebook fan page. Burnie is traveling the world; being spotted everywhere, and gaining new followers every day.
Differentiate more effectively.
One of the main challenges many businesses face is how to differentiate their offering from their competitors. The challenge is more daunting in highly competitive markets, but a good brand mascot can make you stand out in the crowd, and remembered more easily. The insurance industry is very competitive, and the subject matter is very dry and uninteresting. That's why you see Aflac use the duck, Met Life use Snoopy and Geicko use the Gecko. Brand mascots help differentiate between brands with very similar offerings.
Your company is more than just the product it sells. It is the service behind it, and the people who interact with customers and create your company culture. How do you convey your enthusiasm, passion, dedication and expertise? Simple - make sure your brand mascot exudes all those traits. Have your brand mascot embody all those traits that can't be attributed to a product. A product can be high quality, good value, delivered fast, but a brand mascot can be responsive, knowledgeable, friendly, fun, entertaining, likable, humorous, clever, helpful, informative and so many other important attributes.
What if your product could speak to customers? It can, if you turn it into a brand mascot. Give your product a voice and let it tell its story directly to prospective customers. Or you can take a snapshot of it and hope people see all the brilliance.
Make your message irresistible.
There is something irresistible about the copy that appears inside a cartoon bubble. In many cases, it's more likely to be read than a big headline. That's because it is like having someone speak to you. While it's easy to ignore copy (no one likes to read), it is hard to ignore someone speaking to you, and a cartoon bubble speaks to people.
Make boring interesting.
If you walk people through any type of process, as part of a sales pitch, education or training, consider how a brand mascot can make it much more interesting. Numerous companies have hired us to make their training manuals and operating instruction more light-hearted and reader friendly. A brand mascot, in a robust clip art set, can make a Powerpoint sales presentation much more entertaining while boosting the brand. A large financial company hired us to develop a cartoon dollar bill character to make their 28-page investor training guide more consumer friendly and easier to digest.