“Marketing is not the art of finding clever ways to dispose of what you make. It is the art of creating genuine customer value.” - Philip Kotler
The father of modern marketing cleverly stated about brand building. Not only that, a good brand has to be the leader of the trust that brings changes to society as a whole. In this digital age where brands struggle to seize the attention of their audience, mascot design and marketing strategy have been widely adopted by major names in every industry.
Mascot branding is a mixture of the art of mascot design, and the psychology of marketing. The whole point of mascot branding is to create a brand ambassador that carries the identity and goal of the brand itself. It serves the purpose of bonding the brand with its customers, gaining brand loyalty and trust that results in long-term business success.
This idea has been popular in other countries, such as Japan and Korea. However, the idea of mascot marketing is not as widespread in Thailand, and many have misconceptions about it still. Most companies merely hire graphic designers to design a mascot but fail to use it to the fullest potential. What is missing is the story-telling aspect of the mascot to make the audience connect and engage with it.
Introducing a masterpiece of mascot design work, ‘Cooly Cooly’! Let’s have a look into the case study of how it became our proud portfolio.
The Idea Behind ‘Cooly Cooly’
Inspired by the Yeti, legendary ice giant, 'Cooly Cooly' was created to approach a wide range of audiences, appeal with its cuteness, and tell complex ideas to end-users in an easy to grasp language.
The name suggests chilliness and fun. Being a mini-ice-giant, Cooly Cooly was designed to convey the message of the powerful cool breeze produced by our client’s product. It’s gender-neutral, which means it can take any role and talk in any language.
Cooly Cooly has helped both the brand and its audience to communicate about air conditioner usages and minimize after-sales issues. This adorable mascot can join any marketing and social media campaign without any boundaries. Now that we know who it is, let’s take a look at how it became successful.
Mascot Branding 101
A good mascot is not just a cartoon character, it is a living, being built from DNA Genesis
The first step of branding is defining the DNA, which is the identity it possesses. This DNA will dictate everything that follows, from external appearance, personality, voice, gestures, etc. These elements do not just pop up out of thin air, but rather are based on the company’s brand DNA. In this case, Cooly Cooly is based upon the notion that the client is an expert in coolness with hundreds of years of experience, reflects the intelligence and wit of the whole company legacy.
A good mascot must have an approachable appearance
When you build any mascot, another important thing is to have an appearance that can appeal to the target audience while reflecting the brand at the same time, whether it is a human, animal, or any kind of object. Most brands make the mistake of pouring too much of the brand into the character but fail to make it approachable. Well, dare we say Cooly Cooly is not one of them. It was created to approach a wide range of audiences with its cuteness while keeping just about the right balance of conveying the brand message. This makes our mascot more human than just a 2D character.
A good mascot has a solid background story
Background story shapes the whole behaviour, personality, preferences, and define the goal of the mascot’s existence. This will greatly help your audience connect and feel encouraged to support your mascot. It is like making the viewer relate to a movie character.
A good mascot has to be a trendsetter
The more a mascot simulates a real human being, the more approachable and relatable it becomes. And by that, it should not just be a photo prop, but a real person with real social media accounts to show their daily life and interact with the audience in its own voice. These will make people put trust and believe in the mascot, eager to share brand stories or unrelated trivial things in life.
Also, the mascot needs to become a trendsetter, keep up with news updates and social movements all the time. In this case, a real-time marketing strategy is needed. Cooly Cooly is a good example of this. It follows the news, participates in any ongoing event, and set the trend for its followers to follow.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the point of a mascot?
Mascots tell the stories of your brand. They convey a message with no words. They stick with the audience and make your brand recognizable. With a mascot, you can bring your brand to life and bring real value to the audience.
Who is a mascot made for?
A mascot is a representation of groups such as schools, sports teams, societies or brands. Mascots are commonly used as representatives for consumer products, Ronald McDonald for the fast-food chain McDonald's is a popular example. Sometimes mascots are used for merchandising as well.
What makes a good mascot design?
For a mascot to have appeal and personality, it's not always necessary to make it look friendly. There are lots of appealing characters with faces that are scowling. The mascots of sports teams are often made to look tough and likely to win the game.
What's the difference between mascot and logo?
The difference between logos and mascots is similar to the difference between necessity and luxury. The mascot gives a relatable feel and expands the brand identity further. A logo represents the business to a greater extent, while a mascot represents the value, culture and people in the business.
Can a person be a mascot?
The most popular mascots are human or human-like characters. The largest category of mascots is human characters, accounting for 21% of the total. Human mascots can be based on a fictional character or a real person.
How can a brand mascot add value to a brand?
Brand mascots help establish a company's identity. Customers think brands with mascots are more consumer-focused, trustworthy and authentic. The use of a custom mascot is a great way to engage with your customers.
What are the forms a mascot can take?
Mascots can be 2D, 3D animated, or even a costume. You can begin to build a relationship with your clients and customers by taking advantage of any or all of these forms.
Maybe I Need A Good Mascot?
Building a mascot to become your brand ambassador is not an easy task, it is a long-term investment that requires the time and continuity of storytelling. But once it can grab the attention and acceptance of your target audience, that mascot is forever without the need of any influencer representation. That can also minimize the fuzz about your maintaining your brand image as the brand has the power to control everything for the mascot already.
Need help planning a decent mascot marketing campaign strategy? Our team at Sphere Agency is here to help. With years of experience in mascot marketing, we have given life to many fictional brand characters and successfully communicate with them. See our branding services and contact us today!