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How to market your company mascot on a budget

A mascot can be an inexpensive, effective marketing tool for your business.
By Ann Smarty |

 

Mascots are branding elements helping people better remember your company and product. By personifying your business through a recognizable entity (mascots are often based on people, simple objects, and animals), they help your audience easier identify and remember your brand.

 

Mascots are incredibly effective marketing tools. They act as "spokes characters" that can endorse your company on a personal level. When comparing a celebrity endorsement for a product and a mascot endorsement for a product, it has been found that successful mascots can be both more efficient and less expensive.

 

If you think about it for a moment, you will realize that we have been growing up surrounded by mascots. From schools to college team mascots, we have been getting older associating loyalty and excitement with all kinds of brand characters.

 

Whenever we talk about marketing a successful mascot, we usually see huge brands mentioned. Therefore it is easy to assume that it costs a fortune to market a successful mascot. The truth is, it can be both inexpensive and effective. Here are a few ideas:

 

 

Tie your mascot to your overall brand message.

Mascots work together with other major branding components as names, logos, taglines, even calls-to-actions!

 

Amazingly, having a mascot actually encourages you to get more creative, inspiring, various ways to integrate the character into the marketing strategy. Incorporating your mascot into the overall site and design concept of your company need not be expensive.

 

Related: The secrets of 7 successful brands 

 

You should align your brand character with all your marketing goals making it an essential part of each step in the conversion funnel.

 

 

Let your mascot have separate social media assets.

Social media channels cost you nothing to set up and they are fun to maintain. Reporting on your imaginary mascot life gives you more freedom than when you post to a corporate wall. Even in boring industries, a mascot can augment a company message through content and social media channels.

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Your mascot can (and often should) actually live its own life providing you with alternative marketing channels.

 

 

Make a mascot part of your social media visual marketing strategy.

Social media shares and accounts incorporating a mascot are reported to normally result in much higher engagement: The Nesquik rabbit triggers 51% more shares, the Keebler Elves enjoy 203% more shares and Frosted Flakes' Tony the Tiger get 279% shares than those brands' non-character images.

 

Itis a well-educated theory that people enjoy interacting with cute recognizable characters much more than engaging with the brand or a barely known representative. That comes especially true when we talk about social media sharing where "fun" component plays a major role.

 

Related: The 7 tenets of branding

 

Unlike logos, fun characters encourage casual communication which is the most important element of social media success. Even self-promotion is perceived well when it comes from a company mascot, not a company itself. Mascots are perfect social media spokes characters. Think how many more opportunities you have on social media with your mascot these days: Incorporate them into your holiday memes, travel pictures, visual quotes, etc.

 

 

Integrate a mascot into an influencer, social media contest strategy.

Mascot toys work incredibly well as social media contest prizes, conference and trade show giveaway items, holiday gifts, and souvenirs for important leads, clients, and influencers.

 

Mascot-related toys don't have to cost a fortune. Turn to Etsy for custom-made stuffed animals or (which is even more budget-friendly) custom crochet toys. These can be incredibly effective influencer marketing material.

 

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Copyright © 2016 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.

 

Photo from Thinkstock

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