The key to long-standing mascot success is building and sustaining momentum. It’s crucial to plan for long and short-term success of your own, personal mascot program – which is similar to most marketing campaigns. The more you plan, the simpler it’ll be to maintain the energy and, more importantly, the more you’ll get out of your mascot. The bad news is your mascot isn’t going to start arranging its own schedule, as much as we’d like it to!
If you want to find out more about why you should get a mascot, check out our blog post. So, without further ado, we’ve pulled together some tips on how to smash your mascot campaign.
Create Your Mascot Character
It’s time to think up your dream character who must be energetic, relatable and noticeable – they’re representing your brand, so it’s important to seriously think about creating your mascot character, its personality as well as a storyline that’s suitable for your target audience. Why? Well, characters with relatable difficulties and virtues are likeable. Let’s face it; if your brand mascot is welcomed and remembered, chances are your brand will be too. A loveable character that your demographic has an emotional connection with will inevitably go so far as to generate sales and loyalty. Having a cuddly, sweet, relatable rabbit, bear or dog character that warms the cockles of customers’ hearts may be a whole lot more profitable for you than bog-standard, hard-ball marketing strategies.
Recruit a Mascot Manager
Assign a particular person to manage your mascot. By appointing a mascot manager to take on your character, you can rest assured your mascot program will go to plan, as someone will manage the potential marketing opportunities as well as character development. It’s also worth making this person in charge of your character’s maintenance, cleaning and storage. The last thing you want is to discover your bear mascot covered in cobwebs and dust in the cupboard after several years because no one was keeping track of where he was. Another idea is to recruit your performer as your mascot manager.
Plan Your Mascot’s Milestones, Life Events and Struggles
Sure, this may seem a little farfetched, considering you probably haven’t even made one for yourself yet. Think about your mascot’s personality, tone of voice for social media, what his/her likes and dislikes are. Chart the milestones in your character’s plan. Perhaps she gets married or celebrates a landmark birthday. Maybe she learns something new and exciting, or renews her marriage vows with her partner. You could even give your mascot hurdles to overcome. People connect emotionally with characters whose struggles are similar to theirs rather than characters who seemingly look or act like them.
Connect with the Public at the Right Events
The perfect opportunities to connect with people will crop up, it’s all about watching for appearance-worthy character events coming up in your area. Ensure these are company authorised events that tie in with your brand’s values. Charity events are nearly always good events to head to whilst controversial, political gatherings aren’t such a good idea.
Stay on the lookout for exciting trends that are popular in your town – charity challenges are great fun (just be sure to double check with your manufacturer before throwing tomatoes at your mascot!).
Don’t forget to take photos and videos of your mascot in action so you can share them with fans. Send your mascot to the fair to high-five the little ones. Perhaps your beauty clinic’s mascot decides to hand out flyers promoting treatments in the high street or your restaurant’s mascot fancies serving up some delicious samples from your brand’s food van. The world’s your oyster when it comes to public appearances.
Get Your Mascot on Social Media
Sure, performers might stay silent when they’re playing a mascot, but when it comes to social media, it’s time to make some noise. By giving your mascot a voice on social media, your character can engage with fans in writing without breaking the illusion when he’s out in public. Brand mascots and company mascots do resonate with fans, encouraging them to take part in conversation and share content.
By getting your mascot on social media, they’ll have a voice that goes beyond merely your community. They’ll reach fans across the globe and give the mascot a national presence. Customers will bond with your mascot and, therefore, with your company. Don’t be shy when it comes to posting – the more consistently you update your social profiles, the more your fans will know your character is out there, even if he hasn’t made an appearance in a while. Social media is good if your mascot hasn’t attended an event lately. Have your mascot post on Instagram about being on holiday or get them to tweet about being poorly – this makes him/her even more relatable to people.
Make Your Mascot an Ambassador of Your Brand
If your brand experiences change, your mascot should too, so be sure to keep your mascot up to date with brand developments. For instance, if you change your logo, make sure you have a new branded t-shirt at the ready for your mascot’s next appearance. If you join with another company, think about having an additional mascot made to denote your mascot’s new sibling, or devise ways to connect two existing mascots to signify they’re now part of the same family.
By developing momentum for your mascot, your campaign will go successfully – not to mention your company as a whole. Follow the above tips, and your mascot character will quickly become a long-term, highly-recognisable face of your brand. Mascots don’t really grow old and retire without notice. Neither do they ask for unwarranted pay rises and, if well planned, a mascot can be a long-standing emblem of your company. All you need to do is plan ahead; once you begin, the momentum will take you the rest of the way.