Businesses these days need to go the extra mile to stand out from a crowd of other businesses. If a customer cannot identify you and your values, consider them gone. Without brand identity, you cannot sell your products no matter how excellent they are; you cannot provide your services no matter how diligent they are. Branding is the logo, the name, the design, the colour palettes used in your websites and apps, the uniforms you give to staff, and also your mascot.
Businesses often do not consider mascots when setting up a brand identity. But it is found that brands that use mascots are 50% more effective at getting an emotional response from their customers. Mascots can help give a personality to your business and make it stand out from others in the market.
What is a mascot?
The word ‘mascot’ originates from the French term Mascotte product which means lucky charm. This was used to describe anything that brought luck into a household.
In design and marketing, a mascot is a personified image or illustration that often becomes the symbol or face of a business. Mascots can be an animal, objects, persons or even fictional characters.
Initially, sports teams used mascots to grow their popularity and unify fans and supporters attractively and engagingly. Since then, marketers have understood the potential of mascots in the effective branding and UI design of a business.
For example, when you think of Disney, most often a mouse in a pair of red shorts and yellow shoes – Mickey Mouse- comes to people’s minds. Or on the opposite end, when you see Mickey Mouse, you think of Disney immediately. It is because, as a mascot, Mickey Mouse lends a personality, an emotional appeal, and memorability to Disney.
Today startups and online businesses need to rank higher in searches and need social media leverage mascots for their branding. And it works well. Let’s see why.
Mascots In branding:
- Emotional appeal
Mascots are the personification of a business. We strive to make a business and its products and services as human-centred as possible. This can be achieved with the help of a mascot. Changing up the appearance of the mascots, including it in the newsletter and pop-up notification, and using it to communicate to the customers builds up the trust between the parties.
After all, a business without a face or human characteristics will not appeal to customers as much as one with a mascot. Humans love seeing humanistic traits in animals, plants, and other inanimate objects. It makes the business more relatable and appealing to a wider range of customers.
- Quality communication
A mascot is also a good interconnector between a business and its customers. A mascot that speaks directly to the customers sends feedback and important messages, and gives onboarding tutorials leads to enhanced appeal to customers. It is also much easier for people to understand the messages and warnings when an attractive illustration is used.
So, no doubt, a mascot helps in effective communication and engagement.
- Consistency in branding
When you use a mascot as the face of the business, the rest of the visual aspects of branding can revolve around it. It becomes much easier to set things up when the core idea or design is already created.
You can incorporate your mascot in your logo, interface illustrations, banners, chatbots, brand merch, and packaging designs. The colour palettes in your websites and apps can involve the ones in your mascots for more visual consistency. In this way, a mascot can serve as the brand personality that the rest of the branding revolves around.
Mascots especially help your customers locate you from a crowd of other businesses. Your customers can associate your brand with the images of your mascots; like Disney with Mickey Mouse. A simple banner or a poster can serve as a free and easy promotion.
Take as an example the mascot of KFC; Colonel Sanders, who is also the founder. People can identify the name, the services provided, and the type of business that KFC is by just looking at the image. A successful mascot like this helps set your business on the mind map of customers and makes your business recognizable.
Mascots In UI design
- Style and beautification
A good dress can enhance the beauty of an already beautiful person. Just like that, the functionality and quality of your business interface will be further enhanced by your mascot, especially in tight competition. A mascot as the core visual element for a website, app, or physical product has a big impact on adding style and beauty to a brand. A mascot is also an easy way to avoid cluttering an interface so that precious space can be used for more important information.
- Easier to navigate sites and apps
You can help your customers navigate through your websites and apps with the help of a mascot. Point to your FAQs or policies, include them in your chatbots and guide the user to different features in them. Using a mascot can simplify and speed up the interaction with a product and information.
The point is to be straightforward and helpful and not a nuisance while using your websites and apps. So, a minimalistic design goes a long way.
- Make a boring app/site more interactive and attractive
A successful UI brings back customers to the business. With the help of a mascot, it only improves the user experience. Mascots are a fun way to liven up the interactions and draw attention to needed details. Again, if a mascot overloads the interface and becomes repetitive, it will only decrease the traffic.
Creating a fun little mascot doesn’t take nearly as much time and resources like a website or an app. They are easy to make and customize for different uses. So, when you have already gone above and beyond to establish a striking identity, why not create a mascot and take it further?
- Mascots can be an animal, object, person, or fictional character that represents a brand identity.
- Mascots reflect the brand’s products and services as well as the values.
- Mascots help in visual consistency in branding.
- Mascots are an effective way of communication and interaction between businesses and customers.
- Mascots make a business memorable and recognizable.
- Mascots can make a boring interface fun and cheerful.
- Mascots are a promotional medium.
- Mascots provide flexibility in UI design as well as marketing.
- Mascots are cost-effective, DIY-able, and easy to make.
- Mascots hold a potential or virality that can give you extra promotion and new customers.
Mascots are a lucky charm for your business as they can increase sales, popularity and create trust with the customers. In this day of tight competition, they can help your startup take off as well as help an already established business stay relevant and relatable.