Creating a brand that is instantly recognizable and will stand the test of time is no easy feat. One of the many ways in which businesses attempt this achievement is by incorporating a brand mascot into their theme. Some of the more popular examples of these are the famous Michelin Man from Michelin and the Burger King and crown.
While these are obvious success stories, at least on the front of longevity and public perception, simply emulating the method of these companies without concern for the greater context can be a recipe for confusion or disaster. Instead, it is important to look when exactly a mascot theme might be appropriate, and how it might be used to relate back to your business.
The first thing you need to look at if you want to adopt a mascot is the name or themed element which you have taken or intend to take for your business. These often take inspiration from history or the animal kingdom. From this basis, you can then project qualities onto this mascot which your business offers or represents.
A broad example of this could be a mining company, which could incorporate any digging animal. This animal could then be designed wearing mining equipment, to relate not only the nature of the animal when it comes to your business but also display the dedicated and specialized gear it which it has adopted to face the specific task.
This doesn’t have to be strictly related either, as it is equally possible to use the opportunity to relate aspects of a specific theme back to the base property. The adventurous nature of Viking, for example, might lend itself well to hiking equipment, or their strong and tireless nature could be the focus as it is with the Minnesota Vikings.
Mascots are also used to make what otherwise might be considered mundane more interesting by association. Mr Muscle the cleaning product mascot adopts this approach, as cleaning by itself is hardly an exciting prospect.
One of the most inclusive ways in which we see mascots today come from the world of video games and interactive entertainment. Buzz Bingo adopts a great many of these mascots with its slot games, not out of strict necessity, but as a means of building recognition and excitement. Games like Patrick’s Jackpot do this to build a central character in their Irish themed slots. The genie from Genie Jackpots works as the central bonus giver using his magic to give out winnings, and The Pig Wizard takes a similar path of giving a themed protagonist. Without these themes and mascots, the core game-play would not have been much different, but the mascots do a great deal to help us build and remember a list of favorites.
While it would be possible to adapt a mascot to nearly any business or industry, real success means taking into account how well suited and appropriate the desired design is. Consider how a mascot might relate and reflect your sensibilities, and how often your particular design and idea might have been used before.
Also, consider how easily a person might wear it as a costume, should you ever decide to get one made.