Recently we were asked to share our point of view on developing brand mascots (aka brand characters). Rather than just keep this info in a safe, we thought it could be of use to others out there who may be questioning the same topic.

There’s no simple answer. When used appropriately, brand mascots can be developed into a highly efficient marketing asset. They can:

  • Humanize a brand
  • Amplify emotional connections
  • Drive brand differentiation
  • Be a cue for quick brand recognition

The most successful brand characters – Geico Gecko, Travelocity Gnome, Progressive Flo, Chick fil A Cows – are conceived from a branded creative idea that’s grounded in sound strategy. Without this foundation leading mascot development, your brand mascot will just become a mass cost.

So before investing on a brand mascot ask the following 8 questions:

  1. Is a brand mascot relevant in your brand category?
  2. Does the tone of the brand – based on the category it lives in –allow for a likable brand mascot?
  3. Would a brand mascot support the brand’s core values, consumer benefits and differentiating brand characteristics?
  4. Would a brand mascot support or oppose your target consumers’ mindset when interacting with your category?
  5. Does the brand mascot have longevity?
  6. Can the brand succeed without a brand mascot?
  7. Can brand memorability be cued with the brand logo rather than a brand mascot?
  8. Could a brand mascot overshadow the brand? Would it distract from the brand, its products and service usage?