How To Introduce Your Mascot Character Properly
- Plan Content Strategy
Carefully plan how and where you are going to use your new brand mascot.
- Plan what to do before launch day
Choose your approach to how you are going to introduce the mascot. You can either keep your character in secret before the launch day or you can introduce him/her little by little.
- Plan The Official Launch
There are many ways to introduce a mascot. You can use your website, social media, or you can promote your character during an event.
- Put the mascot in key places
After introducing your character, make sure you place it on key places on your website and social media. Publish new content with your character regularly.
- Use Your Audience’s Feedback
Different types of content may have a different effect on your business, so observe how people react, collect feedback, and adjust your content strategy accordingly.
There are many ways to introduce your mascot to your audience (including killing him/her… but more on that later).
You’ve just got a mascot for your company? Great!
Now what? How to introduce the mascot to your audience?
Here you’ll find a step-by-step guide on how to introduce your mascot properly.
Step 1: Plan Your Content Strategy
Just a visually appealing character does not guarantee better brand awareness.
So planing the strategy on how and where to use your mascot is crucial. My advice is to plan your content strategy even before starting the design process of your mascot.
The strategy should include your overall plan about what channels you are going to use to promote your brand mascot (e.g. company’s website, social media, print materials, etc.) and how often you are going to post new content with the character.
Check out our Free Guide on how to create a successful mascot to learn more about content planning for mascots.
Need help with the strategy? We can help you build the strategy for your mascot – check out our Mascot Strategy services.
Step 2: Identify Your First Steps
After you plan your strategy, you should choose which approach you are going to use before officially announcing your mascot.
There are two approaches you can choose from. You can either keep the mascot in secret until the launch day or introduce it little by little.
A. Keep the mascot in secret until the launch day
Keeping the mascot in secret until the official launch day is the standard practice.
This approach is especially suitable for companies that are planning to introduce the mascot during a special event (e.g. a conference).
B. Introduce the character little by little
Alternatively, instead of keeping the mascot in secret, you can place it in several places without officially announcing that this is your mascot.
This way you’ll provoke your audience’s curiosity before the launch day.
Here is an example from one of our clients – Blogging Wizard.
They decided to introduce their mascot with a blog post revealing the story of how we designed the character. However, a few weeks before the launch day they placed the mascot on their subscription form to pique their readers’ curiosity.
Step 3: The Official Launch
It’s time to choose how people will learn about your mascot. There are several strategies you can use.
A. Write a blog post about your mascot
As I mentioned, Blogging Wizard chose to introduce their mascot with a blog post showing how Falkor was designed.
If your company’s website has a blog, writing an article about your mascot would be a great first step. Then share the blog post with your audience via email, social media, and any other channels your company uses.
B. Announce on social media
In case you don’t have a blog you can just present your new mascot to your audience on social media.
If you’d like to spice things up, here’s what else you can do.
Ask people for opinion
Create a post that provokes people to respond.
For example, you can ask your audience to propose ideas for the name of your mascot.
Another thing you can do is to create a provocative post that will trigger comments and discussions.
How much provocative? As much as you want. When it comes to fictional mascot characters, anything is acceptable.
Even killing your mascot.
That’s what Planters did. At the age of 104 Mr. Peanut, one of the most beloved brand mascots, past away in January 2020.
To anyone’s surprise, during the funeral, it turned out that Mr. Peanut is not actually dead.
Mr. Peanut was brought back to life as Baby Nut.
Planters received immense negative reactions on social media, and yet this smart move skyrocketed their social media profiles.
Last year Mr. Peanut’s Facebook profile was getting on average 50 reactions per post. While this year, after Mr. Peanut’s death, they receive about 1000 reactions per post, and some of them even hit 20K reactions.
C. Introduce the character during an event
The third option is to introduce the character during an event like a conference, a workshop or an expo.
If your company is organizing or attending such an event, this would be a great opportunity to introduce the mascot and surprise your audience.
You can use the mascot on print marketing materials like brochures, posters, and others. You can also use a mascot costume of your character.
Step 4: Put the mascot on key places
Once you introduced the new mascot to your audience it’s time to place it on key places on your website and social media.
While it’s not necessary to make your character a part of your logo, it’s a good idea to have an image on your website of your character interacting with your logo. This will help the audience to associate the mascot with your brand faster and easier.
Another smart thing to do is place your logo, icons, or other recognizable brand symbols on the character.
Here is an example of what we did with the Blogging Wizard’s mascot Falkor. We placed their logo on the character’s belt and the book. We also used their distinctive star symbol for the stars coming out from the wand and the pattern of the outfit.
Many companies treat their mascot as a member of the team.
Why not present your mascot as part of the team.
For instance, on the about page of the company ReadMe you can see an illustration of their team along with their mascot Owlbert.
Scrolling down through their page you can see info about the whole team including Owlbert.
Product or Service Pages
You can use your character on the service pages and even let your character tell the story of your brand and products.
You should be careful though. When you promote your services directly with your character, you risk people to start seeing your mascot as a salesperson.
The relationship between your audience and the brand character should be as positive and easygoing as possible. So, a good practice is to use your character to provide valuable and interesting information to the customers.
The best way to use your character is to provide valuable information to your customers. So your blog is the perfect place to promote your mascot.
You can create featured images for your posts by placing your character in different poses and on different backgrounds.
Based on the categories and the content you are creating, plan several poses and actions of your character. You can later put them on different images and backgrounds.
Freebies like downloadable guides or checklists are a great way to promote your new brand character.
You can use your character on the cover of your freebie and in illustrations inside.
Creating an eye-catchy cover with the character of your freebie will not only make your freebie more attractive but it will also help you to promote your character as well.
Here is an example. We use our mascot, Maurits, to promote our Free Guide on how to create a successful mascot:
Free Guide: Branding With Mascots
Learn how to create a successful mascot for your brand!
In order to transform your character into an ambassador of your brand, you have to present the character to your audience regularly.
Put the character in different situations, let him/her directly speak to your audience.
To learn more about how to use your mascot on social media and how to plan what poses of the character you’ll need, check out our detailed post on how to create a mascot.
Step 5: Use Your Audience’s Feedback
Regularly adjust your content strategy based on your audience’s feedback.
Different types of visual content may have a different effect on your business. For instance, for some brands creating comics with the character might attract a lot of attention and engage people, while for others simple images with the mascot may achieve the same result.
The easiest way to collect feedback from your audience is through social media.
There are so many ways you can use to promote your mascot. But how to start? How to introduce your character to your audience?
Let’s go through the 5 steps again:
- Plan your content strategy: Carefully plan how and where you are going to use your new brand mascot.
- Plan what to do before Launch Day: You can either keep your character in secret before the launch day or you can introduce him/her little by little.
- Plan Launch Day: There are many ways to introduce a mascot. You can use your website or social media, or you can promote your character during an event.
- Put the character in key places: After introducing your character, make sure you place it on key places on your website and social media. Publish new content with your character regularly.
- Use Your Audience’s Feedback: Different types of content may have a different effect on your business, so observe how people react, collect feedback, and adjust your content strategy accordingly.
You want more ideas? Check out our blog post on how to use your character to promote your business.
Free Guide: Branding With Mascots
Learn how to create a successful mascot for your brand!