Creating a mascot for your brand can add a flair of brilliance into your marketing strategy. There are many reasons why you should get a mascot for your brand – it helps you stand out, positions your company in a unique light, and increases the impact and awareness surrounding your brand overall.
However, there are some important factors for you to consider when creating the perfect character costume for your mascot. To be attractive as well as effective, your mascot must appeal to the general public in both design and functionality. Here are five handy tips to optimise your mascot in these two aspects.
- Your mascot must be tailored to your audience
Like with any other marketing initiative, your mascot design must connect with your intended audience. The better you know your target audience and what would hold their attention, the more likely you are to create a mascot that can speak to their interests. For example, if your mascot is for a sporting team, you should angle your design to evoke a sense of strength and competitiveness.
However, if your mascot is meant for a more diverse audience, then you should opt for a design that can appeal to a wider range of people. This is especially important when designing a family-friendly mascot, as you would want your mascot to be approachable and relatable even to those of a younger age.
- Give your mascot a personal story
Get your mascot to feel like the embodiment of your brand by breathing the touch of personality into it. What is your mascot’s name and what is the story behind it? Where did your mascot come from? What are its hobbies, dislikes, quirks, and traits? What is its favourite colour? How does it act and how does it move?
The more connected your audience feels to your mascot’s personality, the more effective it will be as an ambassador for your brand. Once you have established the personality, backstory, catchphrase, and signature habits of your mascot, you can then proceed to finalise its design with these characteristics in mind.
- Be strategic with the design and colours
To get the most out of your mascot, every aspect of your design should be crafted with the intended function in mind. This covers everything from the shape, colour, material, facial expression, and general appearance of the mascot too. For instance, think about the colours you want your mascot to be. Does it fall in line with the colour scheme of your general brand and marketing? Does it stand out in the environment that you imagine your mascot to be placed in?
Next, consider how the shape and materials of your mascot affect its overall appearance. A round, furry mascot will look more friendly and approachable. Meanwhile, a more angular mascot made of a sleeker material will look more distinguished and professional. The slightest changes in design can give off a completely different impression, which is why it is important to pay attention to the little details.
- Consider the size and proportions
In these next points, we will address the aspects of your mascot costume that can affect functionality in particular, starting with the mascot’s size and proportions. Creating a mascot is different from designing other aspects of branding, such as a logo for example, because the mascot design has to be something a person can wear for long periods of time.
So, to start off, make sure that your mascot is designed in human proportions. Put simply, it has to be made into a costume that your human mascot performer can wear. Besides that, it should be designed in a manageable size, especially if your mascot is an indoor one – do consider whether it can get through doors or if it will be too tall for the average ceiling. If your mascot is way too large, you may face problems transporting it as well.
- Vision and mobility are key
When you visualize your mascot out in action, what is it doing? If you want your mascot to dance, jump, or move around a lot, then you need to incorporate mobility into your mascot design. Making sure your mascot has decently-sized feet and functional shoes will help a lot with this. Similarly, if you want your mascot to be able to pick up objects or shake hands with people, consider giving it usable gloves with five fingers to make it easier on your mascot performer.
Lastly, pay attention to the visibility requirements of your mascot. If your mascot performer can’t see much from within the costume, it is going to be difficult to move around. Give your mascot a wider field of vision by adding decently-sized vision holes at an appropriate position on the costume.