Over 4 million blog posts are published online every day the latest statistics.
Can you imagine how all this content makes it difficult to stand out?
That is why it is so important to create a strong and recognizable brand.
If you want people to remember you, you have to give them something to remember.
This post will give you an insight into the creative process of developing a brand mascot and insights that you can use to develop your own. You will also meet the blogging assistant mascot.
Create a recognizable brand
There are many ways you can create a strong brand. It could be your writing style, your sense of humor or the way you communicate with your audience.
But here we focus on the visual side of branding.
You sure have a logo. But what about your pictures?
How do you brand the images for your posts? How do you highlight your social media visuals?
Let’s take the blogging assistant’s visual branding as an example.
The blogging assistant has a distinctive color palette and a distinctive style of graphics:
But what else can you do to make your pictures unique?
Imagine that you can have clearly recognizable graphics, even if they have different styles or colors.
Use a mascot that is associated with your brand.
Mascots, also called trademarks or spoke marks, serve as ambassadors for your blog or business.
Mascots like the characters from M & M, Geico’s Gecko or the Michelin man we all know have always been part of the brand strategies of companies in different niches.
In the past few years, mascots have become extremely popular in the online world.
- Mascots are eye-catching and unforgettable
- They help to express the brand personality
- They create a personal connection to the audience
- They can be used in various marketing campaigns and visuals
Let’s hear from Adam himself why he decided to create a blogging assistant mascot:
I have seen a number of different mascots over the years and I loved how they were instantly recognizable and extremely memorable.
While the blogging assistant started as a personal blog, for me it was always more than a personal brand. Especially given the growing traffic (and team) in recent years.
So a mascot seemed like the perfect way to add a new dimension to the Blogging Wizard brand.
Adam Connell – blogging assistant
Now let’s take a quick look behind the scenes and see how the blogging assistant mascot was created.
How to design a mascot
There are five main steps in creating a mascot.
Step 1: plan the concept of the character
For some brands it is easy to choose a character. Let’s say you are branding cat food. It would be strange to choose a camel for a mascot, wouldn’t it?
But for others like the Blogging Assistant, the possibilities are endless.
When Adam first contacted me, he had an idea of what type of mascot he was looking for.
Of course, the character should be a wizard, but he didn’t want another old wizard with a white beard. Adam wanted something very specific and recognizable.
How did Adam choose a dragon?
A normal old wizard seemed the obvious choice. It could have worked pretty well, it wouldn’t have been that unique. In my eyes, a dragon seemed more memorable and harder to ignore.
Then there is the brand tone to consider – a dragon is much more fun and far less serious than an old magician. Which was exactly the mood I was aiming for.
Step 2: explore through sketches
In the beginning, the end result is hard to imagine. That is why sketching is crucial.
First we wanted to create a baby dragon. But when sketching, we decided to make the kite a little older, more like a toddler.
We experimented with different outfits.
Then we tried different accessories. We added glasses and a book to emphasize his competence and wisdom. We also replaced the wand with a wand.
And here is the bottom line.
Step 3: creating the digital design
Once we have the sketch, it’s time to create the digital version and choose the colors.
That was the easy part for the blogging assistant. They have a 7-color range of brands. So we only played with a few accent colors.
However, many brands work with 3-color palettes. 3 colors are enough for a logo and website design, but you need more if you want a mascot.
So create a 5- or 7-color brand palette to make your graphics consistent and recognizable, especially if you’re using a mascot.
At the end the last subtleties like shadows and textures are added. And here the dragon is finished!
To meet Falkor!
However, if you want to unlock your character’s full potential, this is just the beginning.
Your next step is to bring your character to life.
Step 4: add emotions
Emotions are one of the crucial factors to make your character appear alive.
Think about the situations in which you would bring your character and which emotions would suit him / her.
Step 5: put your mascot in action
Getting your character to perform different actions is the other key to breathing life into your mascot. The poses and actions also depend on the character and the context for which you want to use them.
At best, you should have poses from each of the following categories.
- General poses:
- Working on the computer;
- Phone calls etc.
- Functional poses – Can be used in different scenarios to promote your content or products:
- Point to something;
- Hold an object;
- Hold a sign or paper you can write on, etc.
- Character specific poses – Based on the specificity of your character. Falkor is a magician, so his special ability is magic.
Sounds funny to have a mascot. But how exactly can you use it?
We will see.
Where (and how) to use a brand character
It is extremely important develop a strategy about how you will use your mascot. Without the strategy, you can easily overuse your mascot and make it annoying for your audience.
Let’s take a look at where and how you can use it to promote your blog or business.
While it is not necessary to make your character part of your logo, it is a good idea to have an image of your character on your website that interacts with the logo. This helps the audience link the mascot to your brand faster.
You can also have your logo anywhere on the mascot itself.
For example, we placed the blogging assistant’s logo on the Falkor belt and the book. We also used their distinctive star for the stars that come out of the magic wand and for the pattern of the outfit.
You can use your character on yours Home page or Product / service pages or wherever you want.
Note: You should be careful when you advertise your services directly with your character. You risk people seeing your mascot as a seller.
You can also use the mascot as part of subscription boxes and popups.
Aside from these common practices, there are some other creative ways to involve your mascot.
Let your mascot interact directly with the visitors
Strange fact. Research shows that mascots are Most effective when people can interact with them.
MailChimp is surely the crown for the most creative way of interacting with the user.
You probably met Frederick von Chimpenheimer IV (Freddie for short) – the MailChimp spoke character. MailChimp was a pioneer in the friendly way they communicate with users. For example, if you click the “Submit” button of a new email campaign, Freddie gives you a high five.
Note: Remember that the interaction with the user should take place in positive situations. Do not use it when the user is frustrated.
Otherwise, your character will end up like Clippy, the Microsoft Office Assistant.
Clippy was the mascot of the Office Assistant launched in Windows 97. Occasionally Clippy offered some useful tips, but most of the time Clippy just stared at you and danced in the corner of the screen. Clippy provoked strong negative reactions and was eventually left out.
Let’s look at some other creative ways you can use your spoke character.
Even the most boring pages on your website can make your traffic skyrocket!
You can get your visitors’ attention on even the most boring pages.
The technology company Read me is a good example. They offer code documentation software – that’s not an exciting niche. That’s why they decided to spice up their brand with a mascot.
In the beginning, the only place where they placed their mascot was on the login page. They also added a colorful detail – when you click on the password field, the character closes his eyes.
To her surprise, her login page became extremely popular. For 48 hours, her visits increased from 1,000 to 77,652 daily.
As mentioned above, it is important to have a positive interaction between your character and your audience. This also applies to the content that you advertise with your character. Use your mascot to provide your visitors with valuable information.
That’s why Your blog is one of the best places to use your brand character.
You can plan multiple poses and actions based on the content of your blog. You can later use it to create different images for your blog.
If you have a giveaway such as an e-book, guide, or checklist, you can use the character to create a striking cover and in-text illustrations. The cover not only makes your giveaway more attractive, it also helps you to promote your character.
Social media is the place where your character can shine.
You can do a lot more than promote your blog posts and create a call to action. If you have a mascot, you can create fun, shared content.
Here are a few ideas:
- vacation are a great opportunity to show the human side of your mascot (and your brand).
- Put your character in fun or frustrating Situations your audience can relate to.
- Use the viral issues and challenges that are currently emerging on social media.
If you know your audience’s struggles, interests, and aspirations, you can easily create content that resonates with them!
Would you like to see more ideas? Check out my post How to use a mascot to make your brand go viral.
A brand character can differentiate your brand and help you build trust with your audience.
Here are the key points to take with you:
- Create a 5- or 7-color brand palette to make your images consistent and recognizable, especially if you use a mascot.
- Emotions and actions are crucial Factors that make your character look alive. Think about how and where you want to use your spoke character to choose the facial expressions and actions.
- it is important, that Plan a visual strategy beforehand. This will help you choose the right emotions and actions for your mascot.
- Be careful when promoting your services directly with your character. You risk people seeing your mascot as a seller. Instead, Use your character to provide valuable information to your audience.
- Let your audience interact with your mascot. Remember that the interaction with the user should take place in positive situations.
- Social media is the place where your mascot can shine. Stay up to date with the hottest social media topics and be creative, experiment!
Mascots are probably the most entertaining marketing tool. However, to be successful, you should choose the right mascot, develop the character and make it part of your branding and marketing strategies. If you make your brand character unique and are looking for creative ways to use it, your audience is sure to love it!
Are you thinking about getting a mascot? I made a post on how to create a brand mascotIt contains everything you need to know before you start the design process. So don’t miss it!
Falkor was created with great care and enthusiasm! I hope you will enjoy his company on Blogging Wizard!
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