From bouncing lamps to hamburger-eating clowns, chlorophyll-filled giants, and talking reptiles, mascots have been used for years now. Pixar, McDonald’s, Green Giant, and Geico have created a diverse and elite group of corporate mascots, that come in all shapes, forms, and personalities. But the reality is, selling insurance and making movies doesn’t exactly scream desk accessories or British lizards. So, how should a marketing manager or CMO go about choosing the right mascot to represent their company, and how will it benefit your company’s marketing or even your bottom line?
What is a mascot, anyway?
A mascot is defined as “a person or thing that is supposed to bring good luck or that is used to symbolize a particular event or organization.” In other words, a corporate mascot should represent your business, and the anatomy of your mascot should match the anatomy of your business. You should be able to see the main pieces of your business’s value proposition represented in the personality, anatomy, voice, and composition of your mascot. It should be a tool that connects that animal or object to the value your business brings, creating an association that your customers connect to your company anytime they come across that mascot. Even internally, a mascot can act as a reminder, to all staff and employees, of the company’s mission and focus.
Introducing Marstudio’s New Mascot
To go about choosing our mascot, we took the time to step back and evaluate our value proposition and build our mascot around that. Marstudio is a strategic branding and creative marketing firm. Our main value comes from the fact that we provide all the pieces that any company would need for marketing, all under one roof. We are your off-site marketing department. From design to web, print to film and photo, we can do it all, and we do it with skill, creativity, and execution at the highest level. We work closely with our clients to create marketing initiatives that work best for their businesses, and bring an unmatched level of creativity in a streamlined manner. Our clients rely on our ability to think outside the box to help take their businesses to the next level. So, when choosing our mascot, we focused on something that showed off our:
1. Creativity and big-thinking ability
2. Adaptability to our ever-changing industry
3. Multi-capability and multi-medium execution
4. Collaborative nature of our company’s approach to marketing
Keeping all of these factors in mind we went to work, pulled out our umbrellas, and began to brainstorm. We searched for something creative, a multi-talented multi-tasker – something malleable, but still agile and strong.
With all of these traits in mind, we chose a two-headed kraken to be the new mascot for Marstudio.
What does it mean?
Now, we’re sure you are asking, “Why a two-headed (and sixteen-tentacled) kraken?” and to that we say: Because it is the perfect mascot for us. The kraken is the ideal balance of mythical and realistic. These giant creatures are powerful and fluid. As mythological creatures of Scandinavian folklore, they represent creativity and imaginative thinking. The kraken’s body has a soft and malleable structure, giving it the ability to squeeze and glide through small spaces, but still spread itself and dominate a large area and take advantage of immense power. As a B2B business, we didn’t want a caricature for a mascot – we wanted something that showed we mean business when we do business.
After choosing the creature, we took the time to customize it, adding another head and 8 more tentacles. The 16 tentacles are an essential piece of our mascot, because they represent the multi-armed approach we take to marketing. They embody our ability to simultaneously do web, print, design, film, photography and the all other pieces that go into the ever-expanding reach of modern marketing. Eight tentacles may have been enough in the days of TV, newspaper, and radio, but not today. The internet brings new silos to marketing every day, and we need the extra limbs to take full advantage of them.
Double Suction Cups
But it doesn’t stop there. Each tentacle also has multiple suction cups, each representing the pieces that go into each silo of marketing. There may be broad categories like Branding or Web, but each category has layers and layers of work and skill that are needed to take advantage of them. For example, Web involves website design, SEO, UX and UI, social media, and so much more. This metaphorical representation of our capability works seamlessly, creating a rich understanding of our business simply from the anatomy of our mascot.
The last piece of symbolism in our unique mascot is its two heads, one representing us (marketing head) and the other our clients (industry experts). Our key to successfully marketing your business is trusting you to deliver us the necessary information that we need to know about your products and services, your customers and clients, their demographics, and the overall direction you would like to go! Working alongside our clients to create effective marketing is the key to their success, making it the key to our success. Two heads are better than one, and when the two balance each other out as ours do, success is the only outcome.
It took some strategic thinking to figure out our perfect mascot, not to mention the time it took to align it visually with our brand. With our new mascot, we can move forward with using it as a representative for our business, a visual aid to our value proposition, and a mnemonic device for elevator pitches. Our two-headed kraken is also a reminder to our team, our clients, and our future clients of who we are and what we can do for them.
Now, It’s Your Turn
Are you considering a corporate mascot? As you go about choosing one, remember these 5 simple things:
1. Find and focus on your value proposition.
2. Figure out how to represent its most important pieces visually.
3. Attach these visual representations to an object or animal (or even a person). Do this through personality, personification, visual execution, anatomy, etc.
4. Combine it into something that accurately represent your business and resonates with your customer base.
5. Remember, a bit of creativity can only help the process!
Finding a mascot should be an enjoyable process and it should help take your business and brand to the next level. A mascot can be a spokesperson or another piece of the brand that customers can attach to your business, becoming a reminder of you and your brand whenever they see it.