To appease their hungry (and whiny) children, parents will buy a cereal with an iconic mascot on the front of the box. To ensure they get shiny and clean floors, shoppers will buy a cleaning product with a tall, bald, and white mascot on the front of the package. To satisfy peanut cravings, ravenous customers will purchase a bottle of peanuts with a sophisticated peanut.
Over the last century, businesses have come up with creative, relevant, and memorable mascots to complement their brands. Some of them have been ultra successful (M&M’s spokescandies). Some of them have already entered the dust bins of history (The Burger King king).
It may appear to be simple first: find out what your brand represents, design a mascot, and find the best costume. But it is a lot harder than it seems.
It is rare that you strike lightning in a bottle. If you do, be sure to run with it!
Here are five tips for your brand selecting a mascot costume:
1. Market Research – Crunching the Data
Every startup, corporation, and decorated brand will conduct market research, crunch the data, and comb through reports to make a decision on anything related to the business. Every nook and cranny of the corporate structure are meticulously determined to ensure the final move meets consumer and market demands.
Well, the same applies to mascot costumes.
You will need to do your due diligence to find out if the mascot and its costume are suited to not only your company but also to shoppers. Many iconic brands have had to ditch their mascot costumes – we’re looking at you Burger King! – because it didn’t fit their mission statement or there was public outcry.
2. A Costume to Portray Your Brand
As the marketing department stays up late eating Chinese food and drinking coffee to come up with the perfect mascot costume for the brand, there is one thing that needs to be agreed upon: the costume must portray the brand. Otherwise, it won’t work, and you’ll have consumed way too much kung pow chicken and caffeine for nothing.
3. What is Your Target Audience?
Most companies have a target audience.
Nike is mostly geared to active individuals. Fisher Price is catered to parents and children. Starbucks is marketed towards millennial professionals who spend vast sums of cash on Tall, Non-Fat, Caramel Drizzle, Grande, Iced, Sugar-Free, Vanilla Latte with Soy Milk.
In other words, as you’re developing a mascot costume, you need to take into your target audience. Is it old or young? Is it affluent professionals or average joes? Is it bachelors or families? This is what you need to correlate with your mascot costume.
4. The Purpose of Your Mascot
A sports team will have a mascot to perform at a game or entertain the crowds.
So, what is the sole purpose of your brand mascot? This is a difficult question to answer.
Indeed, if your brand is sponsoring an event, you can use a mascot. If your brand has large stores, you can use a mascot. If your brand is partnering with a sports team, you can use a mascot. There are many ways you can utilize a mascot but determine first its purpose.
Simply put: what will they do?
5. Ordering a Costume? A Few Things to Do
Now that you have come up with the perfect mascot costume for your brand, you need to know how to purchase the costume. Here are a few things to do and to remember:
- Ensure the quality of the product is top-notch.
- Locate a manufacturer that offers reviews or product guarantees.
- Review the designers’ previous works and overall catalogue.
- Determine if the mascot costume is durable for all types environments.
These are only the basic points to incorporate into your search for a manufacturer. Quality and quantity are critical to landing the best mascot costume for your brand.