How would you introduce a never-before-seen product to the market? That was the challenge for businessman Scott Colwell when he first brought shaved snow, a popular Taiwanese dessert made of shaved ice, sprinkled with fruits and other toppings to the USA. He developed his own variant that would suit the American palette and called his brand “Chilly Ribbons”.
To help introduce the brand and company, Scott had the brilliant idea of creating mascots to represent his company. Some reasons why you should use a mascot to promote your business are:
Brand mascots have mass appeal. Different generations across the world grew up knowingKellogg’s Tony the Tiger. The Frosted Flakes mascot has actually gone through changes to appeal to each generation’s purchasing habits. People, whether children or adult, can relate with characters. Especially if your business targets families or children, having a mascot can work effectively well for your brand.
Brand mascots can effectively engage with your target audience. What’s fun about creating a mascot to represent your brand is coming up with the character’s persona. You can then use the mascot to connect with your audience on your social media sites and in events. By the way, have you checked out Mr.Clean and Energizer Bunny’s verified Twitter accounts?
Brand mascots can be profitable. One word: Merchandise! How many people across the world own a Mickey Mouse shirt? Countless! And so are the products Disney has come up with that has the most popular mouse on the planet’s face on it because people will buy it. You can create a mascot that becomes well-loved or one that can penetrate pop culture, and you can be sure people will want caps, tumblers and other items with your brand mascot on it.
Creating a character to represent your brand
Now that we got you thinking about having a mascot for your brand, you must be wondering how you can come up with one. Going back to Steve Colwell and shaved ice desserts, Steve found a talented artist on Freelancer.com to design a mascot for him and said,
“I found Gryphy, a freelancer whom my business partner and I felt had the imagination, talent, and experience that could help us create a memorable brand that would be loved by all.”
Thus, a yeti named Chilly Ribbons became Scott’s brand ambassador.
To date, Chilly Ribbons has 10 stores under development in California, a recently launched store in Ontario, Canada, and another one soon to open in Florida. It also has master franchise agreements for the Philippines and Kuwait. For a one year old company, it has done quite a lot!
Having a mascot designed on Freelancer.com
The best program for a mascot design is the Adobe Illustrator. Designs made with this program are vector based. That means, unlike raster graphics made with Adobe Photoshop, whether you resize the file for a flyer or enlarge it for a billboard print out, the design will retain its sharpness and quality. When posting a mascot design project under the Illustrator category, here are some tips to remember:
1. Do some research
Your mascot is a reflection of your business. Whether you’re going for a human or an animal representation, do some sufficient reading about which animal you prefer. Find out what people associate with these icons. Would you want your brand to be connected with that?
2. Prepare your concepts and ideas
Have a good idea of what you want for your mascot so that you can give clear directions to the freelancer. What persona do you want? Do you have any preferences for your mascot’s outfit? Where do you plan to use this design?
3. Choose the right freelancer
Check the freelancer’s portfolio. Do you like the freelancer’s style and taste and do you think you’d like that look for your company? Next is take a look at the freelancer’s reviews and feedbacks. That’s a good way to determine if working with the freelancer will be a breeze. Determine how the freelancer communicates. Can he understand your project and does he make valuable suggestions? Finally, ask for a quick sketch sample so you can gauge their skills and creativity aside from what you see from their portfolio.
Have you thought of a name for your mascot yet? Get started with creating a lasting brand advocate for your business by posting an Illustrator design project on Freelancer!