Branding and Mascots: Strengthening Your Brand
Branding Importance Thoughtful and effective branding is one of the most important steps a company can take to improve their business. Take, for example, companies like Coca Cola, Apple, and Google. These companies are wildly successful due to effective branding that has made them recognizable and appealing to virtually everybody. Good branding can accomplish the following for your company: Uniqueness Good branding, in the form of animation advertising, logos, or colors, distinguishes your product from other, similar products on the market. The Melissa and Doug company, for instance, is known for producing toys that are wooden, educational, and high-quality, while Fisher-Price is known for producing brightly-colored, molded plastic play sets. Each company is well-known because they set themselves apart within the world of children's toys by focusing on and advertising unique aspects of their toys. The ability to create a brand that stands out from the competition is essential for the success of any company today. Customers, through the Internet, have the opportunity to select products from a global market. Faced with such a wide field of competition, a company must create a perception of itself that is easily recognizable, distinguishable, and positive. Animated ads created around the unique aspects of your product or company can be an effective way to create this perception.
Familiarity When a brand sets a company apart from the competition, it makes that company or product far more recognizable to potential customers. The more familiar the customer is with the brand, the more likely they are to choose it when shopping. For instance, if you are choosing between two smartphones, one from a company you recognize and one from a company you have never heard of, you will be more likely to choose the phone from the company you know. One way familiarity can be built is through the use of carefully-designed advertising animation that catches the eye of the consumer and leaves them more likely to remember your brand the next time they need one of the products you offer. Expectation The reason that the customer is more likely to choose a brand they recognize is because the branding, if it is effective, tells the customer what they can expect from the brand. Its uniqueness alerts the customer to the characteristics of the company For instance, a customer knows based solely on branding that the service they will receive in a Hooters restaurant will be far more informal than the service they will receive in the Hub restaurant in Boston. Knowing what they can expect will encourage the customer to keep purchasing the product from your company because they feel sure that they know what they are getting, as opposed to the uncertainty they experience if they purchase a product from an unknown company. Emotional Connection Finally, branding creates an emotional connection with the customer, whether that connection is positive or negative. For instance, Whole Foods carries with it the emotional connotation of health and well-being. Effective branding will create and build upon a positive emotional connection to develop a loyal and expanding customer base. One way to create this kind of positive emotional connection is through the use of appealing and winsome animated ads, cartoon characters, or character designs.
The Role of a Mascot Utilizing animated cartoons, animated cartoon characters, or other types of animated mascots is a particularly effective way to achieve these benefits of branding. Mascots are prevalent throughout marketing campaigns, and some of the most successful brands have famous mascots, whether animated or not. Consider the following examples:
Ronald McDonald Considered one of the most famous mascots ever, this friendly clown has charmed children and put a welcoming face on the McDonald's brand since 1966.
Aflac Duck Even if you have never purchased Aflac insurance, your are probably familiar with the Aflac duck, whose single-word response of Aflac to customers needing insurance help has made Aflac an appealing and fun brand, despite residing in the oft-maligned insurance field.
Dilbert The face of the Dilbert cartoons, this comic series stands out because of its unique design style that make it recognizable anywhere.
Mickey Mouse This cheerful, upbeat animated character is the face of the Disney empire. Mascots are a good choice for a company looking to improve its brand because they provide a face to what might otherwise be a faceless corporation. These characters provide someone with whom customers can connect. As a result, customers feel as if they are forming a relationship with the company rather than dealing with a large bureaucracy. This feeling of relationship helps to develop the emotional connection that good branding is supposed to create between the customer and the company. Take, for instance, Ronald McDonald. His face on the company's lauded Ronald McDonald Houses has come to convey a sense of safety, and comfort for distressed families needing a place to stay