The role of mascots in brand marketing
With the change of times, people’s needs have turned from basic needs of clothing, food, housing and transportation to the spiritual and cultural needs. Many enterprises find it increasingly difficult to persuade their customers. In fact, the reason is rather simple—in such market environment of oversupply, brands with differentiation, uniqueness and cultural connotation are more easily accepted by the audience. With the development of society, Internet industry giants have already begun to build corporate brand culture IP, we will find that various mascots around IP are mushrooming, and the derivatives have also flourished, injecting new cultural and economic vitality into the enterprise. If we observe careful enough, we can find that among all the derivatives of an IP, plush toy is one of the necessary forms for it to enter the market, whether it is an international IP or a domestic IP.
·The history of mascot
If we trace back to the source, we will find that the auspicious emotion originates from the ancient people’s sens of instability in life, which is the irrational demand for ‘’safety’’, as in one of the 16 elements of brand motivation. Back at that time, our ancestors were surrounded with confusion and fear of diseases, plagues and deaths, they needed some kind of power to help them to face the nature, to eliminate disasters and to embrace pace; in such context, appeared totem, which can be known as the initial mascot. A totem means a family,individual combined with one another, there formed into a clan, and then a nation is formed. The totem which stands for good fortune is a symbol of national cohesion. This is exactly the reason why we need to create one’s own symbol of totem if we want to achieve a great brand.
Nowadays, with the development of productive forces and the progress of social culture, this so-called confusion and fear in the past have been long gone, but the future is always unpredictable, full of infinite variables, there always will be new challenges waiting ahead of us, so the desire of good luck never decreases. Especially when our lives have became much happier than before, the fear of losing such peaceful life grows, the aspiration for good fortune has never been stronger. We can say that in our daily life, whether it is dressing and eating, home furnishings, entertainment,or beliefs, there are shadows of auspicious feelings everywhere. It’s so deeply integrated into our lives that might be hard for us to detect.
With the progress of society, the mascot has evolved from a totem symbol in the past to a modern mascot that people love today. In order to make the brand grow rapidly, we must be good at finding the auspicious feelings of the target audience and creating a brand mascot that everyone loves. To create such product, the image of the mascot should express a certain theme through creative refining, modeling design, concept elaboration,character setting, which delivers certain thoughts (mostly positive). The design ideas and concepts should be clear and unique, who fit the theme perfectly and easy for the audience to understand.
·Why is custom plush toy so popular among brands?
The cooperation mascots can be made in custom plush toys, it is not just because it’s the symbol of the happiness. With its lovely look and soft texture, plush toy can let people’s guard down and give us a sens of intimacy. It is easier to walk into the hearts of consumers and create emotional connections. The custom plush toys’ owner can enjoy the charms of it with its companionship.
The mascot image is various, but no matter what prototype it is based on, it implies infinite auspicious meaning. Everyone wants to share it’s luck by approaching it. Compare with other variety forms of derivatives design of a mascot IP (such as clothes, books, bags, etc.), the form of custom plush toys is more three-dimensional. At the same time, the materials for the custom plush toys are fabrics which are soft to skin, smooth touching and make people get security sense easily. The price of fabrics and other materials required for the production of plush toys are a more affordable choice than fiberglass, soft clay, resin and other materials. Based on the initial stage of brand promotion, overall consideration, custom plush toys are the best communication carrier.
Besides, there are various forms of interaction of custom plush toys. Among the derivatives related to mascot plush, there are not only dolls, but also several 10 kinds of household products, such as neck pillows, blankets, hand warmers, tissue boxes, etc., which can be used in different scenarios. These products which carry the concept and culture that the enterprise wants to convey, can interact deeply with consumers, and create an active atmosphere for the event site, and enhance the brand image. The dolls and household products can be used as souvenirs giving back to old customers, event gifts, theme layout, independent sales, etc., so that they can enter the life of the customers, lengthen the user’s perception cycle of the brand, and enhance the user’s brand experience.
Low loss rate, easy to carry and high appearance rate. The plush toy is light and cute, and it’s very suitable for children and adults to carry out. It is not only the best partner for taking photos but also an essential product for relieving fatigue and keeping warm during travel. The soft texture can be placed at will without worrying about damage, and the storage period is long, which makes the brand obtain the maximum extension in time and space.
Inherently equipped with soft decoration function to increase the brand’s exposure. Think about where do we usually settle our plush toys? On the sofa, on the bed or in a car, always somewhere full of love and warmth, isn’t it the best time to expose our brand? In the new media era of information explosion, brands can only form consumers’ brand awareness by stimulating low frequency, and the role of brand awareness is greater than the fact itself, guiding consumers’ purchasing behavior, and plush toys are the best carrier of brand high-frequency exposure.
·What are the usages to customize the cooperation mascots into plush toys?
Custom plush toys could narrow down the distance among people while the mascot could spread the spirit and emotion. No matter what kind of mascot, its image is positive and powerful. This is not a religious superstition, but a kind of emotional expression from the mascot design. No custom plush toys can be loved for nothing, and the image of the mascot plays an important role on it. Now more enterprises realize the custom mascot plush toys’ function and meaning in cooperation cultural spreading. Perhaps, the ordinary mascot do not play an important role in cooperation development from your view, as a matter of fact, the custom mascot plush toys do play an active part in the corporation image spreading. It can make the corporation products easy to sell by the impact of daily visualization and catching customers’ heart in the market competition.
Maybe we could not see the immediate function of the custom mascot plush toys, but the impact of it is built up through the accumulation in daily life. When you find that the sales of your enterprise products are increasing gradually, whether will you recall the deep reasons? This is the power of custom mascot plush toys!
The mascot has great power in marketing. It is a brand element and design method to better communicate with the customers. It is also a bridge between users and products. The previous successful commercial design has proved that the mascots designed meticulously can convey more accurately and more effectively to the consumers. The mascot can present different characteristics, define the style according to the needs and positioning of the product, and can convey information through the visual style, so as to more effectively open up customers’ view. With the help of mascots, designers and marketing experts can create unexpected cases, which can present more wonderful scenes and achieve more open-minded planning. Most of the time, human beings are visual animals, and it is much more easier for us to remember the image and shape than the words. Plush toys are easier to enter people's hearts, and users can also quickly capture their figures. Due to the brand design, the mascot itself links a series of related information and elements, which makes it convenient for users to remember a lot of information. This is a content combination mode that has been explored very clearly. Although we usually follow logic and common sense to control our behavior in the process of cognition, a considerable part of the actual decision-making depends on emotional appeals. Mascot is one of the important ways to trigger emotion. Let the industry and brand directly communicate with the customers, in this way, enterprises can also provide services which customer is the center.