How to create a character for your brand
We've explored the power of storytelling in marketing and comics specifically, but every good story needs a protagonist . It is not a new thing, mascots of all kinds have existed since the times of time, there are countless iconic characters who in advertisements and advertisements invited us to buy any product or service, from Calimero and Carmencita to Findomestic 's hedge man.
The “mascot” formula is therefore extremely popular, and extremely flexible, but not all brands rely on it for their marketing and storytelling , so before going to understand HOW to create your character , let's see WHY you should do it.
Why a character?
Having your own character who represents the brand is a powerful and versatile tool to communicate, especially towards the youngest.
Do you remember Carosello ? I know it's a somewhat dated example, but from that point of view it made school. Simple stories with captivating characters have not only brought many Italians closer to TV, at the time still a novelty, but have remained imprinted in the memory of many consumers who still remember Susanna Tuttapanna and Jo Condor.
The point I want to get to is that a beautiful mascot can create very long-term customer retention , even in people who aren't even customers yet.
Bonus points if the target are very young people such as children and teenagers, such as cereal boxes, but the "doodles" are perfect for any audience.
Why don't everyone do it then?
Depends on what you want to advertise and what marketing is focused on, a mascot works best when the focus is on the consumer and the impact of the product on it, rather than the product itself.
Have you ever seen an advertisement for a car or a perfume featuring a mascot? No, because the protagonist is the car or perfume itself, its performance, its aerodynamics, and… whatever perfume advertisements mean. But even here there are exceptions: we still remember the legendary Mini ad with ladybugs in the car, and we remember Chanel is because Marilyn Monroe only went to sleep with a drop of # 5, both examples of character marketing .
How do you create your character?Well, you've come to the conclusion that your marketing strategy would benefit from having a character who represents your brand.
But how do you create it? If your logo already features a character, perhaps an animal or a stick man, you're already halfway done. With a smart makeover you can create a character that people will already recognize as linked to your brand, like Comics4Business !
But if you don't have this luxury then we need to think about it a little more. Let's go by points.
What's your goal?
If your goal is to raise awareness in a more generalized way, a funny mascot is a mascot that doesn't fight. This was the goal of all the Carosello advertisements, which in fact have become iconic and have shone a spotlight on their brands that have not yet gone out. It works very well especially if you sell services, for example if you are a pub or restaurant, or some kind of agency that offers services to a general public, such as insurance or real estate, such as the Telecom wheel phone.
Your strong point is the seriousness of the service and you want to convey that kind of message, are you afraid that a "funny" character could ruin this image? Legitimate doubt, in fact no one says that your "character" cannot be a person, like Ennio Doris in the Mediolanum advertisements, who has become an icon in himself. But don't close your doors to a lighter approach: even for something as serious as insurance, a more entertaining storytelling can work. Think of Segugio.it .
Who is it for?A character works much better for B2C communication, no doubt, but that doesn't mean it can't be used to communicate with companies, quite the opposite! Not to brag, but C4B is one example. The strength of having a character is that it can be used creatively to lighten informational documents, decorate brochures and presentations with something more interesting than trivial minimal graphics and, as in the previous case, make them more memorable, because it is not just a series. of endless words and numbers, it's like having an integrated company representative, something that can bring the charisma of the brand without talking, making appointments, or traveling.
In the B2B context, the character is better than being humanoid, or better yet human, just for what I said before, it is a stand-it for your representative, someone who can answer your client's questions and doubts.
How to define the specific design then depends a lot on you, the tone you want to give it, the age and gender target, if it should be associated with a specific product or with the company in general, etc. An always valid advice is to rely on stereotypes and antonomasies. You don't have much space to explain what your character represents, it must be immediately legible and recognizable.
Take for example a dental office: teeth and dentists immediately come to mind, oral hygiene tools such as toothbrush and floss can be another good idea, a horse with a dazzling smile is already a little too thin but original, but outside this semantic sphere your character may appear out of place or dissociated.
In short, a character can really change your way of marketing and take you really high, especially when combined with the strength of the comic that we talk about in this article.