Mascots are the unique dolls or puppets that help identify a sports team or a company. These carry the unique property of "Stickiness". Your great customer support and product quality sticks only so long. You got to remind folks often that you are there alive and well waiting for the next business transaction. The cheapest and effective way is creating and promoting a mascot for your company. Television Ads could have this mascot as the central theme or as an add-on. These typically tend to stick to the audience than your product or company name. This is both good and bad; a good mascot tends to make the customers take ownership of the mascot. Meaning they like to display and talk about it to others, a copycat cheap mascot brings in the wrath of the customer. So make a good Mascot for your company or team.
The tough part is the initial concept creation, a concept that will make the Mascot a hit rather than a road-kill. There are professionals who can help you with this. Your advertisement company may have a few experts in-house as well. So the next time you sit in the promotional discussion board, bring this topic to the forum. You will be amazed how much your colleagues, agents, employees and customers like being associated with some good Mascot. This is a powerful branding strategy, have you seen the GEICO ads or the Disney shops. They associate themselves with powerful characters which serve as mascots for their companies. They are the killer ad concepts.
People who are new to the branding field don't understand the entire Mascot concept. They just choose one animal and then paint them in a different color and claim a job done. Some of them even don't take the time to check if it is registered by another company or not. More so often it fails than it succeeds as they have not grabbed the concept and they are just trying to create something that is "Cool". Mascots should mean something as I said earlier people tend to associate your team or company with that Mascot. A Bull mascot for stock companies rock, if it was some new person they would have designed a red ostrich which would completely mean differently. This needs a lot of brainstorming and research in which animal or character fits your company's long term branding strategy.
Once an initial concept is done and approved then next part is identifying the best manufacturing company who can produce these mascots at preset sizes in bulk or on demand for you. You can look at the resource list at end of article for some help. The company you choose should have the right resources to do good customization for you. Don't settle for imitation puppets with a different logo on top. This typically doesn't go well. Uniqueness in style, color, texture, font, quality and the overall appearance matters. Well of course budget is the king and you can try to squeeze in the best qualities inside your tight budget. Once you have these worked out you are all set to give them off for free to your brand ambassadors ? your existing customers. These keep reminding them of your company. Don't miss the free repeat sales.
You can find more resources for mascots in puppetuniverse.com. Author does freelancing for many companies and can be reached in the no fee free freelance website freelancefree.com.