1. Why do I need a character?
A well-designed character can become your strategy to stand out from the competition and improve the effectiveness of your sales and marketing efforts. If you want your brand’s name to be easily remembered – create a character. It will give your target audience a tool to memorize your company name and what your product/ service is about! Think about Charlie the Tuna! You know automatically that they sales seafood products! What is even more important, a character will help you to build and develop a closer relationship with your target audience.
You may think that characters are reserved for children’s brand only. This is true, especially with food related products aimed at kids. For example, iconic characters like Ronald Mcdonald, Snap, Crackle and Pop, Mr Peanut, Tony the Tiger, The Trix Rabbit, Captain Crunch, Twinkie the kid and Count Chocula.
However, more and more adult’s brands choose the character to differentiate themselves. Think about insurance companies: Geico’s Gecko or Aflac’s Duck. Also, startups choose characters as a branding strategy – Mailchimp’s Monkey or Trello’s Taco just to name a few. It doesn’t matter whenever it’s a video, website, product packaging or social media campaign - a character need to have a recognizable personality or problem, and then even adults will get engaged. It can help you to expand your clients base. Once your customer relate to it, they will start sharing it. As a result, your brand will get even broader exposure.
2. How does a character add value to my brand?
As we mentioned in question number 1 - A well-designed character can improve the effectiveness of your sales and marketing efforts. That being said, a character can help you to increase your sales, if used in a right way. Remember to keep your target audience in mind when choosing the right character/s and what message it/they are going to send to your audience.
In today’s digital world, a great character can become your brand spokesperson on social media. It can connect with your customers without making them feel that you are actually selling them something, and making your brand even more recognizable. For example, check Captain Morgan accounts on social media or M&M’s. Those are big brands, but you can easily incorporate a character into small business branding. Check for example Duct Dudes and Fontenot’s.
As stated in this article, characters are more effective than celebrities. Synthesio monitored social media buzz generated by both celebrity spokespeople and brand mascots (a character) and found that brand mascots, on average, contributed to a much higher percentage of that brand’s buzz on social media. While most celebrity endorsers only contributed to 3.19% or less of a brand’s buzz (with the exception of GoDaddy’s Danica Patrick), mascot endorsers ranked much higher. The Pillsbury Doughboy contributed to 22.14% of their brand buzz, the Aflac Duck scored 11.82%, Flo from Progressive captured 6.85%, and the GEICO Gecko generated 6.15%.
In addition to creating more buzz, brand mascots contribute to higher rates of Facebook shares. Another study found that for most brands, using a brand mascot boosts shareability significantly when compared to non-character visual content. For example, the Charmin Bears contributed to 585% more shares, Tony the Tiger led to 279% more shares, the Keebler Elves led to 203% more shares, and Mr. Clean led to 182% more shares. More about you can read here.
3. How do I choose a brand character?
To start with, you should know the answers for the following questions:
- What do you want your audience to see or feel when they connect with your brand?
- If your brand were a car/magazine/public personality/music genre, what would it be?
- What colors, textures and visual components do you connect strongly with when you think of your brand?
- What is your brand’s sweet spot?
- What are some of the words that come to mind when people think/ see your brand?
You can continue to read about other aspects here.
Remember that whether you are a traditional, casual, edgy, or other type of brand, your character need to look professional, be simple, and the most importantly, it must be original. Don’t use the clip art or clip a-like- art as people has already seen it and that’s not a message that you want to send to your target audience. You want to send a positive image of your business and level of service that you deliver. Every detail matters so your character need to go with right typography, website coloristic and visualization etc.
4. What type of characters do you design?
We specialize in vector characters - color or b&w. Characters could be flat or have light, shadow, and outlines.
5. How does the process of creating the character look like?
Everything starts with 30-minute consultation when do we ask key questions about your current branding efforts and your vision of a character. After that, we create roughs of your character from which you choose the one you like the most. Once the final version is delivered, you can revise it and we send you the final final version.
Number of roughs and revisions will vary depending on the scope of the project.
6. How long does it take?
Everything depends whether you have your own vision about the character or it’s on us to create a character from scratch. Typically, you will get first sketches within 48 hours from the consultation. If it’s only one character, we can finish it within one week. The more elements or the more complex the project it, then it automatically takes longer to finish the project.
7. What other service do you provide?
Besides characters’ creation, we provide the following services that are connected to character creation:
- Game Art
- Package Design
8. How much do you charge?
Our pricing starts at $500 for a single, flat character. Each project are priced individually.
9. What influences pricing?
The main factors that influence pricing are:
- Number of characters
- Additional services
- Whether we need to create character form scratch or whether you know what you want
- Scale of the project