What’s the next step once you’ve created your ideal mascot? A name of course!
This is always a struggle, usually because people are thinking far too much and never actually narrow down their names list. Below are a few tips to possibly help with this problem:
Inspect root meanings – does your character represent anything? If so, this is a very easy and effective way of coming up with a name for your character! This is also good because it gives your character more purpose and enables people to connect with the character.
Speak them aloud – On paper the name may seem perfect but when saying it, it may become unclear. This is dependent on where your mascot/character will be used, for example, when used in children’s books, a character’s name will definitely be spoken aloud.
Alliteration – To draw special attention to a character or to feature a character, use alliteration such as; Michelin Man, SpongeBob Squarepants, Mickey Mouse etc.
Rhyme – Try rhyming as a way to construct names, for example; Ronald McDonald, Dora the Explorer, Dennis the Menace etc.
Era – Use the year when your organization launched and your location to link this to your character perhaps?
You would be surprised with the amount of doors that open up to you with regards to marketing once you have a mascot, complete with a name. Your mascot has now essentially been given an identity which means people are now able to interact with it. Why not make a social media account for your mascot? A good use of interaction is through Social media, there is so much that can be done on these platforms. One thing that has become popular recently is the use of an automated bot, a Facebook tool that allows you to create messages that get automatically sent when someone sends a message to your character – businesses are using this tool as a way to give their mascot/character a voice, meaning people are able to interact with it, making it more fun and a more effective way to give your organization exposure.
Below is a video that shows you some of the best messenger bots on Facebook, take a look!
But does a name need that much thought? It’s definitely worth thinking about; it can be very beneficial in many ways to your organization and really can give you more opportunities to expose your business.
I mean, you don’t really want to be in Russia’s situation do you? In 2018, the name they chose for their World Cup mascot didn’t quite to plan with regards to the public’s reactions. They named their 2018 world cup mascot “Zabivaka”, doesn’t seem bad to those of us who don’t speak Russian, but this name actually translates in many different ways, the most straightforward translation being “to score” but if you look further it also means; “bully” or “troublemaker”. This realisation has created a viral appeal as the character has now been used for online memes. The lack of thought here has resulted in a backfired reaction. You shouldn’t spend ages coming up with a name or a meaning to a name, but take a moment to look at how this name could be used and what it could stand for so this doesn’t happen to you.
Are you still struggling to name your mascot by yourself? Why not get others involved? Get creative and design competition for the public to name your mascot – allowing your target audience to get involved from the start. That’s what we did when we created our mascot; our Custom Toys UK bear arrived without a name so we came up with a Facebook competition to get our audiences involved. That’s how our little bear got the name Arty!
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