8 Best Animal Mascot Ideas to Represent Your Brand

If sports teams have animal mascots, then why not businesses and organisations, too?

Animal mascots, also known as brand characters, act as ambassadors for a company or a product. Although they have been an integral part of branding initiatives for decades, animal mascots have become more critical than ever before, primarily due to the prevalence of the internet and social media. When brands are all about engagement, what better way to connect with your customers than by leveraging the power of corporate mascots?

It has been purported that brand mascots could be more influential than real-life celebrities, which makes perfect sense when you think about it. A fictional corporate ambassador can be more universal than a local celebrity, appealing to a broader target market. Not to mention that your mascot will not run into controversy or scandal related to a personal matter!

Overall, an animal mascot can be used for a diverse array of marketing – online and offline – campaigns. Be it on your website or print advertisements – your character can go hand in hand with your brand.

The hard part is choosing the right animal to meet your branding needs. We have compiled a breakdown of the eight best animal mascot ideas to represent your brand in the online realm and the real world.

1. Direct Relation to Product

When you are in the beginning stages of developing a branding strategy, the easiest thing to do is select an animal that relates to your product. If you are selling a milk-oriented product, the most straightforward tactic is incorporating a cow (or a goat) into your campaign. Are you selling cat food? It makes sense to use a cat.

It might not seem innovative, but your design team can personalize your animal mascot to speak to the unique tone and personality of your brand.  

2. Felines

Whether it is the jaguar or the tiger, felines are considered fast, resilient, and energetic. Are you offering a service or selling a product where speed is the ultimate objective? Jaguar took a page out of this book when designating a mascot for their (ultra sporty) automobiles. Ditto for Kellogg when it connected Tony the Tiger with its Frosted Flakes cereal.

3. Comparable Words

Did you know that Geico selected the gecko as its animal mascot because people usually misspelled the company’s name? That’s right. People would often mistake Geico with gecko, so the market geniuses – and these are geniuses if you have ever watched any of their television commercials – decided to use the flub to their advantage!

The same thing happened to Compare The Meerkat, a comparison search engine. Market and meerkat look and sound similar, so the company made a smart move by designating the meerkat as its brand representative.

4. Where Are You Located?

For the most part, you should choose an animal that is relevant to where you are located. If your company is located in The Ivory Coast, it doesn’t make much sense to represent your brand with a koala bear. Clothing manufacturer, Roots, represents their brand with the iconic beaver, which speaks to their heritage as a proud Canadian company – this is a key component of their brand voice, so the mascot choice is fitting. Particularly if you want your local market to connect with your brand mascot, it is wise to think about geolocation.

5. Colours Matter

When you select an animal, you do not necessarily need to keep the creature’s colour. You could adapt the animal’s skin tone or fur colour to your brand’s objectives. An example of this is the Twitter bird. A white bird on top of a blue background; a marketing premise meant to indicate an environment of inclusion and trust, which are essential for the Twitterverse.

Moreover, you can always adapt your animal mascot or brand ambassador to a new ad campaign. Bacardi uses the bat, but the firm experiments with colours in their marketing initiatives.

6. Admirable Qualities

Many animals possess admirable qualities that we admire. The bison represents stability and prosperity since it is one of the longest surviving animals in North America. A bear is considered strong and is thought to be a leader. Dogs are loyal and kind. Owls exude wisdom. Ultimately, it is about learning what qualities people project upon various animals, then utilizing these traits to your advantage.

7. Consider Your Audience

Some experts recommend drawing on cultural association when choosing an animal mascot or a brand logo. But as we have seen in recent years, this can cause some of the wrong kind of attention and controversy for your business – nobody wants that! Therefore, you can consider your audience in other ways.

For instance, if you are selling family-friendly products, such as beverages or apparel, you can design animal characters that contain warm and bright colours. Are you selling adult-oriented goods? Edgy animals with muted colours are usually the go-to options.

8. Personalisation is Key

Once you have an animal in mind, it is crucial to personalise the design and tailor it to the theme of your company and the state of your marketplace. This process might seem simple, but conceptualizing the right animal mascot design is complex since there is a lot you’ll want to convey.

These are some of the elements of customising your animal ambassador:

  • Company name and slogan
  • Colour schemes
  • Text, placement, and size
  • Layering
  • Typography

Once your character is established and well recognized, you can always add new icons to complement your primary animal mascot as part of your long-term marketing strategy.

Now that you know the ins and outs of the benefits and strategy behind choosing an animal mascot for your brand, you’re ready to get brainstorming. Our advice: hop in your car and head to the nearest zoo to see which animals “speak” to your brand. Because all the best mascot-brainstorming sessions happen outside of the conference room!