Optimize your mascot for more returning customers: Promo Bears’ Three-Phase Plan

This article looks at how to best use a mascot for organizations whose target group are young children. Think, for example, theme parks, indoor play areas, day camps, sports clubs, restaurants, zoos, and other family attractions. Here we present our suggested plan to best use your mascot to ensure more regular customers and repeat visits.

Introduction

If your organization focuses on young children, there are various options to reach your target group. Adults are often the party that initially determines where to go with their children, so therefore the primary focus should be on reaching these adults. They are the ones that should be persuaded to visit your organization. After that, the marketing should (partly) shift to the children. After all, if the kids are having fun, so are the adults.

In our experience, children enjoy themselves when they are in an environment that is a combination of adventurous and fun, while also familiar and recognizable. The goal is to make the children want to come back next time, and therefore become regular customers of your organization. The questions is: how can you ensure that a child becomes this regular customer and chooses your location time and time again?

The optimal use of a mascot can play a major role in this. When a child gets to know the mascot of your organization while enjoying your location, and you carefully choose the moments when the mascot is used, there is a great chance of regular or returning customers. You may wonder how a mascot is used optimally in this way. Read on to discover our three-phase plan.

The Three Phases

Our three phases are: the preparation phase, the interaction phase, and the invitation phase. This is based on Promo Bears’ founders Edwin and Andre’s personal experience. As parents of young children, the know how it feels to be a parent looking for new outings with their children. In this plan they combine this first-hand parental experience with their expertise in the mascot industry. The use of a mascot should be different in each phase to achieve the desired effect.

The Preparation Phase

The preparation phase takes place after the reservation or the adult’s decision to visit your location, and before the visit takes place. It is the warm-up, when the children are probably told, “Do you know what we’re going to do today?”

A great way to use your mascot in this phase is to add a video or animation of the mascot to the reservation confirmation in which the mascot lets you know that it is very much looking forward to your visit. Sending a (digital) coloring page is also a good way to introduce the children to the mascot. Maybe your organization even has a song or dance that fits the mascot. In that case it would be excellent to share this with your guests during the preparation phase with an encouragement to practice the song and/or the dance.

The Interaction Phase

The interaction phase takes place when the guests visit your organization. If the kids have already been introduced to your mascot in the preparation phase, you can expect exclamations like “Look there it is!” In this phase, a mascot is used to welcome the guests at the entrance or to create a photo-op moment, in which the photo can immediately be given as a souvenir. In addition, the mascot should be clearly visible throughout the site. Consider occasionally walking your mascot around the location and adding its image to visible areas such as signage. This way there is ample time for the children to get to know your mascot, and by extension your organization.

The Invitation Phase

The invitation phase focuses on securing a return visit from your guests. In this phase, we advise to give the children a mascot-based gift on departure, such as a stuffed animal, keychain or game. If you use a satisfaction survey after the outing, you could add a video or animation in which the mascot let’s you know that they are looking forward to your next visit. “Will you come back soon?” or “I look forward to seeing you next time”. Also consider introducing a savings system where your guests will receive a piece of a puzzle on their next visit. This loyalty system can consist of all kinds of different merchandise such as new images from a mascot-based memory game, new stickers from the mascot to collect or literally a new piece of a puzzle that features the mascot.

Conclusion

In every phase described above, the use of a mascot has absolutely added value. It gives the children (your ultimate target group) something concrete to feel connected to within your organization and provides a friendly face to deliver your communication through. Of course, you also must ensure that your mascot has the right look so that it can be an ideal figurehead for many years. We are happy to help you with this.

We are experts in bringing mascots to life optimally for various organizations, with designs starting completely from scratch. On our website www.promobearsusa.com you will find an extensive overview of what we have to offer. We think along with you on the specific features of your organization and its mascot use, in both the short and the longer term. If you are interested in working with us or if you have a questions or comments at all, please contact us by email info@promobearsusa.com or by telephone (941) 254-3284.