Create a Brand Animal
Every brand a brand animal
No matter the brand, across every industry, consider establishing one or more Brand Animals.
Public Announcement have two:
Lots of brands have animals. Here are some classics ↓
The best brand animals have little to do with the brand name or its products. For example, here’s a cat with glasses encouraging me to join the Merriam-Webster Word of the Day newsletter:
This is effective. I sign up.
The latest brand animal to win my heart is a green fox with glasses ↓
That’s the Mint Mobile animal. For Mint customers, a cute green fox with glasses is your primary point of contact. The fox does a lot of the transactional dirty work. For example, account status messaging is handled by the fox ↓
Here the fox confirms my order ↓
The fox confirms my SIM card is working ↓
An aside re: Mint:
I was aware Ryan Reynolds invested in Mint Mobile. I had been reading about MVNO’s for a while. I was curious. And two years ago I was suddenly home, zooming. My cellphone didn’t have much to do. It was a good time to jump.
I’ve been impressed because… it works! I have no issues! It’s not as fast as Verizon, but fast enough for me in New York City. And Mint worked well on a road trip up and down the east coast. (But is Mint for the mobile professional? No, I don’t think so. When you’re in a strange place trying to sync gigs of data to the cloud, who cares about a Verizon bill, spend whatever, saturate the bandwidth.)
Back to the fox:
Here the fox is relaxing on a beach, tearing up what appears to be a Verizon bill ↓
The fox demanding tweets ↓
Again, all this is very effective. I’m liking an invisible cellphone service much more than I would otherwise because of a cartoon. I like the fox wearing glasses and doing all the silly things. I prefer paying the fox. And here I am, doing more than tweet.
So many brands would benefit from an animal. Even brands that don’t feel they need one.
Animals help brands not take themselves too seriously. Serious brands need a bit of levity. Banks. Lawyers. Institutions. Even brand consultancies and media companies.
Your animal doesn’t have to be front and center. They can play a supporting role. Ryan Reynolds can be spokesperson. The fox can lead customer experience.
Perhaps you don’t know where to start. You hear brand and think of the brand development costs associated with creating a character and bringing it to life within your larger brand world. It’s true, any and every brand animal will cost you. But with the right strategy, you can afford it.
Get a puppy.
Or a kitten.
You probably don’t want a live fox.
We chose kitten, because we’re cat people.
Dog people like looking at cats and vice versa.
Here is Public Announcement brand animal Yerg when we first got him ↓
You want to capture as many photos as possible during this time. It goes by quick.
Don’t worry about professional photography. Here is a lofi moment captured using an old iphone ↓
With this image, a designer can silhouette your brand animal and create a custom branded photo illustration ↓
While we love lofi, get the best shots you can ↓
A live-action brand animal may seem unnecessary. You could instead hire an agency to put the whole thing together. Concept. Naming. Art direction. Positioning and voice. Production. For large corporations, yes of course, budget aggressively to build your brand.
But for the bootstrapped, consider live-action. It’s a big responsibility, caring for a creature. But a cat isn’t so hard. It’s a cost you can manage. Any standard adult can manage a cat. Many find it more rewarding than costly.
To conclude, I believe I’ve made a strong argument. Every brand a brand animal. The opportunity is clear. If not now, then when you’re ready. And for those that choose to pursue live-action: Keep a camera on your person. Be ready. You don’t want to miss an interesting pose. Random moments with your beloved make lasting memories and the best graphics ↓