Could a Mascot Help You Grow Your Community?

Could a Mascot Help You Grow Your Community?
Heather Rubesch - Thu Mar 08, 2012 @ 11:51AM
Comments: 10

In the past we have taken on the topic of humor in B2B.  In a Savvy Speaks post - Did you hear the one about the……..? and in a few posts citing examples of B2B campaigns that had used humor very effectively in WTF, B2B? Lighten up already! 7 Examples of Humorous B2B and Who says B2B is boring!

This week I attended DemandCon in San Francisco and saw several examples of B2B companies using humor very effectively in campaigns, videos and trade show booths.  In a session entitled “The Power of Creative” I had a chance to see two case studies on companies very successfully using a mascot to promote their brand.  Marti Konstant, Vice President of Marketing at Open Kernel Labs was kind enough to share her slides from the presentation and they are linked here.  Below is a brief synopsis of the two case studies she shared.

Iggy Wanna – Open Kernel LabsIggy_in_Priveliged_Mode_T-shirt.jpg

When you visit the Open Kernel Labs website you won’t see Iggy Wanna on the home page.  He is a bit of a shy mascot.  He isn’t front and center but he is a strategic part of their effort to build community with existing and future customers.  Iggy started for Open Kernel as merely something fun.  He appeared in their booth at shows, in their You Tube video series GeekTV but then he got a Flicker Account and his popularity grew.  He is featured in several blog posts is something those “in the know” with the Open Kernel brand are excited to be engaged with.  Marti shared in her presentation at DemandCon that Iggy’s world traveler status has allowed Open Kernel to bridge the humor gap in multiple languages and therefore is more than a mascot, he is an ambassador.

The Apkudo Bee

apkudo.pngFor Android app tester Apkudo their mascot, a digitially pixilated bee, is front and center not only on their website but in their logo.  For Apkudo the bee embodies some key characteristics they wanted to project about their brand.  Words like Buzz, Swarm, Community are all relevant adjectives their Marketing Director Kate Lyons was trying to emulate.  The challenge was how to get their small virtually unknown app testing company traffic at a large industry trade show AnDevCon in Nov 2011.  So they came with 450 “Get Buzzed T-shirts” and let attendees know that if they wore their t-shirt to a local bar at the end of the show day that would be their “ticket” to an exclusive after party.  The success was staggering.  At the end of the first day of the show they had given away 429 of their 450 available shirts!  Check out their Facebook page for pictures of the party success.

But Apkudo wanted to grow their tradeshow swarm into a bigger hive community!  So they began offering an additional 1000 t-shirts via their website for those who completed an Android App Developer Survey.  Once developers get their t-shirts they have an opportunity to participate in the “Get Buzzed” photo contest by sending in a picture of them doing something exciting while wearing their Apkudo t-shirt.

Does your B2B company or a client use a mascot to generate community interest?  How have customers and prospects responded to your mascot and how has it increased your engagement with them?  Would love to hear about them an feature them in a future Savvy post!





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