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Why it's an Idea to Incorporate a Mascot in Your Mobile or Web App

A mascot in an app is a corporate character that introduces the user to the interface. He acts as the face of the application, even if instead of a face he has a muzzle.

Adweek researched how a mascot increases customer engagement in a business. Engagement is an emotional attachment and loyalty to a product. Brands with a mascot are 50% more effective in interacting with customers. For this reason, mascots have moved from advertising banners and videos to apps. And they became a tool for communicating with users.

Mascots help users be more loyal to error messages and push notifications. Make the application more comfortable and friendly. The article will analyze five reasons why it is worth having a corporate character in the application.

1. Mascots Engage Users

Braze says personal messages from mascots are 154% more effective than push messages. Because chatting with a character is more pleasant than receiving faceless notifications. The mascot helps the app speak the user's language.

Water Lama is a water tracker app. It calculates the daily rate of water consumption based on gender, physique, and activity. And asks to manually fill in the data: how many drinks the user consumed per day.

To communicate with the user, Water Lama developed 33 characters, for example, a llama, a sloth, a capuchin, and a dinosaur. They remind the user to drink water and show how much is left to the daily allowance.

Mascots Engage Users

2. Mascots fill empty spaces

Empty states are application screens that are free of content or data. They appear in case of system errors, lack of internet, lack of data in the profile, or an empty user basket.

Blank screens are perceived as a negative experience. For example, 40% of visitors leave if interface sections take longer than 3 seconds to load - data from Neil Patel.

Designers can turn this negative experience into a positive one by adding illustrations. For example, research by Robert Sapolsky in the book The Biology of Good and Evil showed that funny pictures activate the pleasure hormone dopamine in the human brain.

For example, Freddie the monkey fills in empty states in the Mailchimp mailing list application. The company chose this character to show users, "Email marketing is so easy, a monkey can do it."

2. Mascots fill empty spaces

3. Mascots are helping with onboarding

The user enters a new application with a specific task and tries to figure out how to close it.

The character can answer this question and help the user show the application's primary functions, from registration to placing an order or subscription.

4. Mascots drive traffic

McDonald's is hard to imagine without the clown Ronald McDonald and Energizer without the indefatigable rabbit. The characters have become vital representatives of the product and glorified the companies.

A charismatic app mascot can become a viral hero if it catches users' attention. They created memes about the hero and shared them with friends. And drive organic traffic to the app.

Viral mascots can exist for decades—for example, Duo, the owl in the Duolingo language learning app. The platform became famous for intrusive push notifications from the mascot.

In 2021, Duolingo surveyed new users on how they discovered the platform. For example, 29% of customers started using the app thanks to viral TikTok owl videos. The company spends less than 1% of revenue per year on app promotion because the platform grows organically - Duolingo data.