I’m very excited to tell you about the launch of a new website, which went live at the end of last week, it’s called HiVizSafety and is an online program designed to look after all the health and safety needs of businesses both big and small. I’m excited about this website for two reasons; firstly a very dear friend of mine and her family are the brains behind the whole thing and secondly because I got to create and design the websites leading man, HiViz Jack (he’s the awesome little dude you can see in the pictures above and below). It’s been a fantastic project to be part of and I’m looking forward to seeing how Jack and his health and safety business progresses. Oooh and do make sure you follow them on twitter!

Character illustration is a particular favourite of mine because you can have some much fun with it, it’s great to see your creation gradually come to life and develop their own personality. Brand characters have always been a popular choice for many different companies from the slightly creepy Ronald MacDonald of a certain fast food chain to the cute little Angle-poise lamp of Pixar. They all play their part in making their brand more memorable and injecting it with personality. Whilst having a brand character or mascot may not be the right choice for every business, I really do believe it can be a great benefit to many, here are my top five reasons why it could help your business:

They can add an element of humour and fun into an otherwise dull subject matter. A classic example of this is price comparison sites, like Compare the Market and Few things in life are duller than comparing gas and electricity prices but somehow, thanks to a bunch of Russian Meerkats and a somewhat irritating robot called Brian, they’ve managed to turn that on the head and build massive businesses which must rake in squillions. Likewise, EDF energy with their strange little fella who looks like a poo with big eyes, have managed to turn dull boring old electricity into something slightly more appealing or at least give it the “ahhh” factor.

– Characters can make your brand more memorable, the very fact that I could name the company with the strange little fella who looks like a poo belongs to proves this.

– It allows your audience to connect with you brand. Some much business is now done completely on the internet that companies end up becoming faceless and devoid of all personality. Having a character who can communicate with your audiences can prevent this and instantly makes businesses more approachable and ‘real’.

– Following on from the point above, a character can also be a very useful communication tool for your social media. More and more businesses are required to communicate directly to their customers through these channels and having a strong, consistent voice, provided by your mascot can strengthen your brand also provide warmth and personality to all your online conversations.

– Finally, a character can embody the core values of your company and provide the spirit of your business, which is the very thing that will make you stand out from the crowd and keep you in the forefront of your customers minds.