Japanese Mascots - Give Your Startup Personality!

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Just a quick talk I gave at Startonomics Tokyo. Introducing some Japanese web / tech mascots and explaining my findings when I gave one of my own products a "mascot" - it increased signups and sales, and had various internal & external benefits.

Text of Japanese Mascots - Give Your Startup Personality!

Japanese MascotsA five minute cultural lesson that might give you

an idea for your startup - it did for me!

by Yongfookwww.yongfook.com

Japan has a reputation for Cute

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuteness_in_Japanese_culture

Mona from 2ch.net

http://2ch.net

Amoeba from ameba.jp

http://ameba.jp

Bear from so-net.ne.jp

http://postpet4you.jp

Various from nico-nico-douga

http://nicovideo.jp

Pichon-kun from Daikin

http://www.daikin.co.jp/pichon/index.html?ID=daikintop_tpx

Yume Lion from Tokyo MX

http://www.mxtv.co.jp/

Gnome from Lolipop

http://lolipop.jp

Various from the police force

http://homepage3.nifty.com/chara_town/Police_Chara-Dept/newpage2.htm

FukuiPrefecture

ChibaPrefecture

TokyoMetropolitan

YamanashiPrefecture

Why mascots?Lowers level of intimidation

Gives product a face, facilitates conversations

Makes product development more enjoyable

Can sell merchandise if the actual business goes horribly wrong

...and more

Entirely unscientific example:

Gave the product creative directionMade it more fun to createStarted more conversationsIncreased signups

Also, Rippl3 was just a dumb name

Entirely unscientific example:

0

500

1000

1500

2000

February March April May

Signups

My name is Yongfook.I make web-based software.

www.yongfook.com @yongfook

This presentation is available at:http://www.slideshare.net/yongfook

Measure and increase sales from social media:http://www.peashootapp.com

lols is teh new srs.