Mascots symbolize a powerful element of brand identity. The rise of the IT generation has made digital representation a crucial pillar of marketing and branding. How best then can organizations engage their internal and external stakeholders in a consistent and recognizable manner online while maintaining the element of social engagement?
With the launch of ETHOZ’s social media platforms and corporate blog in 2016, the initial idea of creating an online persona came about while exploring various ways to make our brand more recognizable within the online sphere. By developing a brand mascot, it would best relate and convey the company’s values and positions while strengthening ETHOZ’s brand recognition without coming across as overly formal.
The birth of Evo The Eagle marks a new chapter and culmination of ETHOZ’s evolution since 1981.
Developing a mascot wasn’t a simple and a hasty process. In this post, we will share our experience, thoughts and considerations that went into creating Evo.
Selecting The ‘WHAT’
Instinctively, we wanted our mascot to be represented as a Dragon which would be adopted from our company logo design. In Asian & Chinese culture, a dragon symbolizes success, prosperity, wisdom, longevity, potency; it is magical and strong, a symbol of absolute power.
However, the strengths of mascots lie in creating a strong and immediate impression at first sight. Simplicity is therefore very important to ensure immediate recognition. A dragon would have been overly complex and detailed, difficult to replicate consistently. After thorough researches and discussions on various possible representations, we narrowed our choice to three animals: deer, eagle and phoenix.
The name deer in Chinese sounds like the word for wealth and prosperous income. It is a symbol of long life and prosperity. A deer mascot is seen as an auspicious figure that promises longevity in business.
A deer is a cautious animal. It is highly sensitive and has a strong intuition. It is keenly aware of its surroundings. It could be paralleled to ETHOZ’s acute business senses. A deer is swift and reacts promptly to changes. The deer represents power to deal with challenges with determination and grace.
The mythical phoenix represents rebirth, success, opportunity, virtue, compassion and responsibility. It suggests perseverance and renewal because every time it goes into ashes, it re-ignites itself into a magnificent fire that burns brighter than before.
The phoenix is a symbol that is recognizable and understood by both Chinese and Western cultures. As a myth, it provides endless possibilities to visually express its design. The phoenix is the perfect symbol for reinvention and it is the symbol of rising from the ashes.
An eagle mascot shares the same first initial as the brand name “ETHOZ”. It provides an easier association to the brand. It connects the mascot “type” (in this case, an eagle) to the brand name with a consistent naming methodology.
The eagle, ruler of the skies and chief over all winged creatures is often portrayed as a leader who is sharp, swift, visionary and strong. It is a symbol of great strength, leadership and vision. It relates to opportunities and timing. An eagle suggests the pursuit of personal excellence.
Defining The ‘WHY’
After multiple internal discussions on the shortlisted designs, the eagle was finally selected as the baseline typing for the mascot. Among the 3 proposed ideas, the Eagle best represented ETHOZ’s values while maintaining a simplicity in design which could be easily replicated.
Through the process of refining the mascot design, we experimented with various colors, expressions and postures. Let’s have a look at how the design evolved before the birth of EVO, our ETHOZ Mascot!
Colors play a big influence which help invoke specific emotions, feelings and actions. We tried out many shades and colors after selecting the baseline eagle template.
One interesting observation made was that slight variations to the eye designs made big differences to the whole ‘feel’ of the mascot. Some made it comical, some cute, others serious. The eventual eye design was particularly chosen to give the mascot a cute and approachable look while maintaining simplicity in design.
Choosing the ‘WHO’
Brainstorming for a mascot name was the simplest yet most difficult task. Easy because it was just simply choosing a name, but difficult because the name was the most important and permanent trait of the mascot. Designs typically change and evolve over time, names rarely do.
With our focus on easy remembrance and simplicity, we explored shorter names for easy recollection. From sourcing meaningful names to unscrambling and forming words, we came up with names like Ed, Esko, Edgar, Ace, Drako, Axel, Turbo and many more. We also looked at our brand elements, forming words like Orit and Torc which pay homage to our history. Eventually, we narrowed our search to representations of excellence, growth, evolution, versatility, leadership and diversification. Some examples of our shortlisted names included Evo, Esco, Zes, Edgar and Torc.
EVO the Eagle
The name Evo originates from the word “Evolution”, it represents our evolution since our establishment in 1981 and our eagerness to grow and diversify. Being the market leader in the integrated automotive and financing solutions, we continue to strive for excellence to remain at the forefront of an ever evolving economy with evolving needs.
Evo is designed with our corporate colours, white and blue, in mind as an extension of our brand identity. Featuring colours that are highly associated with our brand, Evo the Eagle resonates our values and unique identity to engage our stakeholders in a positive and friendly manner.
The “O” strikethrough found at the belly of Evo represents a tribute to our original company name when we first started in 1981 – Orient Car Leasing Pte Ltd. With the same “O” strikethrough design incorporated underneath its eyes, we aspire to be a forward-looking company with a deep appreciation for our roots.
Eagles are typically portrayed as majestic creatures that rule high above the skies. Evo however, is designed with approachability in mind with its rounded design and soft edges. Our customers are our top priority and ETHOZ strives to be flexible and sensitive to our client’s needs, communicated through Evo’s friendly and approachable stance.
As ETHOZ continues to grow and evolve further in future, Evo the Eagle shall represent our values, our strengths and our commitment to all our stakeholders. At ETHOZ, It’s All About Value!
To celebrate the birth of Evo, we’re holding an online contest where you could stand to win up $300 worth of prizes simply by answering a simple question. Contest closes 15th July 2017!
Join Our Mascot Welcome Contest!Stand a chance to win up to $300 worth of prizes by answering a simple question: