Last year when we opened our 3rd store in Yorkville, it soon became clear that we had our work cut out for us to build up traffic. So in one of those “while-in-the-shower” moments, I landed on the idea of creating our very own mascot and why not Miss Rebecca Red Velvet with cute little shoes and long eyelashes she could bat at Yorkville celebrities?
After a lot of time, effort and money (these things are not cheap!!), Miss Rebecca was born and, oh my, she was so sweet…look at her!!
The challenge, we quickly learned, is that inside the costumes are actually trained and talented performers (I know, duh, on my part!) and it is hard to find just the right combination of personality and drive..many performers have a lot of other gigs going on in their lives so being a cupcake may not be the first priority (no idea why?!).
The other challenge is that unless the corporate mascot’s role is simply to wave the flag, so to speak, and walk around kissing babies (like a bank bear we know), then there also needs to be a Master Plan about the mascot’s activities i.e. how, in fact, will the mascot generate business? And you can’t really put that Plan together until someone has spent time out there on the street figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
So we had a hiatus from December until just now during which poor Rebecca was in her carrying case and I was scratching my head wondering what to do. Fortunately, Anne Coughlin of Supporting Roles, a boutique firm of business actors working in the field of executive development, very kindly spoke with me about my conundrum. Anne then introduced me to a new performer who is a real go-getter and is starting with us tomorrow to “crack the nut” on Rebecca’s activities in the Yorkville ‘hood.
Heidi has lots of ideas such as contests with prizes of a 6-pack of minis, taking peoples photos and then emailing the photos to them, and so on.
SO, I am optimistic once again that one way or another, if the winter in TO ever ends, by Springtime we will have our Miss Rebecca strolling around Toronto doing magical things and yes, even making a measurable difference to the bottom line.