9 Startup Mascots Building Stronger Brands

Last week during DIG SOUTH in Charleston, SC, speakers from across the nation discussed entrepreneurship, startups, and technology. During one of the keynotes we heard from Yik Yak app’s cofounder and COO, Brooks Buffington, about how important it was for them to not only have a startup mascot, but one that represents their brand. As an organization focused specifically on Millennials, they felt a mascot helped them established a level of authenticity they needed on college campuses.

It was in the process of selecting the name of the app that they came across their startup mascot. Realizing Chatter wouldn’t fly, they came across the name Yik Yak based on the song Yakety Yak. “It’s a way to bring the personality of your brand to one focal point, a symbol,” said Buffington.

Like Yik Yak, many organizations use startup mascots as a way to personify who they are and what they represent. From startups to creative agencies, here are a few startup mascots and what they represent:

goPuff Puffer Fish

  • The goPuff mascot is a Puffer Fish mascot has become integrated into their overall brand and is constantly featured on their webpage, social media handles and at on site events that goPuff attends. The Puffer Fish was actually designed by the creative team responsible for the design and execution of Tony the Tiger. goPuff is an successful start-up delivery service app that delivers everything from your local convenience store across 20 categories and more. goPuff delivers directly from their warehouses in seven major cities across the U.S. that they currently operate in, including NYC, DC, Boston and Austin, Denver and Philadelphia and they just recently launched in the Greater Phoenix area last month. gopuff.com
  • BambooHR is a leading online HR software platform for small and medium businesses with clients in over 80 countries. Some of their clients include innovators like SoundCloud, Freshbooks, Stance, Fitbit and Squarespace. bamboohr.com
  • GiGi the giraffe has been with WeddingWire since 2011 and is an integral part of new employee’s on-boarding process. New employees take part in a scavenger hunt to explore WeddingWire’s headquarters and get to know their fellow employees and a required stop is to find GiGi in the office and take a picture with her. GiGi was also the face of WeddingWire’s Giving Tree canned food drive this past fall. WeddingWire is an online marketplaces for the wedding industry in 14 countries, including the US, Canada, Spain, Italy, France, Mexico, and Brazil. weddingwire.com
  • Hoover is a seasoned log management expert, and has been in the logging industry his entire life. When asked about the cost of wood nowadays, he was heard to mutter, “I could give a good dam!” Hoover currently serves as the Loggly mascot and Chief Twitterer. Hoover has great dislike of ponies, on-premise log files, software downloads and occasionally refers to himself in the third person as “Nice Beaver.” Loggly is a cloud-based log management and analytics service provider. loggly.com
  • Blend is a group chat app. Privately share chat messages, videos, and photos with one to many. Perfect for connecting with friends and family and for pure entertainment. blend.la
  • Whether he’s enjoying a croissant in front of the Eiffel Tower or hanging out at one of Cumulus Networks’ offices, Rocket Turtle represents Cumulus Networks literally all around the world and works hard to continue the Linux revolution. Cumulus Networks helps customers realize cost-effective, high capacity networking for modern data centers. Linux transformed the economics and innovation for data center compute, and Cumulus Linux is doing the same for the network. cumulusnetworks.com
  • needls’ mascot CeeTeeO is a robot because they are the first ever RoboAgency and he got his name because needls automatically Creates, Targets and Optimizes digital ads and disseminates them across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. needls.com
  • Grumpquat was created exclusively for Qumulo by TheOatmeal.com creator Matt Inman. Grumpquat is Qumulo’s less-than-cheerful mascot. We aren’t quite sure what axe Grumpquat has to grind, but he is a welcome and important cultural personality at Qumulo. Keep your eyes open as Grumpquat sometimes makes surprising appearances. Qumulo is a startup company developing simple, scalable, and efficient enterprise data storage systems. qumulo.com

Seen any other startup mascots out there that you think deserve to get highlighted? Let us know in the comments!

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Written by:
Elliot is an award winning journalist deeply ingrained in the startup world and is often digging into emerging technology and data. When not writing, he's likely either running or training for a triathlon. You can contact him by email at elliot(@)elliotvolkman.com or follow him on Twitter @thejournalizer.
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