13th Jul 2016

Catch 'em all! 5 Valuable things businesses can learn from Pokemon GO

Pokemon GO is the newest craze to hit the technology world in the last week and if you’ve so much as stepped near the internet in recent weeks you’re bound to have come across somebody talking about it.

The new app, loosely based on the Pokemon games of the 90s, allows players to look at the world through their phone screens to search for Pokemon to battle and capture. Combining augmented reality with the real world Pokemon GO encourages players to go outside and explore in order to find Pokemon as they can be found everywhere. 

What may have been a game aimed at children has developed into so much more, with those who were part of the original Pokemon hype in the 90s growing up to embrace the world of Pokemon GO. Despite hardly any obvious marketing Pokemon GO has quickly rose to recognition and has become the highest grossing app in the US alone.

Whilst nostalgia plays a huge role in the success of the Pokemon GO app, there are still a number of things businesses can takeaway from Pokemon GO in order to improve marketing, promotion and even sales.

Good branding sells 

For over 20 years Pokemon has developed into a consistent, recognised brand. With a number of video games, TV shows, films and a variety of merchandise available, there’s no denying that Pokemon is, and continues to be, a powerful brand, a brand who’s presence alone has helped sell to generations of fans. 

Augmented reality creates engagement

Pokemon GO isn’t the first augmented reality (AR) experience and it won’t be last, however it is one of the most successful augmented reality experiences to hit the market. But why? Pokemon GO uses augmented reality to tell a story, the AR experience is simply a byproduct of playing the game and isn’t the main selling point of the product. Using AR to create engagement, allowing players to engage with in game characters through augmented reality is fun, it’s new and it allows players to feel like they are absorbed into the world of Pokemon.  

Social proof is everything 

If you ever needed more evidence that social proof is important for brands look no further than the insane hype of Pokemon GO. Thanks to the likes of Facebook and Twitter we’re bombarded with images of people having fun playing Pokemon GO, writing statuses about Pokemon GO and the very rapid influx of memes only relevant to those playing the game. Seeing people talking about the game wherever you go makes it impossible not to be tempted to get involved.  

Create a sense of identity

Part of Pokemon GO’s huge success is because it gives players a sense of identity. Many people across the world grew up loving Pokemon and are not only playing Pokemon GO for nostalgia alone but also because it makes them feel like part of something. Gone are the days of being 6 and getting together to trade Pokemon cards, here are the days of being 21 and gathering with your friends to battle and capture Pokemon.

Offer rewards for investment 

If you’re looking to increase loyalty then you need to offer incentives to your customers. Pokemon GO does this by offering players a number of bonuses and incentives for not only levelling up but also for finding rare Pokemon, winning battles and even taking on boss battles. Offering definite rewards is a great way for players to be encouraged to carry on, if there are rewards for continual investment in the game people are going to carry on regardless.  

Just a week after it’s release Pokemon GO has more daily users than the likes of Twitter and yet it still hasn’t reached it’s full potential. Only time will tell what impact Pokemon GO will have on both technology and the way businesses market themselves, but it is fair to say that when it comes to your customers, there’s plenty to learn from Pokemon GO is you’re looking to catch ‘em all! 


Article By
Sarah Seymour,
Published: 13th July, 2016
Categories: Marketing

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