Pokémon Go – Gotta Catch Em’ All
by Maverick on 07/27/2016 | 2 Minute Read
App , Branding , Brands , Cult-Brand , Innovation , Interactive , Marketing , Mobile Game , Niantic , Pokémon , Pokémon Go , Products , Real Life , Social , Something Cool , Something Fun , Virtual Reality
Even if you haven’t jumped on the Pokémon Go wagon, you’ve most likely heard of the frenzy surrounding the game. Since the new mobile game developed by Niantic, has completely invaded the medias. While there is far too much conversation surrounding the various effects of the game to able to cover it all, there are business aspects which are certainly worth observing.
Pokémon Go is currently ranked as the biggest mobile game ever in the US, with an estimated 25 million daily users. The game’s marketing has been dubbed by AMA as disruptive and “rewriting the rules”. While it may need more time to officially change the rules of marketing, it cannot be denied that the world has been greatly impacted by this new mobile game. Marketers everywhere did not hesitate to take advantage of the overly popular game, and many others have been progressively dissecting its benefits. One of the most noticeable lessons to come out of this, was the effectiveness of nurturing a cult-brand. Pokémon seemed at times to be fading away, yet its very loyal followers have managed to thrive in replenishing the brand’s relevance.
For those not paying attention when the game launched, Pokémon’s most effective marketing tool and cause for its huge success, was the players themselves!
Avid fans began playing the game as soon as it launched, and by sharing their experiences with their social networks through videos, pictures, and memes, Pokémon went viral overnight. From a smaller cult following to crowds overtaking streets in search of the characters, it was the players who became true brand ambassadors; the players’ shared experiences and the fascination portrayed by them, were the most influential factors inciting others to try the game.
The Pokémon brand, however, is not the only one benefiting form the huge success of the mobile game. Businesses are also quickly using it as a marketing strategy: either by becoming a PokéStop or PokéGym in order to get people into their shops, or by promoting their proximity to them. Other marketers have began offering discount deals to players, or limiting access to the characters for paying customers only. Essentially, if you are in a store and you want that Pokémon, you gotta buy something!
As the app continues to expand its user base, it will be interesting to see how it will adjust to the ever-growing exposure and increasing demands from its users, as it becomes less of a novelty and it settles in the market. For now, it’s good business sense to evaluate how marketers can learn from the Pokémon Go brand explosion, and if similar strategies to their own brands can be applicable.