Pokemon Go has single handedly changed the way that gaming apps are going to be made forever.
If you are not sure what Pokemon Go is don’t worry, you are not missing out on much.
But what you are missing out on is the opportunity to learn how this app has gone completely viral in just a few short weeks.
It is estimated that since the app was launched earlier this month, it has over 21 million active daily users. This is huge and more than Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.
For those of who you were around in the 90’s you will most likely remember that Pokemon was a popular card game owned by Nintendo.
Well now, it is back in the digital age and offers users a rare opportunity to explore virtual reality.
One of the reasons that the app has become so popular is because it is one of the first Augmented Reality games to hit the market.
Pokemon Go involves players entering the real world in order to explore and find Pokemon characters.
This has led to people of all ages getting out into the world in order to play the game and find where the Pokemon characters are hiding using their phone’s camera.
If you happen to see someone walking around outside while looking at their phone, there is a good chance that they are playing Pokemon Go.
While the app is free, users can also make in-app purchases to buy PokeCoins and other special features. These in-app purchases are around 99 cents each, but according to recent reports, the app makers are set to profit billions.
Yes, billions. And that is just in a few short weeks.
In fact, one report is claiming that Apple stands to make around $3 billion in revenue alone from Pokemon Go, due to the in-app purchases.
This is due to the fact that Apple will keep around 30 percent of the revenue collected from in-app purchases on iOS devices.
If this is true, Pokemon Go will become one of the highest performing apps ever, outranking popular players like Candy Crush and even Angry Birds.
Nintendo, who owns Pokemon are also set to profit big time from the app and their stock has nearly doubled in the last two weeks.
While all this success is great for the app, is there a way your business can learn and profit from it?
There are two strategies that you can use to capitalise off Pokemon Go.
Number 1- Learn What Pokemon Go did to become so viral and use it for your own business
Number 2- Cash in on the Pokemon Go craze and use it to drive customers and get attention
We are going to cover both of these strategies, so you can ride this wave to the max-
What You Can Learn From How Pokemon Go Went Viral
It is important to understand that nothing about Pokemon Go is new. The Pokemon characters are not new, mobile gaming is not new, not even augmented reality is new.
This just goes to show that when you take a recipe like Nintendo and the app developer, Niantic did, and mix it with marketing, gameification and psychology the result is instant success.
It is also important to understand that this model can be replicated to deliver similar results and your business can do it too. Not just as an app, but for your brand’s website, products and services as well.
But you are probably wondering how?
How did Niantic, the maker of the app and Nintendo get PokemonGo to go so viral so quickly and earn so many users almost overnight?
Here are some of the most influential tactics they used-
1. They Built on Something People Already Loved
Instead of coming up with a whole new concept, Niantic and Nintendo were clever in that they decided to re-hash something that was once popular.
Back in the 90’s when Pokemon first came onto the scene it was extremely popular and successful. TV shows were made, card games were played and children everywhere between the ages of 5-15 were fans of the show.
Now in 2016, those children have a chance to play their beloved Pokemon all over again. This not only stirs nostalgia but it also builds upon the past success of the game.
All businesses can use this theory by building on past successes and making them part of the future.
The fact that Pokemon was once popular is good indication that it can be popular again and the same goes for your brand.
If you ran a marketing campaign that was once popular, or you sold a product or service that was once popular, consider re-vamping it and reintroducing it to your new and existing customers and clients.
You may also want to take elements of what is working in your business and try putting a new spin to them.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to go viral is to keep track of what your customers and audience are saying about your products and services and also the products and services of your competitors.
By keeping an eye on the opinions of your audience, you can quickly work out how to appeal to them and what you need to do to get them to buy, buy, buy.
2. They Looked to Current Trends
Looking at the feedback from your audience is great, but another reason that Pokemon Go went so viral is that it also tapped into global trends.
These trends included social media, mobile gaming and virtual reality.
All of these three things are super popular right now and the app creators were able to integrate all of them into Pokemon Go.
This is one of the reasons that the app has become so successful and will forever change the way that apps are built in the future.
According to Adam Hartung from Forbes Magazine-
“Nintendo’s leaders built on trends to deliver a product that fulfilled an unmet need- a game that was mobile and social.”
By taking advantage of these trends, Pokemon Go was also able to exceed customer expectations and introduce something that has never been done before.
They were also able to integrate trends that appeal to a wide range of users, which is why the app has also been popular amongst the young and old.
Your business can copy this model by ensuring that it stays up to date with the latest trends and keeps superseding customer’s expectations.
Understanding and implementing the latest trends also ensure that your products and services will stand the test of time and keep being relevant for your customers year after year.
As Hartung states-
“This (PokemonGo) is a story how any competitor can succeed, if they learn how to leverage trends to bring out new products for under-served customers, and avoid costly gladiator competition trying to defend and extend past products.”
3. Get on Social Media
Before social media existed every marketer knew the power of word of mouth marketing. Flash forward to the 21st century and social media is like word of mouth marketing but on steroids.
In order for your business to grow and really make it into the new age, it has to be present on at least 1-2 social media sites. In fact, not only does your business have to be present on these sites, it also needs to be engaged on these sites.
This means that your profiles should be regularly updated and your thoughts, opinions and replies should be easily visible.
One of the reasons that Pokemon Go has become so viral is due to its presence on social media.
The app didn’t go viral because people went to the app store and were looking for a game to play, the app went viral because most likely someone saw it on their social media feed.
According to sources, Pokemon Go used social media as their main marketing tactic. They also created a short trailer for the game which has currently been viewed 35 million times.
Again, this video went viral not because people were looking for it, but because it started appearing in people’s social feeds on sites like Facebook, Twitter and so on.
Bottom line-if you want to go viral, you need to be present on social media.
4. What Goes Up Must Come Down
It still remains to be seen whether Pokemon Go will stand the test of time or simply become a distant memory in the next few months.
This is the way the world works and smart businesses will prepare for this sort of decline. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you think negatively, but it does mean that you put some safeguards into place for when users do start to drop off.
In Pokemon Go’s case, this could include ensuring that your app remains updated and challenging for users, and listening to customer feedback and reviews.
For most businesses, staying on top of what your customers want and the latest trends is the best way to ensure that your products and services are never forgotten.
Pokemon Go has also cleared the way for more augmented reality products and it is likely, based on the success of the app that this is going to be the next biggest trend.
This brings us to the next part of this article-
How Your Own Business Can Cash In on Pokemon Go’s Success
If you want to cash in on the success of Pokemon Go, you have to understand how it works.
Pokemon Go uses a real world map with various locations that are marked as PokeStops. These stops can be anything from landmarks to businesses.
This means that as a business owner you could have hundreds if not, thousands of Pokemon Go players descending on your business every day.
Businesses that happen to be within close proximity to a PokeStop are already capitalising on this fact.
L’inizio Pizza bar in Manhattan have created Pokemon themed pizzas in order to appeal to hungry Pokemon Go players. This has resulted in the pizza shop experiencing a 30 percent increase in food and drink sales.
Other cafes and food stands have offered discounts to players and rewards depending on the level that they have achieved in the game.
One pet shelter is even encouraging players to volunteer to take their dogs out for a walk while they are playing Pokemon Go.
Even neighbourhood lemonade stands have been set up in popular areas in order to cash in on some of the success. And another business decided to start selling reflecting Pokemon Go pins that players could wear so cars can seem them in the evening.
With all this growing success, it probably won’t be long before businesses can start paying to become PokeStops.
While the app creators, Niantic have not released a statement about it as yet, if the success of the game continues it is likely that businesses will be able to elect their property as a PokeStop.
If your business is currently a PokeStop, there are so many things you can do to capitalise on the hype such as-
- Offer free samples of your products and services
- Give away free water, drinks, snacks or toys
- Give discounts to players or encourage players to purchase
- Lure people to your business using the app
How to Lure:
In the app there is a way to lure Pokemon to a particular area around the PokeStop. Even though this doesn’t seem like much, your business could stand to make huge profits.
To lure people to your business simply-
- Download the app
- Tap on the red Pokeball
- Tap shop
- Scroll and tap the purple, box shaped Lures to purchase (lure’s are around $1.20 per hour)
- Tap the red Pokeball again, then hit “items”
- Tap the purple lure to activate
Curious what this resulted in for one business?
According to a thread on Reddit-
“We did this last night and within minutes of dropping the lure, 30 people walked in. I own a pizzeria that is a PokeStop and I literally did this all day. I had a ton of kids and adults (mostly adults) come in for a slice of pizza and a drink until the lure ran out.”
Along with PokeStops there are also Pokemon Gyms. These are far more popular than PokeStops and are where players will go to battle Pokemon.
While you can’t buy Lures at Pokemon Gyms, you probably won’t need to, as it is likely that you will have players flocking to this area both day and night.
If your business is a Pokemon Gym you should definitely be capitalising on it by offering giveaways and getting involved with the teams and scores.
You can also use it to enhance your social media following and earn likes and shares across popular social networking sites.
One way to do this would be encouraging players to tag or share your business when they upload screenshots of the Pokemon they have found.
If your business is neither a Pokemon Gym or PokeStop, there is still a way that you can capitalise on the craze.
This involves taking your business on the road and setting up stalls, stands or advertising where the Pokemon players are going to be.
Get creative with how you will take your business on the road and work out a way to appeal to players.
You may also want to take advantage of places that have a cluster of PokeStops. In big cities, there are often three PokeStops on the same block, which means that more players are walking by at any given time.
Other ways that you can cash in on the success of the app include-
- Host a Pokemon Party: promote the event on social networks and schedule a specific time that players need to show up. Provide some benefit for those invited such as free food, discounts and prizes.
- Show Off Your Pokemon: players are fanatical about the type of Pokemon that they are able to collect. Work this into your business by offering a discount to customers that show off their Pokemon.
- Voice your opinions on social media: whether you think Pokemon Go is the coolest or dumbest thing to ever happen, voice your opinion on social media and get creative with it. This can help to draw attention to your business and may appeal to your targeted audience.
- Provide resources: if you have many Pokemon Go players in the area, consider providing resources such as places to charge their phones, water, shaded areas or even umbrellas. You may also want to open up your wi-fi to people passing by.
Along with experiencing some immediate opportunities to cash in on Pokemon Go, there is also a long term strategy as well, and that is Augmented Reality.
Pokemon Go has proven that people are interested in Augmented Reality and experts have even suggested that the new technology is expected to be worth $4 billion by 2018.
Augmented Reality is basically a blend of the real world mixed with the virtual world. This means that virtual overlays or 3D objects are directly placed into the real world and captured on your phone or tablet.
The first taste that the world had of Augmented Reality was with Google Glass and now it seems that it is making a big comeback thanks to Pokemon Go.
As a business owner, it may be time to start thinking about how you can implement augmented reality into your marketing campaigns, services and products.
Many companies have already started this process and are using Augmented Realty to help assist with product repairs, in educational games, in product packaging and in an industrial setting.
Some things that you can start doing to embrace the growing emergence of Augmented Reality include-
- Educating and training yourself and staff on the potential of Augmented Reality and how you can use it
- Create an Augmented Reality app or team up with an Augmented Reality startup to collaborate on a project together
- Keep up to date with the latest trends in Augmented Reality and track what your audience thinks about it
While it may be too early to understand where Augmented Reality is going to take us, if your business wants to be a pioneer for the future, it may be in your best interest to start working out how you can use this emerging technology.
After all, the Pokemon Go app has clearly proved that Augmented Reality is here to stay for the long term.
Whether you love the idea or hate it, there is no denying that the success of Pokemon Go is incredible.
In just a few short weeks, the app has gone on to do billions in revenue, proving the power of apps, social media and Augmented Reality.
There is a lot that all businesses can learn from this success and the journey is really only just beginning.
As Pokemon Go begins rolling out to different countries around the world, there is no saying what effect it is going to have.
One thing is for sure however, there is a lot for any business big or small, to gain from Pokemon Go, even if your brand has nothing to do with gaming or Pokemon.
This includes mimicking or studying the viral success of the app, using similar techniques in your own business and capitalising off PokeStops or places that players frequent.
Pokemon Go has also shown us that Augmented Reality is here to stay and is definitely the next big thing for the tech industry.
Keeping this in mind, now would be the perfect time to begin educating and learning about Augmented Reality and how you may be able to introduce it into your products and services.
If Augmented Reality is still a little too far out for your brand to consider, Pokemon Go is also an excellent reminder of the power of social media.
Their one video trailer has earned over 35 million views and this is all thanks to the power of social networking.
If Pokemon Go teaches you anything it is that being present and engaging on social platforms is paramount if you want to achieve success in the 21st century.