Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm and that is just putting it mildly. The online traffic and buzz it has created is a whole new level of insanity. Tweets about the gaming app have taken over tweets about the Brexit. But what made it the overnight success story?!
This is perhaps the perfect example of how to target market segments. What the developers of the app have done is to take the growing concept of augmented reality and apply it to the real world through the use of the most popular anime of the past 50 years.
The makers have targeted teens and young adults considering that these are the people who have watched the cartoon in their childhood and given them a chance to relive their childhood.
Let’s take a look at how it became a trendsetter and how the game boosted the concept of augmented reality.
BBC even made an infographic about the number of calories (or sweets) you can burn playing the game. Although this could be an independent research but it also turned out to be a marketing campaign since it taps into the health conscious segment of the society.
The games use an application that even people who don’t play games on their smartphones are familiar with: Global Positioning System (GPS), which eliminates another adoption barrier for new users.
Use what most everyone is already using, and introduce a layer of technology that won’t take them too far out of their comfort zone. This reduces adoption barriers especially during early launch, when gathering critical mass is essential for word-of-mouth or “buzz” marketing.
It may be playing into a generation that grew up watching the cartoon, but it would not have gotten as expansive a market as it did if it did not also tap into a powerful human urge for treasure hunting. Casting the Pokémon characters as treasure that people could hunt allowed Pokémon GO to capture a new market: people who may not care for Pokémon, but love geocaching.
Everyone is talking about the buying power of Millennials, but Pokemon Go really demonstrates the impact Millennials can have on the success of a product. 25-35-year-old account for the majority of Pokemon Go players, which isn’t too surprising considering Pokemon was originally released in 1995, and 90s nostalgia is huge right now with Millennials. Pokemon Go also taps into the traits that make the Millennial generation tick – obsession with mobile technology, socialization, community, and new experiences.
After attracting these various different market segments, there is the obvious bandwagon effect which is critical to the success of any business plan.
The Pokémon Go phenomenon is not only about adopting technology or using new, cutting-edge features; it is also about designing a sticky experience that is enabled by the ways customers are changing.
In her recent report, Julie Ask says, “Digital business professionals must ensure that the services their customer uses are simple and contextually relevant.” Julie notes that using augmented reality to connect with consumers in the long term will be successful “as long as the experience drives the immediacy, simplicity, and context that consumers need.” Business leaders must track how their customers’ attitudes, demands, and desires evolve in order to innovate with appropriate speed, engage customers in context, and win consumers’ hearts faster than they can say “Pikachu.”
Pokémon Go left Twitter in the dust. Now it’s gunning for SnapChat (and Google Maps!)
So what’s next? At its current rate of growth, Pokémon GO is on track to pass Snapchat within a couple of days on Android.
Plus, as unbelievable as it sounds, Pokémon GO Android could surpass Google Maps itself as the largest user of Alphabet’s mapping data.
It’s too soon to call Pokémon GO a home run for Niantic and Nintendo
Despite what Nintendo’s share price might suggest, it’s too early to declare Pokémon GO a win for the business. Nintendo have a minority stake in Pokémon GO, and will pocket just a small slice of the game’s profits.
History hasn’t always been kind to games that generate tremendous hype. Back in 2012, Draw Something consumed the public consciousness for a few weeks before its user numbers dropped like a stone. Nintendo’s last mobile game, Miitomo, met a similar fate, finding early success that was ultimately unsustainable.
Various reasons of the astronomical success of Pokemon Go have been explained HERE and how it can stand the test of time like other Applications (WhatsApp, SnapChat etc) is up to the level of innovation and how frequently the makers keep updating it.
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3. Splash Media. (2016). Healthcare Marketing and Pokémon GO Benefits. [online] Available at: https://splashmedia.com/digital-marketing-blog/healthcare-care-pokemon-go/ [Accessed 1 Aug. 2016].
4. Scott Bales. (2016). We’ve seen Pokemon GO Before – Scott Bales. [online] Available at: http://scottebales.com/weve-seen-pokemon-go/ [Accessed 1 Aug. 2016].