As people around the United States gather at parks and other public spaces to capture and train their augmented-reality creatures in PokemonGo, the three companies responsible for the the mobile app are probably having a difficult time counting all of their money.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, PokemonGo is a mobile game that allows players to catch Pokemon in the real world using their phone or mobile device, and it’s quickly become a cultural phenomenon. In less than 2 weeks it already has more active users than Twitter. It’s parent company, Nintendo, has seen it’s stock rise 35% since launch.
That is objectively insane. With anything that sparks a legitimate social phenomenon, it illuminates things about our culture that we had perhaps forgot or were unaware of.
PokemonGo has shed light on things we can all take note of, especially as it relates to branding.
1. Nostalgia is a winner
Psychological studies have found that most people, when looking back on life, remember the positives more than the negatives. The “glory” days so to speak. We look fondly back on when we were young remembering how uninhibited we were, instead of the constant diet of Ramen noodles.
We look back on childhood the same way, and for millennials, Pokemon was a staple of their childhoods. It was a social craze then, and now that it’s come back and allowed them to literally relive their childhood in the real world.
You see beverage companies doing this a lot as well. Beer brands are going back to their 70’s cans, reminding people of their younger years drinking cheap beer. Soda’s too are reverting back to packaging of yesteryear, enticing people to grab the same can of pop they did in the 60’s.
What you can learn: Can you tap into the found memories of your customers past in some way? If so, you can create an emotional, nostalgic driven connection with your customers.
2. People crave a new experience
Video games are nothing new. Mobile games are nothing new. Pokemon games aren’t new either, so why is PokemonGo such a phenomenon?
Because it’s a brand new experience.
The game makes you actually go outside, walk around and search for Pokemon. Soon gamers will go from pasty white overweight basement dwellers to tan, shredded outdoorsmen. It’s gotten people who don’t usually go outside, to go outside.
It’s a tremendous tool for exercise because it doesn’t feel like exercise. Exercise is not the point of the game, but merely a tremendous byproduct.
Imagine LOVING the gym? That’s what this game is.
It’s also a social game because to do well at the game you have to go to pokestops, gyms, and hotspots where there are lots of pokemon. The nuances of the game are superfluous to this discussion, but what it means is that when playing the game, it’s almost assured you are going to bump into someone else (in the real world) who is also playing the game. It’s quite the pleasant experience actually. Instead of an awkward encounter with a stranger, it’s like going to a meet up filled with people who have the same interest as you do. Small talk has never been easier or more enjoyable.
What you can learn: Focus on creating a memorable experience that people love. You may not have be in the video game industry which is inherently experience-based, but you can create an experience that is memorable in your own industry.
3. “Fun For The Whole Family” Is A Powerful Force
The family unit has long been a lucrative demographic for brands and advertisers, and PokemonGo has tapped into it. Close you minds and imagine:
Something that Dad likes
Something that Mom likes
Something that the children like
Is enormously fun
Can be played anywhere, anytime
Sounds too good to be true, except it’s not.
What You Can Learn: The family unit is a lucrative market segment. There is money in making families lives easier, happier, healthier, etc…
Whenever you are interacting with a brand in some way, ask yourself if you enjoy the experience or not, and pinpoint why. Adopt the good within your own brand experience, and make note of ways you could make a bad experience better.
In the meantime, give PokemonGo a download, wonder around town catching virtual monsters, and if you find Mewtwo, give us a call!