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9 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn from the Pokémon Go Phenomenon

Today it’s hard to find a person who hasn’t at least heard of Pokémon Go, a game by Pokémon Company and Niantic. This mobile app has achieved the dream of millions of entrepreneurs, which is an overnight success that is nothing short of stunning. Released in July 2016, today Pokémon Go is the #1 downloaded app on AppStore and makes $1 million daily on this portal alone.

Lessons to Learn Out of Pokemon Go Phenomenon

It’s estimated that the app has already earned Nintendo (major investor in both Niantic and Pokémon Company) over $7 billion. Considering such an overwhelming result, it’s impossible to argue that every entrepreneur can learn a few lessons from Pokémon Go.

9 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn from the Pokémon Go Phenomenon

#1. Advertising Can Fit Directly into Consumers’ Lives

The innovative gameplay of Pokémon Go allows businesses to bring customers directly to their doors. From a marketing point of view, this equals delivering the ultimate user experience. It is all because you entertain, engage, and ‘deposite’ the customer to the source of product/service.

Implementing this technology in advertising means that you can transfer the efficiency of online ads (click and get directly to the store) into real life. Pokémon Go is definite proof that the augmented reality technology is a great interest for many. Therefore, getting onto this bandwagon fast might be the push your business needs for a breakthrough.

#2. Mobile Apps Must Be Done Right

No matter how incredible Pokémon Go is, it’s not a perfect application, and people are starting to see it. While during its first weeks it attracted players by being completely different to what they are used to, now the interest in the game starts to decrease. Numerous defects and bugs affect this rate.

It teaches us that the reliability of software is vital for maintaining the consumers’ interest. Especially when one doesn’t have the edge of an instant success backed up with a Nintendo-financed marketing campaign. You must always assure the quality of a mobile app before launching it. Have the solution developed by experienced pros and test it rigorously.

#3. You Can Make an Entertainment to Fit Everyone

All kinds of people love Pokémon Go, from 4-year olds to retired seniors, to busy and harassed office workers. The secret of such a universal appeal is the simplicity of the app and its ability to deliver different forms of gratification.

True, a great part of this success lies in the fact that Pokémons have been around for years and developed a huge fanbase of varied ages. This is what you should aim at with your own products/services. Try to develop something complex so that every consumer group can find something of interest.

#4. Your Content Must Tell a Story in Every Detail

Pokémon Go doesn’t only tell a general story of little Pokémons going on some epic quest, every character, location, and even item in the game has a story of its own. Layers themselves are left to combine these elements into their own, unique plotline.

Try applying the same principles to your content marketing. Provide your customers with extensive information about important details of your business and allows them some room to make their own conclusions.

#5. Use Upgrades with Impunity

One of the best things about Pokémon Go is that this app is free to download, which means everyone can try it out. However, if you want truly enjoy the game, you’ll have to invest some real money as all important upgrades come with a small price.

This is a great tactic for promoting any product or service. Give your customers a ‘taste’ of what they can have, but only enough to catch their interest. This should get them hooked and search for more.

#6. Connect with the Consumers on the Emotional Level

According to studies, emotional advertisements generate over half the response as compared to a regular flashy ad. Pokémon Go is a game that gets players emotionally involved in caring for their virtual pets, which is one of the vital elements of its success.

You also should seek to establish a deeper connection with your customers. Strong positive emotions would help build a closer emotional tie as people will associate your business with happiness. Negative feelings, on the other hand, are great for catching attention. You can use it for promoting some types of content, for example, when used in shocking, outrageous titles.

#7. Attract New Customers Using Current Trends

Many businesses are using Pokémon Go now to draw in people by creating Pokémon stations and similar services. Even door stickers with friendly little beasts and words ‘You can catch Pokémon here’ are enough to boost the interest from potential customers.

These are a few examples of a way to use the current viral trend to your benefit without copyright infringement. Research your targeted customers and try to incorporate their favorite pop culture elements into your marketing strategy.

#8. Augmented Reality Is the Future

VR playstations are a hit today. The staggering 25 million downloads of Pokémon Go within the first couple of days since its launch prove that modern people are interested in augmented reality.

This technology is still relatively new, so it attracts interest as well as allows a lot of room for creativity. If possible, you can try and develop your own augmented reality products to boost customer engagement.

#9. Patience Is the Key to Success

You can learn the final lesson of Pokémon Go Phenomenon by actually playing the game. It states that you can’t catch all of the best virtual beasts within an hour of installing the app. Hunting them takes time, effort, and a lot of planning.

It’s the same with any business, and even projects that seem to go viral within minutes take a great deal of preparation. Therefore, you shouldn’t chase the dream of miraculous instant success. Instead prepare a solid foundation for your business progress.

Learn from the Best, but Be Creative

It’s an indisputable fact that Pokémon Go is a fantastic app and its phenomenal success is both an inspiration and learning material for every entrepreneur. However, every business is unique, so you should adapt any marketing practices and techniques that amaze you from Nintendo into something that would work for your specific situation.

Do you agree or disagree with this? Have any lessons of your own that you see in the Pokémon Go phenomenon?

Please, share your thoughts in the comments!

Image: Pokemom Go


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I graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University in 2008. Nowadays I am an entrepreneur and independent journalist. My sphere of interests includes startups, information technologies and how these ones may be implemented in the sphere of education. I have written approximately 2000 articles covering mentioned subjects. Two years ago, I founded a startup dedicated to e-education that aggregates and presents in convenient way information concerning possibilities to study all over the web. Furthermore, it offers several exclusive free courses. Before, I used to work as a Marketing Manager for 4 years in big US IT company. Last two years I was working in Google as a Business Associate. http://www.melissaburns.me/

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