Management / Brand Intelligence: The genius marketing strategy behind Pokemon GO

Brand Intelligence: The genius marketing strategy behind Pokemon GO

Pokemon GO has taken the world by storm. People have been searching their neighbourhoods for the monsters. It turns out Pokemon are everywhere: in our houses, cars, offices, parks, shops, theatres - you name it, they are there.

Little Pokemon have also been appearing in the Business Reporter office. A work colleague told me he had caught one in the kitchen, while our office summer party happened to converge on a PokeStop where monsters were on the run.

Slowly it was discovered at the party who played Pokemon GO and who did not. I, never having played the game before, soon became educated to what the game was all about after a monster called Drowzee landed on my lap and was promptly caught by a colleague.

People have been out and about so much catching the monsters the game has even been credited to giving economies around the world a mini boost.

Businesses have been using the game to lure people into their stores. Some are offering smartphone charging areas for Pokemon GO players, while others have been buying Lure Modules to let loose the monsters in their stores.

McDonald’s share price in Japan jumped after the fast food chain formed a partnership with the company to turn their restaurants into PokeStops or PokeGyms.

Initially, Nintendo’s share price surged after investors thought it would benefit from the game due to its stake in the Pokemon GO’s maker Niantic, but then dropped after Nintendo said its benefit would be limited.

Not a day goes by without some sort of story appearing in the news. Pokemon GO has become so popular, according to real time statistics from the AppInstitute, every few hours a million people download the game.

Its branding strategy is simple it keeps people engaged through gamification. It challenges people to find the monsters through visiting different locations and gives them a reward once they are found.

The game has also given people a feel-good factor through bringing back childhood memories. Pokemon was originally big in the 1990s and people went crazy over the video games, series and films. By playing the game it is bringing back these fond memories for some.

Whether you play the game or not, Pokemon GO has made a big impact around the world. The strategy behind the game is nothing but pure genius. Pokemon GO has achieved what a lot of brands can only dream of.


Photo © Morgan (CC BY 2.0). Cropped.

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