It was installed more times in a week than Tinder was in 5 years. It has more daily active users than Twitter. And in 2 days of its launch Nintendo’s value surged 36%! Essentially, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know I can only be talking about Pokémon GO!
But what can we learn from Pokémon GO about Marketing and new technology?
The “next big thing” isn’t always the newest thing
History has taught us that the people or companies who rise to prominence with big ideas and have the biggest impact do not always have the idea first, they just do it the best. Pokémon GO essentially recycles an old franchise from 1996 and pairs it with Augmented Reality (AR), with the first functioning AR systems and Virtual Reality (VR) systems having appeared in the 1990’s. Also, before Pokémon GO, Niantic Labs had already developed Ingress - the foundation for Pokémon GO.
Don’t think, just do. And then iron out the kinks later on.
How many times have you waited for the “right moment” to do something? And how often has that “right time” that you were waiting for actually arrived in the way you wanted it to? Yeah… Chances are it doesn’t happen as often as you’d like.
Since its launch, Pokémon GO has had a lot of server problems (not surprising considering how quickly it’s grown and how many people are using it), but a lot of us have stuck with it or even just initially downloaded it because of the collaboration between a great franchise and technology which is still filtering into the mainstream.
Never underestimate the power of your product
There is a lot of hype around Pokémon GO for a reason, and it is more to do with Pokémon itself than Nintendo as a brand. In my honest opinion, the graphics on Pokémon GO aren’t really that great, it’s glitchy and I have almost spent as much time waiting for the loading screen as I have playing the game. But I’m still here because of the novelty and nostalgia for Pokémon. And there is a great lesson in this…
Don’t give away all your cookies at once
Nintendo could have sat on this idea and waited until it was perfect to launch it, or they could have just gone for it and given people something to look forward to once they started updating the game. It’s the same with a lot of Apple products – They could give you the best technology in one go, but they have more to gain by releasing a few updates at a time to keep us buying into the product. This is what will keep gamers hooked on the app.
AR and VR will go mainstream
Are you ready for it? Wearable technology such as the Apple watch and Google Glass still come with hefty price tags for a lot of people, but when free AR and VR games are generating this much demand, it won’t be long before more companies start producing great AR and VR games. Don’t ignore the trend, the next big thing could come from you.
So, will the hype from Pokémon GO last and do the above points guarantee success?
Although Pokémon GO has started to taper off as people grow frustrated with the lagging servers, as concerns about privacy and safety increase and as the novelty wears off, there will be fans who stick with this app. Success for Nintendo cannot be guaranteed but with the promise of the Pokémon GO Plus wearable that notifies you there are Pokémon nearby it looks like Nintendo have considered a strategy to follow the app up with. As long as they can continue updating and improving Pokémon GO, capitalising on its initial success, the excitement around it won’t be going away anytime soon!
Shanara Hibbert | Social Media Executive | 25th July 2016