As a franchise, Pokémon has been around for 20 years. Started in 1996 as a creation of Satoshi Tajiri and a managed partnership between Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures, it quickly became a worldwide phenomenon. Though the excitement surrounding Pokémon had died down in the last few years, there’s no denying that it has experienced a recent surge in popularity thanks to a single smartphone game by the name of Pokémon GO.
While Pokémon GO is just one game, there’s no doubt that it has influenced multiple industries. Not only has the augmented reality game changed the framework of possibility when it comes to computing and technology development, but people may be surprised to learn that the game has had great influence in the marketing world as well. Read on to learn more about all of the ways that Pokémon GO is influencing brand marketing and changing the way that people think about business.
Catching The Locals: Gaining Foot Traffic With PokeStops and Lure Modules
People who are worried about the smartphone revolution cite concerns about how people are forgoing real-world activities in order to immerse themselves in a screen-based virtual reality. One of the best things about Pokémon GO is that, while it is definitely a virtual game, it based on what developers refer to as “augmented reality”. This means that the game has virtual elements, but it is played out in the real world.
As the most popular augmented reality game on the market, Pokémon GO is providing so many benefits and opening up a new world of possibilities for local business owners. Some of the ways that Pokémon GO is influencing local businesses include:
PokeStops: One New York City pizzeria owner reported that business has been up 75 percent since the release of the Pokémon GO game. This is because his restaurant is considered a “PokeStop”, which is a place where people playing the game can collect rare Pokémon characters and other items that can improve their accounts. Business owners or their patrons can request to become a PokeStop, which could potentially bring people into businesses they may have never visited otherwise, allowing the business owner to gain more exposure in the market.
Lure Modules: A Lure Module is an in-game micro-purchase that anyone can make to attract lots of Pokémon to a PokeStop. Business owners can definitely take advantage of this if they have become a PokeStop or have one nearby. Buying a Lure Module has the potential to bring even more foot traffic into the business, possibly driving Pokémon trainers to visit frequently to catch all the Pokémon they possibly can.
Business owners can also get creative about their marketing, partnering with other business locations that have become PokeStops and doing a bit of “cross-advertising” between them all. In order to accomplish this goal, business owners can do something as simple as giving players a discount at their location when they show their receipt from a partner business. Businesses in some locations have even created bar and restaurant crawls based on the game, which encourages players to visit and try multiple restaurants in one local area. These Pokémon-influenced brand marketing ideas present a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Catching Their Eye: Using Creative Campaigns To Capture Attention
Because most people never expect the worlds of gaming and business to find common ground, Pokémon GO-based advertising campaigns often catch people’s attention quickly. While business owners will need written legal permission to use any copyrighted images or text from the Pokémon franchise, here are two clever ways that they can mesh their brand marketing with the Pokémon GO phenomenon without running into any trouble:
Clever Campaigns: Some businesses have figured out how to incorporate Pokémon language into their marketing campaigns by using some variation of the “catch ‘em all” tagline. Others have been able to link the benefits of their products to the hunt for Pokémon (such as the need for good walking shoes or cool beverages while hunting them outside).
Location Is Key: Advertising placement is just as important as the look and feel of a campaign. Business owners can try placing billboards and other types of signs near PokeStops in their location to gain maximum visibility and help trainers make memorable cognitive associations.
Catching The Lesson: What Businesses Can Learn From The Game
In thinking about How Pokémon GO Is Influencing Brand Marketing, there are a few lessons that business owners can learn that have the potential to put them ahead of the curve when it comes to advertising. Business owners need to recognize that:
Inbound marketing is key. Becoming a PokeStop or using Lure Modules to attract Pokémon Trainers is essentially using something people want to get them into a business. Inbound marketing is definitely the future of advertising and is a great, low-friction way to increase traffic.
The best marketing is targeted and personalized. Using Pokémon GO to market a business is about more than just jumping on a bandwagon. It’s showing customers that a business owner has found common ground with them and cares about what they like.
Business owners should be creative and do the unexpected in order to gain more exposure. No one typically expects an auto repair shop or restaurant to get in on a Pokémon craze, and it definitely draws attention when things like that happen.
Pokémon GO is far from being “just another game”. It’s a cultural phenomenon that has affected and will continue to influence every arena of life – including business and marketing. As consumers have already seen, embracing Pokémon GO and its players has the potential to not only inject a little fun into marketing campaigns, but also bring new customers into their business. For business owners who want to use Pokémon GO to boost their marketing efforts, get in touch with the team at Denver Web Design and Internet Marketing to discover how doing so can help them catch the attention of their target audience as they continue to catch their favorite Pokémon across the globe.