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What can the incredible success of Pokémon Go teach us about digital business? It pays to combine innovation with safety and the right technology partnership.
Don’t laugh at those giddy folks wandering the streets playing Pokémon Go. Rather than seeing them as silly gamers taking part in a fad, view them as beacons of opportunity. Together they are engaged consumers thirsty for technology that fuses their need for low-risk experiential entertainment, with technology they own and a fantasy game they love. That confluence can likewise be your roadmap to success.
Stripped to its bare elements, there’s nothing earth shattering about the Pokémon Go. That’s the beauty. This is not a breakthrough in VR technology, and yet it does break boundaries—never has a mobile game caused so much interaction with the real world, or spawned such creative marketing.
The genius lies in how the application takes available technologies and weaves them together in an inventive way, while adding a new social dimension. While gamers often play in isolation or in virtual groups, Pokémon Go transcends these conventions expanding into an entirely new real-world community construct leveraging fantastic geo-location. Stuck inside for so long, the outside world beckoned, and Pokémon Go was there to answer.
From an application perspective, it combined a popular fantasy game with a good UI, inventive geo-targeting courtesy of Google, mobile technology and omnipresent smartphones. It comprises a powerful mix of past nostalgia, present hardware and a futuristic dose of augmented reality that reaches virtually all consumers. Zero barrier to entry was a huge plus to fuel the craze.
The wild success of this game has more than doubled the market value of Nintendo, adding over $21 billion. The moment McDonalds Japan announced they’d have Pokemon Happy Meals, their stock jumped 23%—and the game isn’t even out in Japan. While it can be difficult to predict the twists and turns in the world of app dev, it pays to be ready with the right technology and the right partnerships. Hitting a home run like this can have serious financial results.
So how do businesses extract learning from this phenomenon and apply those to transform their own fortunes?
From the board room to the home office, those tasked with development need to stay on the lookout for their next opportunity. Overnight success is rarely achieved in a day. It is the hard-fought result of innovative thinking, planning, a fantastic technology foundation and a little bit of luck. Best to put your fortunes in the hands of the right technology partner. Lady luck can be fickle.
An all-around fabulous marketing veteran of corporate and nonprofit sectors, Paulette is an enthusiastic champion of the written word, and has a strong background in marketing writing, strategy and communications, and was also an award-winning media buyer-planner for top brands.
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