Nintendo has had a bit of a hard time of late.
Trying to keep up with the x-box and PlayStation has taken its toll on the brand in the UK, but I am happy to see that they are back with a Bang having rejuvenated one of their biggest successes (after Mario, of course, …no? Just me then!)
‘Pokémon Go’ fever hit the UK last week, and while people are downloading and frantically collecting Pokémons akin to a gym rush in January, it will be those that stick around and keep going that will ultimately win and reap the rewards. And as the game evolves, I am sure that Nintendo will too.
So what can business learn from Pokemon Go fever?
When you are trying to evolve and look forward, it does no harm to look back and evaluate what has worked in the past. By doing this and making updates and improvements, you can revive an old favourite which satisfies loyal audiences of days gone by as well as capturing the attention of a whole new generation. While we all expect to invest in new product development, it’s important to note that it can be less costly to redevelop an existing concept in comparison to starting from scratch.
Move with the times.
Nintendo has previously released Pokémon games on all their consoles and handhelds. The game changer is developing the game as an app; it means that a previously untapped audience can get involved without purchasing any hardware. Evaluate your audience and any cultural changes. Look for new ways to reach them. In 2016 it is estimated that there are 4.4 billion video games and more than 693 million hardware units globally while it is estimated that smartphone ownership will reach 2.08 billion in 2016. I’ll say it again. Smart move. And AR. Bravo, this just shows how gamification and AR can work.
The barrier to entry.
I have mentioned that being an app increases the chances of download, but making it free it just genius! If you can offer a promotion that generates loyal followers without them having to commit to anything, then do it and capitalise – think of the long game. This could be as simple as inviting people to join a closed group of like-minded people that you support, which now and again, in between the free advice, you promote your paid for services, products or events too.
Take a gamble.
I don’t think that there are many other games like this, if they are they’re brand new or in development. The AR technology that Pokemon Go uses makes it a real live interactive game, and in this scenario, ground-breaking = gamble. With innovation comes a share of bad press. I’m sure the security of having your location settings on all the time will be discussed. Scaremongers will certainly try and put your fire out, but if you don’t break the mould and be the first, someone else will and you’ll be kicking yourself.How is this relevant to a smaller business? The gamble could be as simple as trying out the newest social media network, trialling new software or launching a new service. Remember how Nintendo have done it… if possible take all financial risk out of the equation for your customers, even if just for a limited time. You’ll get more buy-in and if your clientele is happy you’ll have their attention and fingers crossed ongoing business.
Consistency is key.
‘Pokemon Go’ requires the user to log-in consistently in and play. Users must continue to come back so expect the game to evolve. Once the game is established, expect adverts as businesses buy up the AR landscape. Nintendo will have a long-term plan to monetise the game and keep people coming back, and you need one too. A content strategy alongside a robust business plan can help you keep your messaging and communications on brand, regular and leave your audience looking forward to the next one.
So how can your brand be more like the Pokémon revival? Whether you Go Go Go, or don’t, you cannot deny it was a clever, well throughout move from Nintendo and it’s partners.