Not only are the social media sites inundated with it but so are the streets. Shut-in gamer kids are out to play, millennials are living their childhood fantasy, people are traversing their surroundings and exploring, I have found my inspiration to walk an extra mile and you probably are poking one monster right now.
Pokémon Go is an incarnation of the 90’s Pokémon madness smartly developed by Niantic with Google, Nintendo, and The Pokémon Company to make a revolution in the gaming era (Niantic labs, 2016).
It is GPS-assisted augmented reality game which provides an exhilarating experience of capturing, battling and training the cutesy monsters called Pokémon (Jilani, 2016).
It’s been less than a month since it was released and the Pokémon have already cast their spell making it resoundingly popular.
Strategy of Product development by Ansoff
Product development – This involves launching new products in existing markets. It involves analyzing how new products can be aligned with customer needs more closely outperforming the competition (Business case studies, 2016).
In April 2014, Google unveiled a challenge of hunting down Pokémon using google maps. It made the crowds go berserk. Niantic used this opportunity to prime our impressionable minds and developed Pokémon go (Jilani, 2016).
Introducing a new product in the market is not a cake walk. For a new product to become a profitable business, customer engagement and product differentiation are vital (Mons Freng et al., 2011). Using customer’s feedback in product development enables the company to co-create value, fix glitches and make the product better to suit customer’s taste. Additionally, it also builds a relationship with the engaged population that works wonders for the company (Mons Freng et al., 2011).
In a world of continuous product delivery and developments, Pokémon go made a smart move of continuously engaging the audience from last year and kept unveiling layer by layer keeping alive the suspense and anticipation.
They have been making the most of it by enthusiastically testing the features of the game in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the United States. They have received a great response via this field testing which guided them to refine various features of the game (Jilani, 2016).
Product differentiation is offering something unique to the customers in comparison to the competitors. This also breaks down to knowing what the customer wants, what is lacking in the products produced by our competition and how to make a product turn out to be different in a way that is in line with the customer’s preference (Mons Freng et al., 2011). The minds behind Pokémon go pursued this success key to product development by providing a game that not only augments reality but also involves a Pokémon experience which was once just on TV or cards.
Nintendo met the needs of potential customers and brought in massive profits for the company.
It captivated the attention of people who love socializing and who have the innate desire of exploring.
Moreover, they made use of the socio-cultural shift towards staying healthy and fit to their advantage. It merged gaming and health together to allure more audiences towards the product (Science Daily, 2016).
The gameplay of marketing
The line between product and marketing is slim. They used the game mechanics as the tool for marketing. The game takes players to different real world locations called poké stops where people meet other people leading to the word of mouth marketing (Nucleo, 2016). It also lends itself to screen capture your encounters with the Pokémons which lead to people sharing and creating buzz on the social media sites.
The game is made free to download on both iOS and Android at the same time, even while using the famous Pokémon brand the growth of company could not have soared so high so soon if they had not used the accessibility factor (Jilani, 2016). They made it as easy as pie to get started soon turning into the newer version of Shakespearean world of all men and women being mere players.
“Our intent was to make a platform for many different experiences,” The CEO of Pokémon go says (Weinberger, 2016).
Niantic and the Pokémon Company targeted to bring life to the dormant laying dream of many people who grew up during the late 90’s when Pokémon took over the television shows, comics, swap cards and video games. It worked as means of feeding their nostalgia, a product that brings their childhood dream one step closer to reality.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
In a nutshell, Pokémon go’s skyrocketing success strapped the complexity of marketing strategies, revealing insights into the customer psyche and key marketing lessons.
Business case studies. (2016). Ansoff’s Matrix. [online] Available at: http://businesscasestudies.co.uk/portakabin/achieving-growth-through-product-development/ansoffs-matrix.html#ixzz4FCBXRCPN [Accessed 24 Jul. 2016].
Jilani, H. (2016). Pokémon Go. [online] FunnelSavvy. Available at: http://www.funnelsavvy.com/pokemon-go-viral-marketing/ [Accessed 24 Jul. 2016].
MONS FRENG, S., HAUGLAND, S. A., GRØNHAUG, K. & HAMMERVOLL, T. 2011. Marketing strategy and customer involvement in product development. European Journal of Marketing, 45, 513-530.
Niantic labs. (2016). Blog | Niantic. [online] Available at: https://www.nianticlabs.com/blog/ [Accessed 24 Jul. 2016].
Nucleo. (2016). Gotta Cache ‘Em All! | núcleo. [online] Available at: http://www.nucleo.com.au/gotta-cache-em-all/ [Accessed 24 Jul. 2016].
ScienceDaily. (2016). Health benefits of Pokémon Go. [online] Available at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160715181715.htm [Accessed 24 Jul. 2016].
Weinberger, M. (2016). The CEO behind ‘Pokémon Go’ explains why it’s become such a phenomenon. [online] Business Insider Australia. Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com.au/pokemon-go-niantic-john-hanke-interview-2016-7?r=US&IR=T [Accessed 24 Jul. 2016].