With the ever changing technology and new games being developed every day, which game are you obsessed with at the moment?
I’m obsessed with Pokémon Go. Our generation grew up watching Pokémon as kids. I am from India where Pokémon would air every day at 5 PM, at 4:45 PM I would be in front of the TV set waiting for the show to start not wanting to miss a single second. Every kid in this world who saw that show wanted to be a Pokémon trainer, our dream was ‘Gotta Catch ’em all’. For those of you who don’t know Pokémon, you can read about it here!
So what is it that makes Pokémon Go special? Well, it’s the fact that you can catch them all! Pokémon Go is an augmented reality gaming platform where you can catch hundreds of species of Pokémon. It is set in the real world and encourages players to go out and explore the surroundings.
How it all started:
Google and The Pokémon Company did an April Fool’s joke around Google Maps where Pokémon spontaneously appeared on Maps, which was tremendously successful. That is how Niantic team started developing Pokémon. The only marketing done by the company is the word-of-mouth or “buzz” marketing since it’s announced the product. So what has made Pokémon Go so famous? It’s the Segmenting, Targeting, and Positioning used by the company.
According to Iacobucci, “Customers vary in their levels of involvement with the purchase category (how near and dear it is to their hearts).” Segmenting is the breakdown of your TGA. Pokémon’s TGA is done by focusing on psychological segmenting technique, targeting those who have grown up religiously watching Pokémon and loving every aspect of it. Even though Pokémon Go is making us revisit our childhood, is it all that has made the game so successful? There wouldn’t be such an expansive market if they had not played on the powerful human urge of treasure hunting! Pokémon Go is completely segmented under the innate human curiosity for discovery. The Pokémon are the treasure and players have to hunt them, thus creating a new market: people who don’t care about Pokémon but love geocaching.
The targeting done by Pokémon as compared to its competitors (Candy Crush Saga or Angry Birds) is the feeling of being lucky. We can see the competitive advantage of Pokémon Go over its competitors below:
While Candy Crush Saga was very successful in recent times it has lost its attractiveness and the rewarding sensation. Angry birds have been able to retain its position with high rewards and high attractiveness due to its adaption into different fiction themes. Pokémon Go has managed to attain the highest attractiveness and rewarding sensation in just a month of its release.
Example, I want a Pikachu very badly but my hunt is not successful and all of a sudden one day I catch it. What do I feel then? I feel lucky! I feel my day is going to be good. It’s a psychological reward for me. This reward is something that attracts users to play the game whether they are attracted to the idea of catching Pokémon or not.
Positioning is the way you position your product in the mind of consumers. Pokémon Go has positioned itself as a game that helps you fulfill your childhood dream; the initial release of the game was only available in a few countries, but due to the popularity it has been illegally downloaded in many different countries. It was offered as a free to download game with in-app purchases available, despite that it has earned almost US$10 Million every day.
Image: Pokémon Go’s income stats. Source: inshorts (App for Android)
The number of users has just been increasing since the launch of the games. Attached below are the stats of the game:
The USP of Pokémon Go is the created perceived benefit of getting sedentary people up and moving. The interactive nature of the games induces interaction with people in real life.
After the wide success of Pokémon Go, there has been an emergence of Pokéstop Marketing.
This kind of marketing involves using the Pokémon game to promote the individual’s business. This not only promotes the business but also promotes the game Pokémon Go by inviting people who play the game for some freebies, making people play it. Melbourne has a lot of restaurants and telecom providers giving special benefits to the players of the game.
What Pokémon Go has managed to achieve without any traditional marketing is, it has spread its product only by using the consumers to market the product for them. In a span of two weeks it was able to generate an income of $35 Million.
- Iacobucci, D. (n.d.). MM4. Mason, Ohio : South-Western: Cengage Learning.