If you’ve been driving down the street, watching the news, or talked to a friend (maybe even our Creative Director…), you’ve probably heard about the recent Pokémon Go craze that’s taken the nation by storm. There seem to be three schools of thought on this recent development:
“No. I’m an adult.”
“This is the best thing ever!”
“What’s a Pokey-man?”
I was talking with one of my Crossfit coaches recently and he said, “It was like all of my childhood dreams came true. I used to play Pokémon on my Gameboy when I was younger but now I can use the camera on my phone and it feels real.”
For those who aren’t familiar with Pokémon, don’t go anywhere; we promise there’s a reason to our madness in this blog. But first we need to give you a tiny bit of background. The answer to the question of “what’s a pokey-man?” is this: there are all kinds of elemental-type critters running around the world and you, as a Pokémon trainer, are trying to catch as many as you can. Gotta catch ‘em all, as it were.
I was listening to the Woody Show on the radio this morning and they said that back in its heyday, Candy Crush had 20 million players in the U.S within one year. To help put that into perspective, Pokémon Go has 21 million players in less than two weeks. In the United States alone. Even your local chamber has joined in on the fun (because one of the perks of working in a historical landmark is that your office is a PokéStop).
Now, for some of you, I’m sure you’re asking the question, “What does this have to do with me, professionally?” Well, a major aspect behind Pokémon Go is that, in order to play, you need to utilize your phone’s GPS; translation, you need to get moving around your neighborhood. And you know a good place for people to get moving to? Your business.
The Harvard Business Review recently published an article focusing on the business aspects of Pokémon Go, suggesting that it’s appealing because it creates a touchpoint.
“Already the fastest-growing mobile game in US history, Pokémon Go’s astonishing popularity highlights how profoundly touchpoints—any interaction between your customer and your offer—define and design user experience. Much of Go’s global appeal comes from an augmented reality sensibility that literally and figuratively transforms real-world environments into digital playgrounds.”
And that seems to be the biggest reason why people love it, because it is, essentially, a reward system encouraging you to explore your community, connect with your neighbors, and visit local businesses.
Today’s expectations for business are different than they used to be. Because of the advancements in technology, or just innovative thinking—Snapchat has filters that work with your camera, why not put a Pokémon in it and have someone throw a ball at it?—people are craving instant gratification, like touchpoints.
Amazon’s Dash Buttons are also as a type of touchpoint. A Dash Button is “a Wi-Fi connected device that reorders your favorite product with the press of a button,” so literally, it is a button in your house. No need to go online, no need to place a new order, simply pick your often-used products from the Amazon catalog, program it into your account, and click the button whenever you’re about to run out. Need more coffee? Click. Ordered. Life changed. A literal touchpoint. A few other touchpoint examples are: personalized Facebook ads, Yelp check-in offers, and (back to our regularly scheduled programming) Pokémon Go.
So, what’s the point of this and how can you use it to grow your business?
Exposure. L’inizo Pizza Bar in Long Island took advantage of this Pokémon obsession by placing a lure in their location and have seen a 75% increase in their sales put the link here since they joined in on the fun.
Innovation. Crafty entrepreneurs are realizing that Pokémon Go is creating new job opportunities. Whether you’re looking for an Uber-style Pokémon chauffer, or your very own Pokémon Go personal trainer, professionals are out there fulfilling job positions that didn’t even exist two weeks ago.
Marketing. Whether you’re offering special deals to Pokémon Go players or highlighting the rare Pokémon that have been caught at your location, what you market and who you are marketing to can influence your success. The demographic of Pokémon Go players is wide; walking the streets alone shows Pokémon Go players range from families to single players, groups of students to adult professionals, Pokémon trainers cover all ranges of age and ethnicity but all have one game in common. This allows your business to advertise to a large, yet wholly specific, audience in one fell swoop. And, when personalized, touchpoints are often more effective. The previously mentioned HBR article included a short anecdote about the author’s wife receiving shoe sale ads. She ignored the generic “Buy Now!” advertisements, so they personalized their marketing and starting offering her ads for shoes in her size. Well, that’s when the marketing started to work. Consumers are not only after immediacy, they also welcome customization and personalization, which you can use to your advantage by just understanding a little bit more about who your customer is.
How about some of your ideas? What’s your favorite touchpoint? How do you feel utilizing touchpoints could enhance your professional success? And—of course—what’s your favorite Pokémon?