Pokémon Go: Bringing Back the Brand

By Ryan TrabalkaJul 19, 2016

Pokemon_Go_Graphic.pngPokemon Go; the perfect example of a well executed brand refresh. The idea of augmented reality via mobile application is not anything new, but strategically using this genre of gaming has played out for The Pokémon Company quite well. Let’s review why Pokémon Go has become such a success in an app market that has started to falter.

A Cultural Phenomenon

Like any other person in their twenties, I was playing around on my phone when I was approached by a 60 something year old woman who asked if I was playing the game. (I wasn't at the time.) However the encounter was shocking and left me thinking, "Did I just talk to this person who is almost three times my age about a children's game?" I was mistaken. This isn't just a game that hit the app market; it is a global sensation that should inspire businesses everywhere.

Keeping a brand's message relevant and contemporary can prove challenging for any business. Nintendo managed to revamp their brand to be even more relevant than it was when it had its highest stock price in the 80's. Finding new ways to increase brand awareness is crucial when it comes to keeping your business alive.

Fantastic or Facade for Nintendo

Nintendo partnered with Google and game developer Niantic Inc. to form what seemed to be an unstoppable trio. The animated television series Pokémon was originally about collecting fictional creatures. This spawned trading cards and a slew of merchandise that could relate back to the series. In simplest terms, Pokémon Go transformed the animated series into reality. Although augmented reality isn’t anything futuristic, developer Niantic who developed Ingress, decided to push the limits and create Pokémon Go.

Nintendo's stock intially soared to do the success of the game but things have quickly taken a turn. While Nintendo owns a undisclosed stake in Niantic, the royalties are actually going to The Pokémon Company. Of course, Nintendo is still profiting from the success of the app but not nearly as much as investors believed.  

While Nintendo may not be reeping the same benefits as The Pokémon Company is in terms of branding, they will still be able to capitalize on the craze. Nintendo is launching a new bluetooth bracelet that allows the user to know when there are Pokémon nearby.

Pokémon Go is a Benchmark for Branding

 As a business you must identify applicable ways to keep your brand invigorating. Understanding your audience and how your brand resonates with your buyer personas is important. If you are looking to revitalize your brand or simply trying to introduce yourself to the market, make sure anything and everything you do as a marketer is related to your organization.

Many apps hit the market in hopes of earning some fame. According to Forbes, “Less than 0.01 percent of consumer mobile apps will be considered a financial success by their creators at the end of 2018.” Defining the odds, the reason why I feel Pokémon Go is a great app (besides incorporating an already adventurous theme) is due to the evolution of game play. Since the augmented reality gaming structure was already available, the popularity escalated from Pokémon’s choice to incorporate this into the brand. Paying close attention to the Pokémon brand was the key success factor for this app.

Whether you would like to refresh your brand or simply see if your brand suits you, it is important to understand what goes into a successful branding strategy. Want to see if your brand portrays your business effectively? Download this FREE e-book and see if your brand has what it takes to CATCH 'EM ALL!Download your FREE branding e-book


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