Pokémon Go: How to Launch Experiences that Maximize Technology and Social Interaction

Let me guess, you’d like your prospective customers to learn about your products or services WITHOUT you having to invest a bundle of money in marketing! Hmm…let’s think about a recent product launch that fits that description.

How about learning from the makers of Pokémon Go?

Days before it’s release, millions of posts began to appear on social feeds (despite minimal marketing) and within one day of the US launch Pokémon Go became the top-grossing app on iOS (not bad for a free to download app relying on in-app purchases).

So what can all of us learn about “craveabilty” based on Pokémon Go?

Here are a few things to consider…

1) Join a Parade, Don’t Start One – Pokémon has always had a strong following but an April 1, 2014 joke by Google blending Google maps with Pokémon had more than 18 million views. That prompted the team at Niantic Labs (led by a former Google executive) to take on the Pokémon Go project.

2) Pique Interest and Build Anticipation for Your Core Fans – Rather than hyping the app’s release endlessly and in a shotgun manner (commercials, social media saturation, etc). Pokémon Co. produced an announcement trailer about 8 months prior to release which prompted brand fans to wait and wonder. According to Ad Age, “In social media, Niantic tweeted that the game was available in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. After that, it retweeted a couple mentions of the game from other accounts, but not much else…unlike games such as Mobile Strike, Pokémon Go hasn’t had a single TV commercial.”

3) Leverage technology and interactivity – While much has been promised from augmented-reality technology, Niantic delivered an emotionally engaging experience. More importantly, they have people catching Pikachu and Squirtle (along with other characters) in a very social way. They are activating people to move and experience other gamers as well as the physical world around them.

Ok, I’m not saying that these lessons gleaned from Pokémon Go will guarantee identical breakthrough success…but I’m certain they will augment the reality of having your customers actively talk about your products and services. Try them…and see if they don’t “catch” on…

Smoke over black background

Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli

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