What You Can Learn From This Famous Interactive Experience

By Taryn Anderson Jan 9, 2020
When Niantic partnered with Nintendo to launch Pokémon Go in 2016, the American software development company might not have anticipated that the mobile game would take the entire world by storm. Pokémon Go uses augmented reality technology to insert virtual Pokémon into physical, real-world spaces. Users can capture Pokémon throughout their cities and fight in virtual Gyms to earn both wealth and prestige. The game was an instantaneous and massive success. Within 90 days of its release, it grossed over $600 million. Since then, it has been downloaded over 800 million times on both iOS and Android mobile devices. It broke records as the fastest mobile game to earn $100 million and was the most-downloaded in its first month of being available.

Whereas many mobile games are just isolated versions of competition, Pokémon Go serves as a truly powerful interactive experience. Part of the highly successful Pokémon franchise, this app shows us how to provide users with an experience that is thoroughly nostalgic, engaging, and social.

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Interactive content comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and Pokémon Go is proof. Through the use of geo-location, the game helps players find Pokémon, pushing physical and social boundaries. Pokémon Go was able to connect consumers and fans to the Pokémon brand and franchise in a memorable way, as players had to get off the couch and venture outside to catch Pokémon. The further users walked, the more environments and diverse types of Pokémon they encountered. The mobile app was also able to connect fans and build community. Players who grew up with the Pokémon card game, TV shows, and movies were encouraged to connect with other players: with the launch of social features in June 2018, 113 million friend connections have been made through the app, and 90% of users have met other people while playing.

The gaming aspect led to even more memorable experiences for fans. In 2017, there was a European tour of Pokémon Go events, where players were able to talk about their experience with the game. With this app, the Pokémon franchise increased human connections made in association with the brand, and the quality of these connections was strengthened as well.

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The game was able to create a highly engaging experience by taking advantage of their franchise roots, playing off of childhood nostalgia, and encouraging users to get outside.

Pokémon Go brought something fresh to an already existing fan base, many who had already fallen out with the brand and no longer actively engaged with it. Their new way to play effectively brought attention and an attractive shine to a decades-old franchise. So what can brands learn from this? It's important to be original! New ideas are what will grab your target audience's attention. But that doesn't mean you need to throw away the old playbook and start from scratch. Emphasize what is meaningful about your brand and what makes it special in a creative way to truly engage your users while staying true to your values and brand identity.

 
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