Hello SOTGC community,
Happy Monday! Whether you’re a fan of the new Pokémon Go and can’t get enough of the virtual game – or you find the “Pokémon craze” alarming and a bit silly with all the emergency room visits we’ve all been hearing about, none of us can deny the amount of media attention and addicted followers the game has received since its launch. The global buzz has gotten marketers everywhere thinking and strategizing about how they can duplicate the viral success to brand buzz and media attention for their own company, product line, or service offering.
From the creation of Pokémon Go and its launch – to the massive news coverage – to the ER, where some game players are actually having to get treated for walking into poles, oncoming traffic and even falling off the edge of the cliffs in California (hello multi-tasking!) – to digital roadway signs reading “Don’t Pokémon and Drive” (http://bit.ly/29EMTlJ) – it seems that none of us can escape being part of the discussion and hearing the brand name Pokémon over and over and over again. Surprisingly, the company put almost no marketing advertising dollars towards the launch, yet the Pokémon Go game has caught on like viral gangbusters!
Why/how did this happened? What can we learn about human behavior from the Pokémon Go’s home-run brand story? And how can we utilize these insights to positively impact our own personal brand?
As I thought about the questions myself, here are a few tips I came up with that can help to increase the “buzz” of our own personal brand and drive our own effectiveness in business.
- Know Your Audience and What Appeals to Them.
Pokémon Go’s lack of a more traditional advertising campaign and spending a lot of marketing/advertising budget on its launch got me thinking. Clearly the company was betting on their audience research and their confidence about who they believed that their future players were going to be and how to best get the word out about the app, get users to download/play and purchase – and their research and plan paid off. While the app is free, there are in-app purchase offerings, which players can buy along the way. According to the http://get-pokemon-go.com/ website, the app was “The most downloaded smartphone app in the US in its first three days of release and has been a boon to publisher Nintendo’s stock value.”
Research is Key:
- Your Team: Do you really know your team – what drives them – what do they like to do during their time away from the office (hobbies, sports activities, their social habits, etc)?
- Your Market: Do you know the in’s and out’s of your particular market or the markets you are expanding into – have you visited – have you experienced a “day in the life” of your customer (where do they shop, what do they read, how do they commute to work, what is the demographic information of the area, etc.)?
- Your Presentation Group: Do you know what makes the group you are going to be presenting to tick (what type of industry are they in, are they a casual group or more buttoned up, what size organization do they work for, do they have similar preferences, are they in start-up or fast-growth mode, etc.)?
Once you’ve done the research, utilize your findings to appeal to your audience by finding ways to integrate their preferences into your conversions, meetings and presentations. People naturally enjoy being around others, who are taking an interest in their “likes” – and they are much more likely to actually hear you, establish rapport with you and buy from you if you can tap into this. Being aware of who your audience is and actively applying your research you have gleaned will put you in a power position in your next business setting.
- Add a Fun Activity or Game into Your Meeting, Tactical Plan or Presentation.
People like to have fun! I think the success of Pokémon Go in its first week to market is a clear indicator of that (emergency room visits do not apply!). Utilize this to your advantage and have fun with them!
Fun Activities: Just because you are in the boardroom, conference room or meeting room with your team doesn’t mean that you can’t add a fun-filled team activity into the mix to start or finish the meeting. Or how about simply moving the team meeting to a new location (outside under the oak tree, at the park down the street from the office, at your team’s favorite local coffee shop – mix things up – you get the idea).
Contests and Games: Another thing you can do is to create a contest or game around your team’s preferences to motivate the team to achieve a particular goal. If your team is really into sports, you can create a sports-related contest. If your team loves travel, movies or great food, you can create a game around those themes – whatever drives them – utilize those things that they already enjoy to spark enthusiasm into the workday – and to encourage a happy team that wins! Don’t we all want to be winners? Help your team win at the game you challenge them to play. Inspire your teams and be the leader that everyone wants to work for – and yes, you can still do this while inspiring excellence and exceeding your goals.
- Social – Social – Social! Add Interactive Technologies into your Daily Communication and Utilize Anything and Everything Social to Encourage “Social Play” with your Team or Customer.
Another thing we can all learn from the success of Pokémon Go is that people love to be social and to “play” while exploring new environments – so we can utilize this knowledge to our advantage. Working in business is all about engaging people, so why not mix in some play and social activities into your regular business routine.
Interactive Technology and Visual Images: Simply adding an interactive technology or visual image into the conversation, meeting or presentation can do a lot to increase people’s attention and enjoyment of what you are saying. For example, if your team is filled with millennials, you can utilize team “selfies” to share with each other, and instead of the old fashioned “huddle” where you give each other quick updates on projects, how about encouraging each other to send quick snapchat project updates and share them with one another.
Encourage “Social Play”: Another idea is kicking off a meeting or presentation with something social to lighten the mood, break down people’s barriers and pull people out of their shells – especially if you are working in a start-up or fast-growth environment, where people have a lot to do in a short amount of time and are often very stressed. A quick social sharing at the opening of a meeting can do wonders to improve your team’s happiness and encourage team play, which in turn can improve productivity.
For example, if you saw a really funny animal video and you are talking with an animal lover during a one-on-one meeting, pull out that smartphone and share the video with them – you can do the same thing with anything that interests them (sports, food, travel, celebrities, etc.) or encourage your team or colleagues to share a favorite facebook video, twitter feed or LinkedIn article to begin an informal meeting. You can also encourage after business hours social events to encourage team building and sharing, and remember your company may have budget for this type of event, you just have to ask.
There are so many things you can do to be more social, and I’m sure if you brainstorm a bit, you can come up with other great ideas to encourage some “social play” experiences. Remember, people really like to have fun, laugh and see great pictures/videos/images – why not tap into that part of basic human behavior and utilize that knowledge to win over the people you work with, present to or are selling to. Adding interactive technology into conversations, presentations or meetings can pump them up and encourage team connections and in turn results.
The new Pokémon craze isn’t going away anytime soon. Entrepreneur says the developer plans to launch the app in 200 new markets shortly, so this game is here to stay…at least for a little while. So, I would like to challenge each of you to “Go” spend some time applying these ideas to your day-to-day business activities and also come up with a few additional insights on your own from Pokémon Go’s success. Have fun exploring and implementing some of these ideas – and until next week – let’s all have some FUN building our own personal brand!