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4 Things Online Business Owners Can Learn From Pokémon Go

Everybody’s talking about Go, the free mobile game that allows you to integrate the real world with the virtual one. In your new, augmented reality, you can capture adorable monsters by walking around the “map,” which can be as accessible as your own backyard.

If you’re looking to grow your online business, there are plenty of valuable takeaways to be learned from the game that has boosted Nintendo’s valuation by as much as $7.5 billion.

One of the appeals of Pokémon Go is that it offers a unique user experience — the things that happen in-game are connected to the things that happen in the real world. As you walk and move about in the real world, you have opportunities to capture monsters and level up in-game.

Many known businesses, such as Wal-Mart, are focusing on their omni-channel strategy. They already have a strong offline presence, but they’re also looking to dominate the online space.

Online business owners should be thinking about just the opposite — creating an offline presence when their online presence is already strong and established. This can lead to new opportunities, even when they don’t have a physical storefront.

Think about ways to integrate your online and offline experience. For instance, if you’re an ecommerce business, you might consider reaching out to complementary brick and mortar businesses and asking about in-store or promotional opportunities, such as bulletin boards or coupon stacks.

Whether it’s bringing iPads to your next client meeting, or using QR codes in your direct mail campaigns, look for ways to bring some excitement to your , and create a seamless experience between the online and offline world.

Games are fun. And although they can run the spectrum from “amazing” all the way to “horrible” in terms of quality, once you’re hooked, you tend to go back to them over and over again, especially those that are your favorites.

Game developers know how addictive role-playing games are, because they create a sense of progress through “leveling up,” as your character becomes stronger and gains new abilities.

Pokémon Go is no exception, but it also takes things to a new level, bringing a whole new meaning to the word “collecting.” Plus, the community aspect of playing and enjoying the game with your friends is another major draw. “Go” can be enjoyed on a hobby level, but it also appeals to hardcore gamers who aren’t satisfied until they’ve completed everything.

So, whether you’re incorporating some aspect of interactivity and gaming into your business, or adopting it fully as a business model, there are opportunities galore for you, using games, to engage users and keep them coming back for more. For an example, look no further than the U.S. Army, which has been using training games as a recruitment tool for over a decade. Gamification is a powerful way to promote your business.

Undoubtedly, one of the reasons Pokémon Go has become such a huge success is that its brand is enduring and well established. The franchise was originally created in 1995, and there have been dozens of handheld and console games released since that time. If that weren’t enough, Pokémon’s brand has also spawned a manga/comic and anime/cartoon series, and has hit the big screen about 20 times. Cult games and cartoons, it seems, can develop into profitable and iconic spectacles.

The fact that Fulfillment by Amazon is gaining traction lets you easily set up a passive online business capitalizing on the gaming trend. You can optimize your FBA site and add new products to your digital shelves with just a few clicks, allowing quick updates as soon as games like Pokémon start making headlines.

Would it make sense for you to hire an illustrator to design characters that represent your business in some way? Could you use them in your branding and marketing? Could you license popular characters to use them on existing products? These are questions to ask of your business, because people are passionate about the brands they know and recognize.

One of the appeals of Pokémon Go is that you can enjoy it with your friends. After a certain point, the game prompts you to join one of three teams and you can assign the monsters you’ve caught, to Gyms, to defend them. You can compete with other teams for these Gym locations, which are found at real locations in your locality.

 

 

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