Conferences can be a great tool to build thought leadership and brand enthusiasm. To build thought leadership some companies hold live streaming of famous conferences within their industry, sponsor conferences or organize it themself.
IBM Institute for Business Value defines brand enthusiasm as “a new way for brands to view consumers’ desired level of communication, willingness to provide input and comfort with sharing personal data.”
When it come to build brand enthusiasm Apple might be the most famous for its loyal fans and the electric atmosphere when they launch new products. They get fans to line up for days outside their stores on a regular basis and when their first smartphone had problems with reception they spinned it to be smartphone problem. Could you imagine any other company pulling that off? Can you imagine Coca Cola being able to spin poisonous Coca Cola Light as a soft drink problem? I don’t think so.
But you are most likely not the Steve Jobs of your industry and not the world’s most valued company so how could you start building brand enthusiasm, what would be the baby steps? If only there was an easy way of creating a positive, feel-good, brand association with a brand that is loved by the common man, both young and old, with little to no downside. Lo and behold, Pokémon GO could be the solution you are looking for!
What is Pokémon GO?
As Vox explained it in plain English, “Pokémon GO is a game that uses your phone’s GPS and clock to detect where and when you are in the game and make Pokémon “appear” around you (on your phone screen) so you can go and catch them. As you move around, different and more types of Pokémon will appear depending on where you are and what time it is. The idea is to encourage you to travel around the real world to catch Pokémon in the game. This mix of a game and the real world interacting is known as “augmented reality.”
“PokéStops are fixed locations in the real world that players must physically visit to obtain items. PokéStops are generally in public locations, including (but not limited to) public artwork/murals, places of worship, libraries, famous landmarks, police stations, fire stations, and public parks. While players must be physically close to PokéStops to collect items, they generally do not need to enter the building to be close enough (if the PokéStop is a building).”
“PokéGyms are fixed locations in the real world that players must physically visit to battle. PokéGyms are generally in public locations, including (but not limited to) public artwork/murals, libraries, famous landmarks, churches, police stations, fire stations, and public parks. While players must be physically close to PokéGyms to battle them, they generally do not need to enter the building to be close enough (if the PokéGym is a building).”
Luckily for businesses you could spend a few dollars to make sure there are plenty of Pokémon to catch. It is possible to buy lure module, which attracts Pokémon to a PokéStop for 30 minutes, with game’s internal currency PokéCoin. For 100 EUR you can get 14500 PokéCoin, enough to buy 21 eight-packs of lures. In other words, for 100 EUR you can create high Pokémon activity for 84 hours.
Pokémon GO as MVP tool for brand association
MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product, and comes from Lean Start-up world. Eric Ries describes it as “a Minimum Viable Product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”
Suren Samarchyan also gives a good description, saying that “building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a strategy for avoiding the development of products that customers do not want. The idea is to rapidly build a minimum set of features that is enough to deploy the product and test key assumptions about customers’ interactions with the product.”
To sum up, MVP is a product or service with just enough features to gather validated learning about the product and its continued development. Dropbox, Uber, AirBnB, Foursquare and Buffer are just some of the famous start-ups which used MVP strategy with great results. But how does all this relate to Pokémon GO, conferences, and brand association? Read on.
Brand association and customer acquisition with Pokémon GO
As I’ve said at the beginning, conferences are great tool for building thought leadership and developing brand enthusiasm. But alas, such endeavours require high capital and manpower investment. Another approach to developing your brand enthusiasm could be through brand association.
Management Study Guide describes brand association as “anything which is deep seated in customer’s mind about the brand. Brand should be associated with something positive so that the customers relate your brand to being positive. Brand associations are the attributes of brand which come into consumers mind when the brand is talked about. It is related with the implicit and explicit meanings which a consumer relates/associates with a specific brand name.”
In other words, if you don’t have the money and resources to create brand enthusiasm for you own brand, you could piggy back on another successful brand that is aligned with your brands values. Let’s take a look at an example of how BearingPoint Nordic uses Rubik’s Cube to associate their brand with mathematical problem solving:
Fun fact: 350 million Rubik cubes had been sold worldwide making it the world’s top-selling puzzle game. It is widely considered to be the world’s best-selling toy. Pokémon GO on the other hand is the biggest US mobile game ever.
While Pokémon GO won’t associate your brand with mathematical problem solving skills, and might not be the best fit for you employer branding, it has high potential as a customer acquisition tool. In a recent study by SensorTower, Pokémon GO outperformed all social networks on the amount of time people spent in the app.
Given its popularity, Pokémon GO might be a good MVP for building your brand enthusiasm through brand association without significant capital investments. Furthermore, with proper planning it can also substantially contribute to your customer acquisition efforts.
Want to learn more?
If you want to dig deeper I recommend starting with following articles:
- Pokémon GO could be next big marketing tool for retailers (Reuters)
- 6 Ways To Use Pokémon GO In Your Local Marketing Campaign (Forbes)
- How To Use Pokémon GO For Marketing (Forbes)
- If You’re Ignoring Pokémon GO, You’re Making a Huge Business Mistake (Inc.)
- Pokémon GO Is Driving Insane Amounts of Sales at Small, Local Businesses. Here’s How It Works (Inc.)
- How to Incorporate Pokémon GO Into Your Local Marketing Strategy (Tech.co)