Effective Brand Innovation: Deconstructing Pokemon Go – The Secret Success Ingredient that drives the Nintendo brand.

Whoever thought Nintendo was dead will by now have realized they’re very far from dead.. Nintendo was all over the news this week after it released Pokemon Go in a few select markets last week. What’s Pokemon Go you may ask? It’s a free-to-play, location-based, augmented reality, mobile game, where players capture Pokemon creatures who live in their own, real-life world.

Pokemon Go, within a week added 14 billion USD extra value to Nintendo’s Market Cap as share prices went up a staggering 73%.

Pokemon Go is free-to-play but with people in the US iOS store already spending USD 1.6 million per day (!) on in-app purchases, the forecast for worldwide revenue is expected to hit 58.2 billion USD this year.

Did I mention they’re planning to roll-out the launch in another 200 markets? And is it hard to find out that there’ll be an AR version of Donkey Kong and Super Mario brothers soon, making use of the same technology?

With anything this big, some controversies have of course arisen: Pokemon have showed up in Auschwitz, on train tracks and cemeteries. Dead bodies were found chasing Pokemon near river beds and people were robbed when robbers used “lures” to attract Pokemon hunters. All that aside the Nintendo brand by now has proven itself as a real game changer (pun intended).

From the traditional console, they launched the Gameboy which at the time was a revolution in game playing, then they did it again when they launched the Wii at the time a revolutionary device that combined actual motion and gesture control, quadrupling the companies value.

By no stretch of the imagination, this is not an easy task. The industry in which the Nintendo brand operates is a highly competitive space, as generations age the company constantly needs to cater to new audiences, which are also highly sensitive to changing dynamics and trends.

What’s the one, single secret behind the success of the Nintendo brand? It is so simple, when you think of it..

Nintendo has a proven, superior ability to constantly deliver superior user value through it’s products and brands.

The lesson that any brand owner, no matter what space you operate in, can learn from this? If you want to stay relevant for a longer period of time, then look for as many ways as possible to deliver superior user value through your brand versus your competitors. It should be the single minded focus point that determines the agenda of the CEO, the management board, the branding & marketing teams, the sales people and the R&D people in your company. Write it on the wall in every department so it’s clear for all, as only that thinking will keep your brand ahead, alive and awesome!

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