It's A "Pokemon" Go!
By Professor Ko de Ruyter and Debbie Keeling
“Be very, very quiet … I am hunting Pokemons!” We are sure that you have witnessed the off-the-scale Pokémon Go craze, which is based on a killer app that has got millions of kids leaving their computer screens. Venturing into fresh air, they respond to Nintendo’s call to action that invites everyone to 'catch Pokémon in the real world...' Strange as it may seem, there is a very, very important lesson for your loyalty program.
Let’s think about what’s at the heart of this new fad. As you look through your smartphone, a yellow winged cartoon character appears to be eerily floating about where you are. Pokemon is based on the most spectacular application of Augmented Reality (AR) so far. AR is the science and art of using digital technologies to overlay virtual content (e.g., text, graphics, or 360 degree visuals) into a person’s view of the physical world. The real-time and interactive blend of virtual and physical information results in a compelling customer experience. Research by Motivforce R&D shows that this has the potential to boost people’s engagement in online and mobile shopping, as IKEA allows their customers to place and move furniture around their homes (without even having to assemble it first) and Ray Ban enables customers to see how cool they look in a new pair of sunglasses in their Virtual Mirror.
What can loyalty marketers learn from this? ….
That letting program members actively interact with prospective rewards will reinvigorate the program’s (online) catalogue. In a time when the use of cash rebates is up against an increasing number of regulatory challenges, you now have the option of letting your customers play with their rewards before redeeming them. So, they can check whether that new, must-have TV actually fits in their lounge. They can see what a new watch looks like on their very own pulse. Motivforce R&D will very, very quietly go on to identify how you can use AR to optimally engage your program members, because Augmented Reality has suddenly become a business reality!