Pokemon GO: Gaming With a TWIST

Next time you see a group of teenagers glued to their phones in public, do not assume they are on Instagram or Snapchat. Rather, they traveled to this specific location to replenish their supply of Pokeballs at what is called a Pokestop. That’s right. They are engulfed in the world of Pokemon GO, the smartphone application with a TWIST that is sweeping the nation.

As a rising high school senior, I have many friends who have been involved in the Pokemon franchise as long as I can remember. They would wait on the long lines at Gamestop and Best Buy for the release of each Pokemon installment. However, the game has never garnered my interest until now, with Niantic’s release of Pokemon GO.

In Pokemon games, you are thrown into a new world where wild creatures, named Pokemon, run free with special powers. A professor, an avid Pokemon researcher, asks you to catch different kinds of Pokemon and bring them back to him for his nonstop research. All the way, you battle other Pokemon “trainers” and level up.

Pokemon GO has a new TWIST: it incorporates the concept of augmented reality. The world we live in is merged with the Pokemon world, enhancing the reality we see day to day. This is quite different from virtual reality, where you are fully immersed in a new environment. While virtual reality simulates your physical presence in a new atmosphere and synthetically creates a sensory experience, augmented reality simply brings artificial aspects into the world we live in. Never has an augmented reality experience been so accessible before the release of Pokemon GO.

Pokemon GO’s other TWIST is its use of physical activity. In order to successfully play the game, you must be active. The app forces you to walk to new locations to make Pokemon appear, battle other players, and replenish your training supplies. In some cases, you must walk a certain distance, often between 2 and 5 kilometers, to activate certain aspects of the game.

Unfortunately, your supply of Pokeballs is limited. It is a devastating feeling to be without these red and white spheres, as they are essential for gameplay. The Niantic team found a way to incorporate physical activity with the replenishing of Pokeballs with the creation of Pokestops. These locations, usually found at landmarks, allow you to replenish your Pokemon tools every five minutes. You must be at this location for the Pokestop to be activated. Your local church, park, or memorial just may be a Pokestop! The concept of Pokestops works great for city dwellers, where there are multiple Pokestops on every block. Pokestops are much more scarce in rural areas, where players must travel half an hour to encounter one of these necessary locations.

Once you have enough higher-level Pokemon, you can go to locations with Pokemon gyms. These locations, also found at local landmarks, enable you to battle other players. Each Pokemon you catch is equipped with different attack  s and health levels. The higher your Pokemon’s combat power, the better equipped it is for battles. If you are successful in beating the players in the gym, you then take over that gym, leading to many rewards. If you are unsuccessful, your Pokemon loses health. If it tragically loses all of its health points, it must be revived. You can do this by gaining revive tools at your local Pokestop.

Many workers at notable locations, where Pokestops and gyms are located, are in favor of Pokemon GO. Philadelphia park rangers welcome the game, as it draws a younger crowd to the city’s landmarks. The rangers hope that, once players arrive, they will look up from their smartphones and take in their surroundings. In contrast, other famous locations, like the Arlington National Cemetery and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, have different policies. These national treasures have asked Pokemon GO players to turn the game, and their phones, off out of respect.

Pokemon GO is revolutionary, and it is exerting a clear influence on teenagers, as well as twenty-somethings who have followed Pokemon since its initial release in 1996. Its TWISTS, augmented reality and physical activity, make the game unlike any application on the market today. If your children have not downloaded Pokemon GO yet, it is only a matter of time before the game takes over their lives.

How exactly does the game work? Essentially, when you open the app, your smartphone’s screen becomes a map of your surroundings, showing you streets, bodies of water, and more. When moving, different Pokemon creatures will often appear in your path. Once you click on the Pokemon you wish to capture, your smartphone’s camera is activated. The Pokemon is right in front of you! Swipe the Pokeball at the bottom of your screen to toss it at the Pokemon. With proper aim, the Pokeball will engulf the creature, adding it to your inventory.

Some Pokemon are rarer than others, making them harder to catch once found. The female Nidoran in the image to the right has a measly combat power of 10, making it a very common Pokemon that is easy to catch. Meanwhile, there are Pokemon with combat powers that exceed 1000.  It is rumored that the more notable your location, the more notable the Pokemon you will encounter. You are more likely to find a rare Pikachu at the Eiffel Tower than you will in a rural Idaho potato farm. The rarest Pokemon that I have caught (so far) is a Venomoth with a combat power of 290 – not too shabby for a novice Pokemon player.

Think about ways you can TWIST to involve your customer more. There are easy-to-build app programs, loyalty apps, even the classic Bingo card or a “Find the star” on a receipt could make a more lasting impression on your market.

 About the author:

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Justin Cohen is a rising senior at Dobbs Ferry High School. An International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidate, Justin hopes to pursue a career in advertising. He is happy to be a part of the BrandTwist team!  You can reach Justin on Twitter at @justcohen18 and via email at justcohen18@gmail.com.

 

 

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Finding the right TWIST can help your brand innovate and deliver. In TWIST: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands, Brand School founder Julie Cottineau provides a clear road map to build a stronger more distinctive brand – complete with examples from real life small business owners who have successfully completed our Brand School program. Pick up your copy today.

New Twists on Playing With Your Pets

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There are many times when we have to leave our beloved pets home alone, bored and often anxious. We love our pets and want to take good care of them but day care boarding, pet walkers and sitters require advanced vetting, scheduling and are costly. What loving pet owners need is a TWIST that’s convenient and affordable to help monitor, interact with and entertain their pets while away from home. Welcome Petcube and PlayDate, two new pet care innovations that twist high-tech and mobile know-how into fun pet sitting solutions.

Petcube gives you the ability to monitor and interact with your pet from your mobile device using streaming video, a two-way audio stream and speaker, motion and sound detection, and a laser for added game-time fun. It also serves as a room monitor, providing an extra dose of home security. Even if you don’t own a pet, but are a pet lover – you can join the Petcube community. When you download the app you can interact and play with other’s pets or shelter pets.

With PlayDate you can actually play fetch with your pet by operating a rolling smart ball that you control from your mobile device. You can watch, record video and capture pictures of your pet interacting with the ball. There’s a microphone and speaker so you can hear one another, and a squeaker for added fun. Everything your dog or cat needs to be entertained and for you to feel reassured.

Pletcube’s and PlayDate’s developers took an old problem and looked at it from a new angle – They TWISTED high tech with warm and fuzzy to create solutions that every pet owner can use. How could you twist with a bit of readily available technology to solve a problem your customer’s facing?

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Finding the right TWIST can help your brand innovate and deliver. In TWIST: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands, Brand School founder Julie Cottineau provides a clear road map to build a stronger more distinctive brand – complete with examples from real life small business owners who have successfully completed our Brand School program. Pick up your copy today.

A Twist on Personal Security

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Arriving safely at your destination is always the top priority whether traveling a long distance or walking around the block. But along the way you might encounter a sketchy situation, feel uneasy or even be confronted with an emergency.

Wouldn’t it be comforting to have your own, personal, security shield? Well, now you can.  Welcome Companion, the peer-to- peer personal safety app that is like a TWIST between home security systems such as ADT and social media like Facebook.

With the Companion app installed on your phone, friends, family or your public safety department can keep an eye on you as you travel.  You launch the app, plug in your destination, select a friend to be your “companion” to “watch” you as you progress along your route, and with just one tap you can send a message stating you are nervous or requesting immediate help.

Companion created a fresh, simple solution for a very real and pressing problem for travellers. It also harnesses the power of peer-to-peer communication which is already prevalent among its target market.

What keeps your ideal customer awake at night? Put yourself in their shoes to develop a solution that will change their lives.

Brand School gives you the tools to innovate and deliver more of what your ideal customers really crave. See what Brand School’s team of experts can do for you and see if you qualify for a one-on-one Brand Health Check Strategy Session HERE.

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“Brand School was helped us set structure to our process, define our target and recognize our customer’s motivations. We were able to create timely taglines and better define our branding campaigns.” – Randi Curhan, Development Coordinator for Redwood High School Foundation, Non-profit

Twist Your Clutter Into Cash

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They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, or maybe in this case – a thousand dollars?  Founded by Agustin Gomez in 2013, Wallapop is revitalizing the idea that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure by creating a 24-hour, 7-day a week garage sale without the hassle of putting up signs in the rain or sacrificing your entire weekend.

With Wallapop, a free new app, Instagram meets Ebay in a TWIST to create an ideal “What you see, is what you get” experience.  Wallop is primarily an image-based, streamline virtual flea market which removes the vague guess-work that usually accompanies online second-hand purchasing.

Wallapop users play the role of either “Wallashoppers” or Wallasellers” and unlike other online classifieds it enables you to instantly chat with the person you are buying from or selling to in order to ask questions or make requests.  Items are listed based on location with the radius expanding the further you scroll, all you have to do is just snap a picture of what you want to sell, give it a fair price and wait as all your clutter turns to cash!

 

The world is moving more visual. What visual TWIST could your brand take advantage of to stand out and simplify your customer’s experience?

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“Brand School’s guidance and support has helped grow my business to new depths of expansion, creativity and financial worth… and keep it growing and transforming to passionately share what I love with others.” – Deborah Coulter, deborahcoulterartflow.com

About the Author: Courtney Elaine Glynn

Courtney is a senior in college studying psychology with a background in international relations and diplomacy. Blazing her own trail in the suburbs of New York, she is a self proclaimed renaissance woman of sorts; spending her time as an intern, personal assistant, small business manager, cooking instructor and aspiring writer.

Want to now more ? You can contact her at: courtneyelaine12@gmail.com

Interested in guest blogging for BrandTwist? Contact jamie@herculiz.com.

 

A Creative Business and Travel Twist

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We hear from work-from-home business owners and solopreneurs how they often  feel isolated and how challenging it is to remain inspired and innovative when they are alone in the same space day-in and day-out.  Something as simple as a little TWIST in the routine, like working from a local coffee shop or library can be a refreshing change – for the short term. A vacation provides some needed rest and relaxation but won’t hone your business skills. What if you had the opportunity to really break free of the isolated work-a-day routine while making new connections and keeping your business thinking cap on?

Take Match.com, twist it with Travelocity.com, and you get Jobbatical, “It’s a word made up of “job” and “sabbatical”. It means a professional career break where people use their skills and knowhow to work on an exciting project in a new team in a new environment – without dipping into your life savings.”

Jobbatical took a look at the growing temporary and part-time employment trend and created a service to bring together employer and employee in a way where each can add value to the other’s business skills and enhance one another’s creative thinking – all while providing a rejuvenating travel experience.

Where would you love to go to get paid AND see the world?

Keeping the creative ideas flowing is essential to keeping your business and brand fresh and alive in your customer’s mind. At Brand School you will connect with an exclusive community of like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners. Our team of experts share their skills and give you the tools you need to innovate and grow your business. Now enrolling HERE.

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“Working with Brand School is an invaluable experience and a really great use of resources because it opens up so many doors and affects so many areas of  your business.” – Sarah Hinawi, Executive Director, The Purple Crayon Center for Learning and Innovation