Every app maker hopes for the success enjoyed by Pokémon Go. Released July 6, 2016, the Pokémon-themed augmented reality game reached 100 million downloads by the end of the month, making it the most downloaded app ever. The success of Pokémon Go demonstrates the six stages of behavior change in action as its user base went from a collection of unconnected individuals to a cohesive community that has transcended the app and its creators.
The six stages of behavior change manifested in Pokémon Go players as follows:
- Pre-contemplation/Unawareness—Eventual Pokémon Go audience is unaware of any need for an immersive and community-based gaming experience
- Contemplative—With the release of Pokémon Go, early adopters spread the word, increasing the game’s profile and inciting curiosity among those not yet using the app
- Determination/Preparation—Pokémon Go becomes available in different app markets around the world, beginning with the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. Download is free and easy for those who decide to take the plunge
- Action/Implementation—Some users complain of glitches, but most people are enjoying the app. Hundreds of players mob Central Park to collect a rare Vaporeon Pokémon and similar incidents occur around the globe. Players recognize each other and begin forming a community through like-minded interest and action.
- Maintenance—By August 18, 40 million of the peak 50 million users are still active. Where most apps are lucky to maintain even 50 percent of original users, Pokémon Go is retaining 80 percent of its massive user base
- Termination/Advocacy/Transcendance—Pokémon Go users have banded together and transcended Niantic, the app creators. When Niantic’s actions fail to live up to expectations, users flock en masse to social media to protest. As one writer noted, “gamers expect a community,” which Niantic has not handled in the best way. ThePokémon Go user base consider themselves a community and take it upon themselves to advocate for the good of the group.
The Pokémon Go app succeeded by encouraging community. You, too, can encourage community around your brand by using CrowdHub’s dedicated community-building tools today.