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@brandtwist.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

Being an Entrepreneur Can Be Lonely – But It Doesn’t Have to Be

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Solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and small business owners end up spending a lot of time alone, immersed in running their business, working from home or by themselves in an office – and it can be lonely and draining. A highly effective way to break out of the solitary rut is to spend some time at the latest trend in workspace innovation – shared workspaces.

I urge you to check out venues like the Stamford Innovation Center. You’ll be able to interact, exchange ideas with others, and soak up inspiration in beautiful environments that will support you and keep you and your business in the brand-building zone.

Many of these workspace venues offer educational workshops that allow you to interact with like-minded business owners determined to take their brands to the next level. At each workshop participants share their enthusiasm, creative ideas and positive feedback.

To learn more about the effectiveness of in-person workshops, please check out this article, Twist Up Your Space – Wake Up Your Brand.

And, if you’re in the Greater New York City area, please JOIN US at one of our workshops. These interactive workshops will get you ready to launch into high gear with practical advice and tools you can start using that very day. We’ll show you how to:

▪   Create an achievable plan to grow your brand

▪   Reach your most valuable customers

▪   Generate fresh ideas – with a twist!

▪   Connect with like-minded entrepreneurs for powerful results

Sign up for our mailing list to receive word of upcoming Workshops, Brand School Master Class and a one-on-one Brand Health Check Strategy Session.

 

 

 

Entrepreneurial Mastermind with an Adventurous Twist

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“Screw it, just do it!” Richard Branson’s motto has really delivered for him, for the Virgin brand and for countless entrepreneurs inspired by Branson’s success. When you open yourself up to new experiences you gain more confidence and discover new ways to approach old problems.

There’s a lot to gain by getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things. Conferences, classes and meet-ups are a good way for small business owners and entrepreneurs to connect and re-ignite their creative business thinking… but why not kick it up a notch?

Workaway, the first travel agency dedicated to entrepreneurs, takes a mastermind group of entrepreneurs and TWISTS it with a remote travel adventure.

Their premise is to “Get great, like-minded people to spend time together in fantastic surroundings. The goal is to move our businesses to the next level, get new knowledge and relations for life.”

Enrollees can choose from two experiences: a “Camp” where 20 participants stay in a remotely located house for a week; or the “Adventures” trip, which recently has taken enrollees to Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Next time you’re feeling stuck – “Screw it; just do it!” Get together with other entrepreneurial adventurers and get away for some inspiration.

Where would you like to go to shake things up?

Brand School gives you a membership in a community where like-minded entrepreneurs, small business owners and non-profits come together to support one another and spur on innovation. Learn more about the benefits of Brand School and how our team of experts can help boost your business with a one-on-one Brand Health Check Strategy Session HERE.

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“Brand School helped me get the business’ name, brand promise and message clear… thank you… And thanks also for the networking opportunities which have led to big support in my emerging business.” - Nell Panero, Education Consultant

Branding Tips for Better Business on American Express OPEN Forum

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We are thrilled to have been a contributor on branding to American Express OPEN Forum.

If you aren’t familiar with OPEN Forum, we urge you to check it out. This forum, in partnership with Linkedin, is open and accessible to everyone and you’ll find amazing resources for every aspect of running a business, entrepreneurship, marketing and branding. Business owners, entrepreneurs and experts can showcase  expertise, help others succeed and discover ways to help propel business forward.

See more of OPEN Forum and catch additional ways to make your business and fast-paced life a little easier and more profitable, HERE.

Check back in with us here: we’ll keep this list up-to-date with links to all of our posts on OPEN Forum:

Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding program, delivers the tools and steps you need to strengthen your brand and your connection to your customers. Get our free brand-building tips and receive access to updates about Brand School’s exclusive programs when you sign up for our newsletter at BrandSchoolOnline.com. 

“If anyone needs to understand the PROPER professional way that WILL make a difference for branding your business, Brand School is your go-to source.” – Mike Sass, Entrepreneur

“You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works.”

I’m thrilled to be featured in Marcy Twete’s new book, You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works. Each week this summer the Career Girl Network is featuring one chapter highlighting one of the interviewees from the book. You can check out an excerpt from the chapter with my interview, “Julie’s ‘Best of the Best’ in Networking Advice,” order the book, and learn more about the Career Girl Network and how they are engaging women nationally in mentoring, networking, and relationship building to advance their careers HERE.

“Results came amazingly quick. Now, my brand name speaks my message immediately and I’ve expanded my reach.”  - Lynn Stull, Owner Arts2Thrive

Get information about priority registration for the next session of Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding program, and receive free brand-building tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

Sharpen Your Digital Fluency to Win the Job

This post, Sharpen Your Digital Fluency to Win the Job, is another in our series providing insight and action steps for those seeking a career in branding. Julie Cottineau gives her top tips and shares insights from her 25+ years at great companies such as Grey, Interbrand and Virgin. You can read more entries in this Career series HERE

Whether you are a raving fan of Facebook – or a hater – it doesn’t really matter.

Part of the appeal of hiring someone in their 20’s is that the hiring manager (often someone in their 40’s or 50′s) believes that you are a Digital Native and that you will help them decipher Instagram from Pinterest and everything in between.

I meet marketing students all the time who say, “I’m not really that into social media.” Well here’s my advice… Get into it. Fast.

If you are interested in branding or marketing, you need to be fluent in Social Media. Not as someone posting vacation pics and snaps of wild karaoke nights – but as someone who understands and appreciates the power of social media to connect with people, create dialogue and build brands.

The latest “hot” social channel may fluctuate or evolve over time (personally I think there is a whole generation of tweens who are going to be more loyal to Instagram then Facebook) but two-way relationships – engagement marketing – are here to stay. And you need to know your Tumblr from your Twitter and how to use it for brands you will be helping to build.

So what’s a budding brander to do? Does this mean you have to become an uber blogger or tweet 24/7? No, but you do need to be able to demonstrate digital fluency:

  • Be prepared in interviews to talk about what brands and branding experts you follow on Twitter.
  • Reach out to experts and agencies through their blogs/twitter accounts. Leave positive, insightful comments. These budding relationships could  help you down the road in your job search.
  • Make sure you have a professional presence on the major social media such as Linkedin and Twitter, and make sure your profiles are up-to-date
  • If you have a Linkedin or Twitter profile, make sure you include a professional, friendly picture. None of those grey portrait outlines or generic blue eggs. They communicate that you are not really committed.
  • And think about starting a blog or a twitter account dedicated to branding, marketing, and/or creativity. No one but your mom may read it at first, but it you post or tweet fairly frequently, it will eventually come up when prospective employers Google your name – and it will show that you are serious about the field.

Want to start increasing your visibility right away? Apply to be a guest blogger for BrandTwist. We’re always looking for great student and guest authors for our blog. Interested? Just send a brief synopsis of your blog idea along with a sample paragraph to Jamie@BrandTwist.com and we will contact you within one week to let you know if your blog idea has been accepted for further development.

BrandTwist does not pay for guest blog content, but we will provide you with a byline that includes your bio and contact details. This is a great platform to reach other people who are passionate about brand. Who knows… maybe your future employer will see your blog post and call you for an interview!

Hone your skills. Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding course, will give you the tools you need to develop your branding skills. Receive more information about Brand School’s next session and get free brand-building tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

Please also check us out on Twitter and Facebook for more insight and discussion on branding.

“Brand School helped me get clear on my messaging and my brand. Now my clients know exactly what it is I bring to my classes.” – Josh Pais, Actor and Founder of Committed Impulse, creativity workshop