Get Your Business Go-ing with Pokémon Go
Back in the 90s, Pokémon trading cards were in every lunchroom, backpack and shoebox. Now, Nintendo has taken advantage of the fact that we all have smartphones in our hands all the time, and released a long-awaited phone-based version of the classic game – Pokémon Go.
In case you don’t know (which seems wildly unlikely at this point), Pokémon Go is a new mobile app that utilizes “Augmented Reality” (AR) to join the real world (using your phone’s camera) and the virtual world of the game. In simpler terms, it makes it look like Pokémon characters are standing in front of you wherever you are… if you’re skilled enough to find them.
Not just another passing fad
At first it may seem like just another video game fad, but Pokémon Go has already compelled countless number of gamers to leave the comfort of their game consoles and computers and venture into the great outdoors, walking around hunting for “PokéStops.” (PokéStops are select places, often parks or historical sites, where you can find eggs and “Pokéballs” that help you capture more, and sometimes rare, Pokémon.)
People ranging from teenagers to full grown adults are walking the streets, game on, phone in hand, trying to capture Pokémon. That means that either your customers are playing, or at the very least they know someone who’s playing.
Not convinced? Think about this (from a recent study by Revel Systems):
• 82% of businesses with nearby PokéStops reported an average 9% increase in weekly foot traffic
• 63% of businesses with nearby PokéStops increased their weekly sales by an average of 12%
• The average increase in weekly gross sales totaled more than $2,000 per business
• Those businesses also reported an average increase of 265 weekly customers
So, here are five ways you can quickly get up to speed… and maybe even get into the game…
1. Pick a Team
Trainers in Pokémon Go are allowed to pick one of 3 teams: Mystic (Blue), Instinct (Yellow), or Valor (Red). These teams work together to take over “Pokémon Gyms” – a very competitive aspect of the game. You can select your team based on what you do – an electrician could choose to join Team Instict, since the team leader is “Spark” – or you can simply pick a team that matches the color of your brand. Picking your team and offering team-members a discount or free service could easily spark some extra sales.
2. Take Advantage of a Great Location
Since the game is becoming a phenomenon, use it to your advantage – if you join in the game, the game will draw players to you. Find out if you’re near a PokeStop or Gym – if it is, let people know on Facebook, Twitter, even go old school with a blackboard or simple sign in the window. If you don’t happen to be near a Gym or PokeSpot – you can bring the little monsters to you – with “Lures” (keep reading)…
3. Lure Customers In
Pokémon Go offers a component of the game called a “Lures.” Lures can be used to attract Pokémon to a new Pokéstop for a brief period of time. Inc.com reports that you can turn your business into a Pokémon hot-spot for a little more than $1 an hour (that’s how long a lure lasts). Once you have your lures in place, market your business by announcing your PokéStop and watch the customers pour in.
4. Promote your participation
Start offering Pokémon themed items to attract more customers to your business. Put up a blackboard or whiteboard where you promote your Team, track the Pokémon captured near-by – the more rare the better. Offer a Pokémon -themed drink, if you’re a bar or restaurant, or a Special Deal in honor of a Pokémon that can be found in your local. Simply put your team name proudly in the window and you could be surprised by your ROI.
5. Share, Share, and keep Sharing
Near a Gym? Share it on Social media. Spotted a Pokémon near by? Post it on Social. Finally caught a Pokémon? Share it on your social. Many business owners struggle finding ways to relate to millennials today, this is a great place to start.
Pokémon Go is the #1 game on phones right now. There are an estimated 9.5 million daily players right now in the US alone. Even famous people are playing – Justin Beiber was reportedly chasing Pokémon late at night in Central Park, New York City. Don’t be afraid of jumping on a fad – be afraid of missing the opportunity. Stop wasting time and catch them all… all those customers!