You’ve probably already heard of Pokémon Go — a popular smartphone app that’s taking the world by storm. You’ve also noticed that major businesses are taking the opportunity to use it to lure in customers — you’ve probably seen the ads posted by major local malls and establishments. But how do you use the popular gaming app for your small business?
First things first: what is Pokémon Go?
Back in the 90’s, Pokémon was everywhere. Not only did it have a popular trading card franchise, it also had a video game series, as well as an animated series to back it all up.
Now, Nintendo has taken advantage of the smartphone era, by releasing a long-awaited phone-based version of the classic game – Pokémon Go. The mobile app utilizes an “Augmented Reality” (AR) feature that enables its users to play the game in the “real world” while superimposing the Pokémon’s virtual world. In other words, it makes it look like Pokémon characters are appearing everywhere, and it is the gamer’s task to find and catch them.
It’s not just another passing fad
At first it may seem that Pokémon Go is just another video game fad, but it has convinced numerous gamers to leave the comfort of their gaming consoles and computers, and venture out to go walking around to hunt for “PokéStops” – select places, often parks and landmarks, where you can find eggs and “PokéBalls” that games need to capture Pokémon.
If you’re still not convinced, compelling evidence from a recent study by Revel Systems show the following:
63% of shops with PokéStops nearby increased their weekly gross sales.
The following are five ways you can use Pokémon Go to lure in customers for your small business:
1. Pick a Team
Pokémon Go players are asked to pick one of 3 teams: Mystic (Blue), Instinct (Yellow), or Valor (Red). Members of each team work together to take over “Pokémon Gyms”, a very competitive aspect of the game.
Some ideas on how you can use the game’s team system are:
- Pick a team that matches the color of your brand.
- Offer discounts or free services for a particular team.
- Offer different variants of your products based on the different colors of the three teams (blue, yellow, and red).
2. Take Advantage of Your Location
Since the game uses real world locations, you can use it to your advantage. If you join in the game, the game will draw players (potential customers) to you. Find out if your shop/business is near a PokéStop or a Gym, and let people know on Facebook or Twitter. You can even use traditional marketing tools like putting a sign out your window.
3. Use “Lure” or host a “Lure Party”
If your business is not a Gym or a PokéStop, you can just attract Pokémon to you using a “Lure” – a component of the game used to attract Pokémon for a brief period of time. Once you have your lures in place, announce that your business is now a PokéStop and watch customers come to your business.
4. Use a “Pokémon” theme for your business
Further promote your participation by offering Pokémon-themed items to attract more customers for your business. Put up signages promoting your Team, and track the Pokémon that appears in your spot nearby – the more rare, the better.
Offer Pokémon-themed food and drinks, if you are a restaurant. Or, offer Pokémon-themed items or services. Create a special offer in honor of the Pokémon that can be found in your locale. It’s up to you to be creative!
5. Keep sharing on social media
Is your business near a Gym or a PokéStop? Did you spot a rare Pokémon nearby? Let your customers know, and post it on social media. Many business owners struggle finding ways to relate to millenials today. Pokémon Go is a great place to start.
Pokémon Go is currently the #1 smartphone game. There is an estimated 9.5 million daily players in the US alone (source: recode.net). And since the game is just recently released in the Philippines, the hype is just getting started here.
Don’t miss the chance to take advantage of the Pokémon Go hype in order to enrich your local business.