In case you don’t have a single social media account, Pokémon GO, the latest video game of the beloved franchise celebrating its 20 year anniversary, has experienced unprecedented popularity and success since day one of its release. Pokémon GO is not your typical video game – it’s an augmented reality game, meaning players must explore the real world to catch their favorite Pokémon and proceed through the game.
But how does this affect your business? Pokémon GO is an exciting financial opportunity because it sends high-spending millennials out on the streets in groups and keeps them constantly connected to their smartphones. With the right acumen for business and Pokémon you can cultivate a surge in foot traffic and sales in your business.
Pokémon GO has only been available for a couple of weeks, and its user base is only growing. Follow along for best practices on executing promotions, hosting events, and taking advantage of “lures” to get real customers in your establishment.
Learn Where You Stand
For business owners, the first step is to download the app – it’s free on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. To choose the appropriate strategy, determine if your location (or a building around you) is a PokéStop (a location where players can buy items and upgrades) or a Pokémon Gym (where players congregate to face off in virtual battle).
Many restaurants and businesses have already discovered that being a location within the game inherently boosts business and foot traffic. Take Flying Saucer Pizza Company in Salem, Massachusetts – Bon Appetit reported that this business saw big bumps in foot traffic simply due to its location near a PokéStop.
Open Your Doors
There are a myriad of ways you can use Pokémon GO to market your location. You can offer discounts to players who post pictures on social media of their Pokémon GO adventures inside your restaurant (as long as they tag you).
Utilize specialized signage (like Buzztime’s digital marketing signage) to directly advertise and appeal to players who want a welcoming place to grab a drink and a bite to eat before heading back out. Run promotions pitting the three in-game teams against each other for some friendly competition and sizable spikes in sales.
Lure Them In
In addition to advertising, there are concrete steps you can take within the game itself to attract new customers. The game features in-app purchases of “Lure Modules” – when you purchase and deploy a lure module in your location to attract Pokémon in the game. Lures are relatively very cheap for businesses compared to the dependable profits they draw.
The Financial Times reported that L’linizio Pizza Bar in Queens experienced a sales spike of 30 percent last weekend after only spending $10 on lure modules within the game. The residual positive effect is at play – the eager fan base will flock to certain areas once these locations seem abundant in Pokémon.
Advertise in the App
The developer of the game, Niantic, has announced that local businesses will soon be able to advertise in Pokémon GO by becoming a sponsored location within the world of the game. Being featured prominently on the virtual map of the game means that your business would be visible to scores of passersby per hour in metropolitan areas.
Pokémon GO is already the most popular video game in U.S. history and collected 21 million active daily users by the third day of its release. According to Variety, the app has been downloaded on 10.8% of all Android phones in the country. It’s doubtless that the exposure afforded to local businesses that utilize Pokémon GO as a marketing tool is nearly limitless. Leap into the world of Pokémon to “catch ‘em all” (in this case, customers).