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Jack Genesin
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Aspiring Pokémon Master
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How Your Business Can Leverage Pokémon Go to Drive Business

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July 6th, 2016 marked the date of what many thought to be a simple app release, but what has actually become a cultural phenomenon. If you’ve been out and about in the last week or so, and noticed more people than usual with their heads down, eyes glued to their phones, then you know why. Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm, attracting just under 21 million daily active users in the United States, not to mention the millions of users across Japan, Australia, and the UK. Within three days of its release, the game had more daily active users on Android devices than Twitter and Candy Crush, while it’s still on its way to overtaking Snapchat and even Google Maps. Pokémon Go is already the biggest US mobile game ever.

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Image Source: Survey Monkey

Nintendo game ‘Miitomo’, released in March this year, saw a similar outburst on release, attracting 4 million users within 1 month of its release. However, its success was short-lived, as users quickly lost interest. Games like these play off the novelty factor, drawing extreme popularity in a short period of time, only to sustain those hard core users over the long term. Because of the short-term nature, smart businesses have jumped to leverage off this game while we’re still experiencing its peak period, maximising foot traffic to their stores and driving increased sales. But how?

Pokémon Go encourages players to go out into the real world, getting outside and walking around. It has managed to integrate our virtual Pokémon friends into real-world surroundings. Users are finding Pokémon in all sorts of locations, from their local parks to well-known landmarks – even next to their bed.

A feature of the game, called a ‘Lure Module’, allows players to attract Pokémon to a certain area (a ‘PokéStop’ as it’s called in the game) for a period of 30 minutes. All players are able to see a Lure Module and flock to the location for the chance of capturing a higher volume of Pokémon or some rarer types. Businesses, restaurants and cafes are utilising these Lure Modules in order to increase foot traffic through to their business. They’re consequently driving increased sales.

Step by Step Guide for Business Owners:

1. Navigate to the app store on your mobile device and download ‘Pokémon Go’ to your Android or IOS mobile device. This only takes 5 minutes.

2. Open the app and start the game – run through the prompts, and create a player profile using your Google account.

3. Find out if your business is a local PokéStop. To do this stand within proximity to your business, and check if there is a PokéStop within your character’s proximity circle. It should look like this:

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Jack, the author of this post, in action as a trainee Pokémon Master.

4. Navigate to the ‘Shop’ and purchase Pokémon Go’s virtual currency, ‘Coins’

5. Use these coins to purchase the ‘Lure Modules’

6. Click on the PokéStop, and put down the ‘Lure Module’

7. Sit back and watch the foot traffic flow to your business for the next 30 minutes. The Lure Modules will have to be set every 30 minutes as they stop working after this time.

How Much Will This Cost Me?

The largest Coins package in the Pokémon Go Shop costs $160 AUD. On a quick calculation, this will buy you roughly 170 Lure Modules, equalling 85 hours of Lure time. A fair price to pay for nearly 11 days of attracting players to your location if you run a 9-5 business.

How Else Can I Leverage Off Pokémon Go?

To get people even more excited about visiting your business, you can show them that your location contains rare, and hard to find Pokémon. One Reddit user has created a chart to help you identify how rare each Pokémon is. Put down one of your Lure Modules and attempt to catch a rare one, then take a screenshot on your phone of the Pokémon in your store. Post the screenshot to social media to build hype and draw people in.

Other businesses are using the game in creative ways:

  • creating unique promotions and offers, such as discounts for users with certain Pokémon
  • putting up signage outside their stores to promote an offering in relation to the game
  • customising their menu’s to include Pokémon related terms
  • and even more

All in all, this guide is here to help you drive foot traffic and capture new customers – in the famous words of Ash Ketchum, ‘Gotta Catch ‘Em All’.

Cover image source: Coming Soon.net

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By Jack Genesin


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