How to Use Pokémon GO to Your Local Business’ Advantage

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At this point, you’ve probably heard of the new Pokémon GO phenomenon that has caught the country by storm and has added $7.5 billion to Nintendo’s market value over the last two weeks. Transcending generations, this “free-to-play, augmented reality mobile game” is changing the way people (from ages 5 to 105) play video games and interact with the real world – including local businesses.

Unlike traditional video games, Pokémon GO has forced its users outside, and encourages them to explore the world to find and collect their Pokémon. This includes places like parking lots, churches, landmarks and yes, businesses.

 What Does All of This Mean for Your Business?

Well, since so many people are taking to the streets, businesses have been using the same tools that Pokémon fanatics are familiar with and understand to increase their own profits.

For example, depending on your restaurant’s location, you could be close to something known as a “PokéStop” – a designated area or location where people can catch Pokémon. Where there is a PokéStop, there is most certainly a myriad of people that are looking to catch them all. The more people that are looking for Pokémon near that Stop (and near your store), the more foot traffic will increase.

Now, imagine if you could determine when that foot traffic would appear at that PokéStop – here’s where the strategy comes in.

Included in this game is the ability to purchase a “Lure Module.” A Lure Module is something that attracts Pokémon to a PokéStop for 30 minutes. When activated, other people around the PokéStop can benefit from the Lure and catch their own Pokémon at that Stop.

Why is this helpful? Again, imagine purchasing these Lures and activating them at slow times like after lunch and before dinner. If the PokéStop is near you, driving 30 minutes of traffic around your restaurant could be extremely helpful – especially when paired with a promotion at your store. Using social media (and hashtags that are used with the community like #PokemonGo) and signs outside of your store, you can let them know when you will activate the Lure and also that after the 30 minutes is up, you will run a promotion of ½ off ice cream for an additional 30 minutes for anyone that shows you the Pokémon they caught at that PokéStop (after all, searching for Pokémon is hard work in the heat!).

The best part is that Lure Modules are really inexpensive. For one 30 minute Lure, it’ll cost you about $1.45.

Will this hype last forever? Maybe, maybe not. But in the meantime, if you can drive some extra business to your store, develop rapport with these Pokémon fanatics, and build some loyalty because of a mutual interest, what do you have to lose?