Attract New Customers With Pokemon Go

How to Get New Customers Using Pokemon Go

The future is here, and it’s helping savvy small business owners bring in more customers, increase sales and connect better with their local communities.

As you probably know, Pokemon Go is a new augmented-reality smart phone app. Like a particularly virulent form of a zombie virus, it has taken over the world in no time at all!  In fact, Pokemon Go is already on more than twice as many phones as the popular dating app Tinder, doubles Snapchat’s engagement rates, and even has a higher percentage of daily active users than Twitter!  Nintendo, the company responsible for this adorable infestation, had its stocks rise over 30% in less than seven days after the app launch.

This is all very good news for small businesses that follow these tips.

How Pokemon Go Increases Foot Traffic

Pokemon Go Small Business Sig
In order to discover how Pokemon Go can benefit you, your small business’s foot traffic, and the rate at which you sell your goods and/or services, you must first understand what Pokemon Go is.

Pokemon Go, of course, is an augmented-reality game centered on the capture and development of hundreds of different virtual (and often adorable) “pocket monsters” found all around the real world.  The game utilizes smart phone cameras and GPS map tracking in order to place these unique virtual characters into the real world.  You may have heard about Pokemon before.  They’ve been around for a while – but they’ve truly exploded in popularity ever since they, well, exploded, into our (augmented) reality!

PokeStops and Your Location

Players (or “Pokemon Trainers,” as they prefer to be called) collect “Pokeballs” (containers used to catch and keep their monsters) and other supplies at “PokeStops” scattered around the real world.

This is very important, so the first thing you need to do is discover whether your small business’s brick and mortar location is already designated as a PokeStop or is near a PokeStop. To find out, download the Pokemon Go onto an iPhone or Android device.  Don’t worry – the download is totally free!

How to Lure Players to Your Location

If you’re fortunate enough to be near (or in fact be) a PokeStop- one of the first things you can do is create a “Lure” to your location.  These Lures cost a little more than a dollar and last for 30 minutes.  If you place a Lure at your location, Pokemon will be found scampering all around the area!  Inevitably, Pokemon Trainers (a.ka. players) will follow.

In order to create a Lure within the Pokemon Go app, all you have to do is tap the red Pokeball at the bottom of your HUD (screen), tap “Shop”, scroll down and tap the purple, box-shaped Lures to purchase.  This will re-direct you to the app store’s payment system.  Once back in-app, tap the red Pokeball again, then tap “Items” and tap the purple Lure to activate!

Before you know it, potential customers will be swarming your premises!  As one business owner on Reddit has been quoted as saying: “As a manager of a store, Pokemon Go is $%&^ing amazing.  SO.  MUCH.  FOOT TRAFFIC.  Time to invest in some Lures.”

Pokemon Teams and Battles

Players in Pokemon Go are divided into three teams – “Instinct” (Yellow), “Valor” (Red), and “Mystic” (Blue) – and these teams battle for supremecy all around the world – mainly over real locations that in the game are called Pokemon Gyms. These locations can be taken over by player’s Pokemon characters. They are also where Pokemon character battles take place. Amusingly, the White House in Washington, D.C. is a gym guarded by a Pidgeot (a Pokemon that appears half pigeon/half eagle) called “Merica.”  At least as of last Tuesday, anyway…things change very quickly in this game.

How to Become a Pokestop or Gym

If your small business’s location is nowhere near a PokeStop or Gym, you can request Nintendo to become just such a location.  Just visit the official Pokemon Go support page, click on Submit a Request, select “Report an Issue with a Gym or Pokestop” and fill out the form there.  Hopefully they’ll get back to you soon!

Pokemon Go Gyms are Great for Business

Now, if your small business is at or near a Pokemon Go Gym, the procedure will be slightly different.  No Lures necessary here!  Pokemon Trainers will already be there – battling each other for supremacy over the location.

Pokemon Go Signs

Here is where you can really start to get creative.  Ensure you know which team is currently in control of your gym.  Maybe Pokemon business signeven keep score – put up a sandwich board or some other kind of highly visible signage within your brick and mortar location.  When one team or another takes control – put their team on that sign!  Perhaps consider offering discounts to the team occupying your Pokemon Gym.  Players will be more likely to come and congregate around your location – and as we’ve written in many of our previous blog posts – this will help ensure you are building relationships with the community around you.

To get good quality signage, use our SIGN.COM sign making tool, or contact your local SIGN.COM sign making business.

Be sure to announce such promotions on your social media presences as well!  Take pictures of winning teams and tag them with buzzwords from Pokemon Go as well as use hashtags like #pokemongo #pokemonstop and #pokemongym.  That way, people obsessed with the game in your local area will easily find you.  Their Pokemon obsession will perhaps in turn fuel an obsession with your small business and its goods and/or services.  Even if your small business is nowhere near a Pokemon Go PokeStop or Gym, you can still use social media to your advantage. Post things like “Pokemon Go Trainers welcome. Discounts to Team Instinct!”  Then the next day, discounts to Team Mystic, and so on and so forth.

Well – there you have it.  The secrets to “catching ’em all” – increasing foot traffic to your small business with a little help from the folks at Nintendo.  Pokemon Go is a great way to find and engage with local potential customers for your small business and its good and/or services.