We’ve all heard of Pokemon at some point in the last 20 years, the game that blasted onto the scene back in 1996 on Game Boy, has captivated people from all age groups to “Catch ‘Em All” for 2 decades now. A fictional world that includes 721 Pokemon species, 6 regions, trading cards, it’s own manga and anime series, a cult following and yup, one Ash Ketchum.

Now if you’ve kept you’re nose out of the news lately or haven’t noticed all the people walking around glued to their phones, Nintendo teamed up with software development company Niantic to create Pokemon Go. The location-based game, which was released to select countries last Thursday, uses augmented reality to place Pokemon in the real world for user to find and collect. Simple premise, but highly addictive. The immediate popularity of the game has already caused Pokemon Go servers to struggle with the overload of people wanting to play. Just the other day, only a few days after it’s initial release, New Zealand players found they weren’t even able to sign into the game, leaving many fans distraught.

Server issues hasn’t stopped people joining the craze. Since it’s release, Nintendo’s stock has skyrocketed, the company’s share price has rose by 24.52%, adding $7.5 billion to the firms market value. The growth speed of Pokemon Go is unprecedented, the app has been installed on twice as many phones as Tinder, passing Twitter in it’s percentage of daily active users and has the double the engagement of Snapchat. These are heavy hitters of the social media scene that have all been around for over 4 years and Pokemon is only going one way, and that’s up. Lookout Facebook?

With all the success that Pokemon Go is having, is it possible to turn some of this attention towards businesses to boost sales, potential customers and foot traffic to your store? The answer is yes. All you need to know is how to play the game and here’s how.

Is Your Business Near a PokeStop or Gym?

Since Pokemon Go is a game that runs of an augmented reality HUD, or heads up display, of the real world, people actually have to move around the world to encounter Pokemon. The players avatar will move as they do. As they move around on their journey, people will encounter wild Pokemon, PokeStops, which will give you items to use, and Gyms, which they can battle other users and team up to defend it, if they can beat other users to claim it. So if you’ve got one nearby, you’re in business!

Drop a Lure, Sit Back and Get Ready to Greet Customers

The most important part for your business when using Pokemon Go, are Lures, which you can buy within Go’s in-app store. The concept for Lures are simple. You can place them on PokeStops for half an hour and it will increase the rate of Pokemon that will appear. Pokemon are scarcer than you think, so being able to lure them at a higher rate for a short amount of time is an extremely powerful tool.

Now the next great thing about Lures is how much they cost. Say if you spent $100, that would get you 14,500 Pokecoins and an eight pack of Lures cost 680 Pokecoins

  • 14,500 Pokecoins / 680 = 21 eight packs of lures
  • 21 x 8 / 2 = 84 hours
  • $100 / 84 = $1.19 per hours

Accessing the store is simple.

  • Tap the red Pokeball at the bottom of your screen
  • Tap on Shop
  • Scroll down until you see the purple box shaped Lures and tap to purchase. You’ll then be sent to your apps store payment system.
  • Once you’ve purchased your Lures, tap the Pokeball and tap the Items button.
  • Tap your Lure and place it on a nearby PokeStop to activate. Simple!

Now if your business is near a PokeStop, this is something you definitely have to try! The potential for ROI (return on investment) is immense, as people will flock to points with Lures. And your only spending a bit over a dollar!

Find out if you’re near a Gym!

To see if your business is near a Gym, just open up Pokemon Go and look around the map. You can’t miss them, they’re the tall, tower like structures with a Pokemon on top. Gyms are slightly different from PokeStops, you can’t place a Lure on them but that’s alright, because people will converge on them regardless. They go head to head with 3 other teams, Instinct, Mystic and Valor to take control of it. A king of the hill style of fighting. Now if you can market this right, you could potentially leave the door open to groups of people coming through it. Here’s some ideas.

  • Signs: Place a sign on the street or in your window promoting that you support Pokemon Go and that they can receive some sort of discount if they can prove that they are currently on top of the Gym. People will be inclined to hang around your store in the hope that they can claim the Gym and get something from you.
  • Freebies: People love free things. So why not get creative and think of something to give away for free to entice people to come and play in your store.
  • Social: We’re all using social media, so why not post photos and screenshots of whats happening around your store to try and pull people in. Use hashtags like #pokemon and #pokemongo to get the message out there to potential new customers.

People will have their doubts, some will say “it’s a fad” and that it’s immense popularity will pass, but hey, that’s what they said when the first Pokemon games was released. In a digital world, businesses need to take advantage of trends that could potentially bring them sales, new customers and awareness. Pokemon Go is one that you should try and capitalise on. The opportunity to create new relationships with customers cannot be passed up on. Even if Pokemon Go is gone in the next 12 months, the customers will remain and remember you. And that should be motivation enough for you to give it a go.