The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Use Pokémon Go To Your Advantage
If you run a business in a high traffic area or even a slightly less populated area, but your area is known to have Pokémon surrounding it or have a Poke Stop, your business needs to use this to its advantage. If you are an employee, step up and start making suggestions for driving business by showing the people in charge this article. Whether you are a coffee shop, ice cream shop, a restaurant, or even a retail store, invite Pokémon players to hang in and around your store, encourage people to take photos, give them discounts and get more business and popularity. It is not just kids and teenagers playing Pokémon Go, but plenty of adults are getting into the game too.
Before I get into it, just a brief mention:
- Niantic is the company that developed Pokémon Go
- The Pokémon Company is a Japanese company that is responsible for marketing and licensing the Pokémon franchise
- Pokémon is pronounced: Po – keh – mon (It is alright if you say Po – kee – mon or Po – kay – mon or Po – kah – mon, some people might laugh at you, but it is still technically correct)
- Pokémon are cute little iconic creatures that fight each other
- Pikachu is probably the most recognizable Pokémon
- Pokémon Go has turned the real world into a “hunting ground” to capture these creatures and use them to fight against one another
- Pokémon basic terms:
- Pokémon – creatures that you must capture and use to fight other Pokémon
- Poké Stop – 5-minute interval rechargeable stations that grant you between 2 – 4 prizes in the form of Poké Balls, Poké Great Balls, Razz Berry, Revives
- Poké Balls – Pokémon balls are used to lock in and capture Pokémon
- Poké Great Balls – as you level up, Pokémon will become stronger and they will put up a good fight to catch, sometimes easily escaping regular Poké balls, so use these to capture the stronger ones
- Razz Berry – used to calm Pokémon for easier capture
- Gyms – Places of training, but may also serve as “Towers” that can be captured and held by Teams
- there is constant competition between Teams to “hold the flag” at any Gyms in your area
- Teams – Red Team, Blue Team, and Yellow Team that people can join (currently no way to change your team once chosen)
Here are three ideas for attracting new customers with Pokémon Go:
1. Download the App
It takes a minute to download and the app is free for iPhone and Android. If you are the owner of the company or the manager, start off by downloading Pokémon Go and learning the game. You could learn the game in as much time as you took to download it, figure out where the Pokémon are, and where the Poke Stops are. Encourage your employees to download it, as the more people who have the app in one area, the more likely new Poke Stops, Gyms, and Pokémon are likely to spawn in your area.
Don’t worry if a Poke Stop is down the street from you, you can still attract customers! We’ll discuss that soon.
Once you and your employees have enough knowledge, figure out your new business plan with your managers and employees to understand how you can use Pokémon Go to your advantage in driving more business to your location. While it may seem anti-social, Pokémon Go can be extremely social, especially if many people are playing all at once and encouraged to be social. Among all the politics, violence, and unfortunate issues facing our country, Pokémon is a step away from the real world into a virtual reality where our inner-self can have fun and be a child again. It is really fun and exciting to see other people playing. Allow people to come to a place where they don’t have to be themselves and can find innocence in the game for a while.
2. Learn How To Talk Pokémon Go
As I sat at a restaurant which happened to also contain a Poke Stop, all of the waiters who happened to walk by noticed two people at my table playing the game. The manager came up to us and thanked us for dropping the Pokémon lure. He had been catching them in the back. You might think this is a distraction for employees, and they should certainly be working and not playing Pokémon Go, but occasionally, especially on break, is when they could spend a few minutes playing Pokémon Go.
Relating to others who also play Pokémon Go creates an environment of trust and coolness. The Wow factor for any businesses with employees who play Pokémon Go drives relate-ability and the sense of a fun work environment. The fact that all of the employees were interacting with my family about Pokémon Go made me want to hang around longer and I ended up spending more money at the restaurant just to hang by the lure of the Pokémon. I also plan to go back because the area is a good hot spot for people setting lures and Pokémon flock to it like crazy. Considering I can get more Poke balls (Poke Stops recharge every 5 minutes) without getting up from my table is definitely a bonus and although it was my favorite restaurant before, I now have an excuse to visit more times in the month.
3. Offer Discounts for Pokémon Go Players
Whether you want to offer a 5%, 10%, or $5 off coupon, encourage Pokémon Go players to keep coming back. Offer bigger discounts for people who bring in their friends and families who are also playing Pokémon Go. Offer discounts to people who post pictures of Pokémon inside or near your business on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest walls. Encourage the social media interaction!
While they may sit at the table playing Pokémon Go, they are likely to stick around and give you business, especially if you are in the coffee or restaurant business. Encourage employees and customers to set lures every so often. While it is understandable that employees should be working, allowing employees a two to five minute break should suffice and possibly help bring in more business.
Once a lure is set, all of the players in the area can see the lure and will be more attracted to stopping by. Put a few signs outside of your business and invite them in. If employees can set lures, this might be just as helpful to attract new customers and keep them spending money in your business. If you are a restaurant, maybe offer free coffee or a dessert. Pokémon Go players are likely to tell their friends about your business, and everyone will come hang around, as you will become the new hot spot in town.
As a bonus: Consider offering free WiFi service.
You could even start your own business in your area driving people around town to all the Poké Stops and search for Pokémon.
Pokémon Go is the game for everyone. Many people who are not into it think it is a waste of time and there is no reason for it. Gamers understand it most: They love to stay entertained. Why do they spend hours playing video games? Because they love it and it is a distraction away from their lives for a while. What makes Pokémon Go fun is the fact that you have hundreds of thousands of people playing with you, no matter what city you enter, no matter what state you go to, and no matter what country you are in, you will find other players who are out and about doing exactly what you are doing: chasing Pokémon, charging up at Poké Stops, training at Gyms, and taking over those Gyms from other teams.
More people are going out, driving around, walking around, talking to each other, and during the hot weather, especially, people are thirsty and hungry, and are looking to satisfy those cravings while they are out and about. In the winter time, they will be looking for a nice hot meal or a hot cup of coffee. Your business has the best opportunity to attract many new customers using the free marketing of Pokémon Go.
If you still cannot figure out Pokémon Go, just ask your children and they will get you into the game pretty quickly. You can come up with more creative and innovative ideas to encourage social interactions and contests for players of Pokémon Go. The number of people playing continues to increase everyday and if your business can relate, keep up with the game, and appeal to those playing the game, you will be a part of the popular trend. If your business does not take advantage of this current hot trend, where people are out and about and probably willing to spend money, your company will miss out on this major opportunity.
Rumor in the Wild: As of this writing, there is currently no way to become an “official Poké Stop” or make Pokémon spawn directly at or around your business location at your will, except by setting lures, however, there are suggestions from Niantic about the possibility for businesses to purchase or become “sponsors” to make these happen in their area.