Over the past couple of weeks, people all over the world are prowling the streets, with smartphones in hand, searching for Pokémon. The connection between the newest viral app and your business might not be visible at first but with a little imagination you can see how other business are using the app to promote themselves.
1. Pizza Bar, New York
One of the earlies businesses to tap into the real world windfall of Pokémon Go was L’inizio’s Pizza Bar in New York. The pizzeria tapped into the fad by investing $10 on “lure modules,” an in-game purchase that attracts Pokémon to a specified location. Food and drink sales spiked by about 30% when compared to a typical weekend. It’s widely reported on Twitter that more and more bars and restaurants are tapping into the opportunity.
2. Bremerton Bar & Grill, Washington
Pokémon has become a powerful persuasive force for Bremerton, who purchased lures to add to their Pokestop. They dropped lures all day on Facebook inviting people to come down and use their Wi-Fi. They haven’t had anyone come in and not get something to eat and drink while they are there.
3. The Pokémon Company itself
Nintendo’s stock price skyrocketed by 25% following the release Pokémon Go. The company’s valuation has increased by an estimated $7.5 billion thanks to the game.
If you’re looking to get people in your door and cash in on the trend, here are a few things you can do:
1. Find out if your business is a Gym or a PokeStop
This is the first thing you should figure out. Pokestops and Gyms attract traffic without any effort. Players flock to them for rewards and battles, respectively. These can be leveraged for massive sales if you know how. Niantic haven’t released an official map that lists all the PokeStops and Gyms yet. One way around this is to use an online map of portals created over the last three years for the game Ingress – another Niantic app – which maps virtually 1:1 with Pokémon Go’s PokeStops and Gyms.
Once you install the Ingress app on your phone, check out the map here. You can sign-in using your Google account. It doesn’t take long to set up. Once you’re in you will have access to a searchable world map, of different ‘portals’ – each one being either a PokeStop or a Gym.
2. Promote your store through lure modules
You can make a range of in-app purchases in Pokémon Go, but the most important one for your small business is Lures. Lures increase the amount of Pokémon in the area – for half an hour – where the PokeStop is located.
3. Find out if your business is near a Gym
Gyms are entirely different from PokeStops. You can’t put down lures at Gyms, because users converge on Gyms to face off with other users and take control of the gym. To find out if your business is near a Gym, check the Ingress app or open Pokémon on your phone and look for tall structures with little Pokémon near the top. Making the most of your close proximity to a Gym is more about creative marketing than anything else.
While Pokemon Go wouldn’t not work for all businesses, we think it is more likely to bring success for businesses that sell food and beverages.