If you’d asked me a few years ago what the chances were of me writing an article on Pokemon, I would have said less than zero. But here we are, in Norwich, talking about darn Pokemon.
POKEMON GO: A QUICK PRIMER
Nintendo & Niantic launched the game Pokemon Go around the 6th of July, it’s an augmented reality app available to most smart phones. Fundamentally it’s a ‘scavenger’ game, where you physically walk around looking for things within the game. You access a live map, and can see where things might be, as well as areas of interest and special areas, by visiting and collecting you gather points and prizes, as one would imagine. The more population dense your area, the more likely you are to be able to find things. Today I was walking through Norwich, Norfolk and the increase of activity in the heart of the city centre was amazing.
WHY AM I INTERESTED IN POKEMON GO?
Once I heard mention of local businesses using Pokemon to get people to flock closer, which then resulted in sales, I was interested..
WHAT ARE POKEMON GO LURES?
Fundamentally, businesses have been able to buy and set ‘lure modules’ near their location (or ‘Pokestops’), which then are then published live to the local Pokemon world. To put is simply, if you’re playing the game and you’re within half a mile or so, you can see on your map that there is a lure available, and all you have to do is head over to it and stand around for up to half an hour and you’ll be guaranteed some kind of treat, which is pretty enticing for any player in the game.
WHAT DOES POKEMON GO MEAN FOR MY BUSINESS?
People don’t just get an instant reward for turning up to location (generally within 10 or 20 metres), something will appear (or multiple things) at some point within 30 minutes. So if you have a coffee shop or takeaway place, this lures people to stand around, and some will convert to sales (There are already some examples of this!).
HOW CAN I LEVERAGE POKEMON GO FOR MY BUSINESS
If you’re already a Pokemon player and have the app you’ll know what to do. If you don’t already play then download the free app to your phone, and get started. There are ways to get ‘lures’ for free, but if you’re a business owner and just want to get on with it without playing you can just sign up for an account, buy a lure (max 79p) and this will lure people to your location for 30mins. There are already a handful of Facebook groups for Pokemon just within this location in Norwich, so if publish your lure location and timings on one of these group pages the word will spread pretty quickly. Realistically you need to be in a city or large footfall area for this to work, especially as it’s only ‘seen’ for half a mile or so.
As a small business owner it’s always fun to try stuff like this, for the sake of a couple of hours playing and a couple of quid, it’s surely worth a test if you’re in the right area!
DO YOU HAVE ANY EXAMPLES OF POKEMON GO HELPING BUSINESS IN REAL LIFE?
There are some great examples here on Reddit
Locally to me, I know of the Waterfront & The Owl sanctuary offering deals and discounts, but I’m sure there are many more places I’ve not seen yet!
“If a business spends $100 for 14,500 pokecoins, they can buy lures for $0.59/lure. $100 gets you 170 lures and 85 hours worth of increased traffic. If you’re a bar in a college town/city, this is the greatest investment you can make right now.”
INC.com have some great points:
- Tell users you’ll pay for their Incense in return for some screenshots of any rare Pokemon that pop up in the vicinity of your shop.
- Have them upload the picture and tag you on social media, so that their followers know about you too.
- Promote the fact that you’re rewarding users who find rare Pokemon at your business.
THE IDEAL SITUATION:
So the ideal situation is something like this, you’re a coffee or sandwich shop in a larger town or city, that you know has a large amount of players. Leverage your social media accounts and mention the time you’ll be dropping the lure, perhaps use some of the points from INC above to leverage further,
So now go out and try it!
If you have tried it yourself or had results, please let me know!