It’s been less than a month since Pokémon Go hopped onto the video game scene, and it’s already become the biggest sensation since, well, the original Pokémon came out 20 years ago. Everywhere you look, people are playing this game with the same enthusiasm they had two decades ago.
While it’s captivated the hearts, minds, and feet of its followers, many business owners have also been entranced by its potential to attract more customers. Unsure about how to use Pokémon Go to your benefit? Read our tips below to see how you can capitalize on this trend before it’s too late.
Offer a Discount
One way that small businesses are attracting players is by offering them a special discount in exchange for showing that they’re playing Pokémon Go. For example, you may give them an extra 10% off or a free sample of your latest ware. This can entice potential returning customers since they have to already be interested in your business to participate.
You can do different offers to drive traffic during your slow times, for example a free appetizer during Tuesday lunch service or a complimentary tote bag for the first Pokemon Go player each day. Another way to both reward these players and draw in more business is by having them check in electronically at your store, mention the discount, and that they’re playing Pokémon Go.
You can promote your Pokémon Go status through social media including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. Take photos of your employees or customers playing along with screenshots of what Pokémon they’ve caught or battles they’ve won.
- Here are some other ideas on how to promote your business to Pokémon Go players:
- Ask local artisans to create Pokémon designs on some of their wares and offer a small discount on those to Pokémon Go players who mention your store on social media.
- Give a 10% discount to customers who leave a review or mention what Pokémon they caught while at your store.
- Find the nearest gym near you and mention that Pokémon Go players can celebrate with a small sample of any beer on tap.
- Develop a Pokémon inspired drink for happy hour and offer it at a premium price for Pokémon Go players.
- Throw in a free donut for Pokémon Go players who buy a dozen – you could even design donuts based on the various characters and symbols used in the game
- Create raffles for Pokémon Go players who can win free merchandise, a 50% off coupon, or a gift certificate to your store. Use the prize to make sure the players have a reason to come back to your store.
Use Outdoor Advertising
If you have a storefront, don’t be afraid to use traditional sandwich boards to show off what you’re offering to Pokémon Go players. For example, if you do have specific discounts tailored to Pokémon Go players, advertising it outside can drag in customers who might have otherwise walked right past your store. You can use this in conjunction with social media and other forms of advertising.
Apply for a Pokestop
Some businesses already have the advantage of being near a gym or other desireable area, while others are lacking. No worries – businesses can pay to literally lure Pokémon to their business and then use that to drive in businesses. That’s because Nintendo wants people to keep playing and businesses can only add to the Pokémon hype train.
Businesses can drop lures that will, like their namesake, attract Pokémon Go players. Make sure to track the effectiveness of this model and see if it pays off. It may work to draw people in temporarily, but will it create repeat customers who will spread the word? Click here for details on how to apply.
Create Pokemon-Inspired Products
Whether you’re running a restaurant, a bakery, or a kitchenware store, the ability to sell Pokemon-inspired merchandise can be right at your fingertips. Not only are people excited to play Pokémon Go, but they also want to share their obsession.
You can create your own Pokémon products like Jigglypuff-shaped cookies or dog treats or purchase Pokémon apparel from other manufacturers. You can also create special discounts for these products for people who come in playing Pokémon Go.
Utilize Employees who Play
If your knowledge of Pokémon Go extends to Pikachu, it may be time to designate this project to a Pokémon-focused employee. They may be more likely to brainstorm about ways to drive in more customers using both traditional and new forms of advertising.
This may also be a good time to ask your younger relatives and friends for their advice in using Pokémon Go to drive more traffic and business.
Keep Your Business in Mind
What’s important is that you don’t lose sight of your business model in your quest for new customers or your desire not to miss out on this trend. For example, if you run a local lumber company, there may not be any opportunities for you to use Pokemon Go to attract contractors.
Like other trends, using Pokémon Go is only a good idea if it’s in line with what your business represents and if it will attract your ideal customers. For example, if you run a diner located on a rarely visited street, Pokémon Go may help you find more customers who will be tempted to come back once they have a taste of your signature Key Lime pie.
You have to show them why you deserve their business all year round and why they can keep coming back to you even after they’ve stopped trying to catch them all.