READY, SET, (Pokèmon) GO!By Angelina Burkholder
If you haven’t investigated this hot new viral game in the entertainment arena, drop what you’re doing, and check it out NOW.
Pokèmon Go is a real-time, real-life game that sends you on a physical chase to gather iconic pokèmon all over your neighborhood, town, state, and yes, even the world. All this for the purpose of building and strengthening your team to fight against others.
If you've seen (or been confused by) people wandering around aimlessly in your neighborhood, downtown, or near your work area (glued to their phone), they're probably buried deep inside Pokèmon Go world.
You can download the game from the Apple store or Google Play, where it’s currently ranking number one ahead of Snapchat and Facebook in downloads. That alone should pique your interest.
Here’s Pokèmon Go explained in less than 400 words.
Pokèmon Go is basically a transformation of all previous Pokèmon games into a real life adventure.
People, the world is literally your stage now. Enter stage left: you, the local business or organization.
Because the game uses players’ GPS and is based off of real locations, various elements within the game are a gold mine for local shops and businesses. Those include Pokè Stops and Gyms. Here is the short, dialed down, I-don’t-understand-you-right-now explanation of what’s going on here.
Pokè Stop: People come to Pokè Stops to collect free items within the game. Ca-CHING. All you need to know is that a Pokè Stop automatically increases the number of foot traffic in your area.
Pokè Gym: People come here to battle other people’s teams. Being a Gym or being near a Gym is an even bigger win for you than being near a Pokè Stop. Why? Because more people frequent a Gym (and for longer amounts of time) than a Pokè Stop.
Download the app and see if your shop or storefront might be so lucky as to be a Pokè Stop, a Gym, or, at the least, be located near one. Pokèmon has pre-determined all the Pokè Stops and Gyms ahead of time, so currently there is nothing you can do if you aren’t one or aren’t near one (although there are rumors that this may change in the near future). But in the happy event that you're already location-lucky, here some ways to capitalize on those gamers.
If you are a Gym (or near one):
Everyone gets worn out from gaming, and after people are done fighting other teams at your gym, they’ll either need some cheering up (if they lost) or some celebrating (if they won). Stay up to date on who the winning team is at your gym, and advertise the winners. Offer them a discount on your merchandise, food, or services, and come up with a catchy offer for the losers as well. For instance, if you’re a coffee shop and you also sell food, give the winning team a discount on food to refuel for their next duel, but keep everyone interested by offering half-off coffee to the losers to bounce back from their loss. Find someone on your team who is Pokèmon savvy, and come up with catchy or comical lines for any discounts you might offer. Advertise those discounts on your social media, through a sign outside your shop, and via your email lists. Whatever you’re selling or offering, capitalize on the cluster of people around your shop to draw them into your business.
If you are a Pokè Stop (or near one):
People will come to you to stock up on Pokèmon freebies. Use creative language to attract people to come inside to claim more “prizes” like discounts on items or even small freebies that you can afford to give away.
But here’s the biggest thing you can do: buy a lure. A lure attracts Pokèmon to the Pokè Stop near you, allowing any trainer in the vicinity to benefit from the influx of Pokèmon. Each lure you buy lasts for 30 minutes and you only pay 100 Pokècoins for it. That’s only $.99!
Advertise the lure on your social media channels and offer a discount in your shop during that half hour as well. Even if only a few players decide to stick around for what you’re selling, that’s still more customers than you had before Pokèmon Go.
The truth is, Pokèmon Go is changing the gaming landscape and you can capitalize on people migrating outdoors at very little cost to your business. Those walking, playing people will get hungry, thirsty and tired. They need a place to catch a breath. Take that opportunity to advertise your business or organization. But here’s the catch—you have to be creative. Engage with the players, know the game, be able to talk about it. Finally create pun-y and catchy advertisements to snag players’ interests. You gotta be cool to get the cool kids.
You truly have nothing to lose. So why not give it a go? You gotta catch 'em all.