Pokémon Go - strategy for business?

Pokémon Go - strategy for business?

As the eagerly awaited augmented reality game Pokemon Go hits the UK app store, what opportunities are gifted to business owners? Quite a few, if you play your pokeballs right, says the BIC’s Sarah Spence.

So it’s no surprise, even if you aren’t its biggest fan, that millions of people have taken to the streets thanks to the success of Pokémon Go.

You may not know what a Magikarp, a Krabby or an Electabuzz are - and yes, these are real names - but you will have seen the Pokémon craze popping up all over social media and even from friends and family.

Nintendo shares have rocketed; up more than 50% since Pokémon Go release. It is now officially a global phenomenon, and topped the app store download charts.

The app lets players roam a map using their phone’s GPS location data and catch Pokémon to train and battle. Using real-world maps to track players as they move around, players can visit Pokestops – typically landmarks or buildings – and collect free items in the game.

The main aim is to catch Pokémon, which pop up along the way. The game provides an augmented reality experience, using the smartphone’s camera to provide a live view of the world, with Pokémon superimposed.

Any creatures caught can be used in battle against other players at Pokémon gyms – also real-world landmarks. Pikachu even popped up on Downing Street, ahead of Therea May’s first appearance as Prime Minister!

So, here’s the juicy bit: the demographic reach is huge, therefore there are many potential uses for marketers.

If your business happens to be the site of a Pokémon Go gym or Pokestop, you can take advantage.

For example a restaurant could offer hunters them a special deal - a free dessert if customers show their server their Pokémon Go account or checks into their restaurant with a Facebook update, tweet or Instagram post – you get the picture.

Not a food based business? There are plenty of other incentives you can offer – give away merchandising or discount codes, or even a charging station for people with low battery!

Are there any advertising spaces near a local Pokestop? They’re likely to have a higher footfall in the immediate future.

Allowing users to feel comfortable and welcome in your local business means they’ll be more likely to visit or recommend. And word of mouth is still your best form of advertising.

So even if you aren’t a fan of Pokémon, embrace it - use it to its full potential and hit your target audience!

Sarah is communications manager at the North East BIC.

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