What is Pokémon Go?
As you may have read in Justin’s post earlier this week, Pokémon Go is a reality game app that you can download on Android and iOS devices. Just in case you wanted to learn a little more about the topic I thought I’d share a few more details. To play Pokémon Go you create an avatar, so that you can be a trainer (person that plays Pokémon Go). It uses your phone GPS to navigate you to PokeStops and Gyms to capture Pokémon which are creatures such as turtles, dragons, rats, etc. At the Gyms (not workout gyms, just random selected locations) the trainers meet to battle Pokémon. The goal of the game is to catch all the Pokémon and become a Pokémon master by defeating respected trainers.
To play you physically need to travel around to Pokestop and Gym locations which are often landmarks, historical and tourist location such as parks, churches and water towers. The app uses your GPS and clock to determine where you are and what time it is then presents an applicable atmosphere. If you are in a park, you’ll probably see grass and bugs on the game. If it is nighttime, you’ll see nocturnal creatures.
The app is free, but you can pay for items to draw Pokémon to the PokeStops, which is how the game developer makes money.
Can Pokémon Go impact my business?
You may have seen groups of people gathered in random places looking at their phones. Maybe your kids want to play Pokémon Go or maybe you’ve tried it yourself. Enjoy! How can Pokémon Go impact your business?
Some businesses have been able to use Pokémon Go to their advantage. If there is a PokeStop near your business location, you may have seen additional traffic. There is an option to purchase “Lures” which can draw Pokémon to locations. If you want a bunch of Pokémon trainers to visit, you could give that try. If there is already a PokeStop nearby you could try offering a Pokémon special on a product players could benefit from using to draw them into your location. You cannot create PokeStops or Gyms, so the best you can do is “Lure” Pokémon.
Lessons to learn from Pokémon Go
Whether you love or hate Pokémon Go there are a few things to learn from the hype:
- Timing – It is mid-summer, so kids are looking for things to do. Parents have heard the dreaded “I’m bored” a few too many times. There are lots of outdoor activities and festivals happening and in general people spend more time outside than in mid-January for example. A great time to play Pokémon Go.
- Branding – Pokémon has been around for 20 years. The name was instantly recognizable by many without need for explanation.
- Social media usage – It is everywhere. Some people love it, some hate it, but no matter what you think I bet you’ve heard about it.
- Nostalgia – Loyalty – Many people played Pokémon in the 90s, now those fans have a chance to re-live that time with a modern, trending app.
- Ease of use – You don’t really need much direction on how to play. If you know how to use an Android or iOS device, you can figure this out.
- Always be prepared – The servers hosting the app had a hard time handling the demand. Could they anticipate the huge demand? Maybe, maybe not, but they were struggling to keep things up and running after the app launched.
Whether you play Pokémon Go or not you’ve probably heard about it. Should you care about it? That is up to you. It is a trending topic right now, so it never hurts to know what is going on. Plus, now you know why all those people are wandering around parks staring at their phone!