You probably noticed your local parks and trails seem busier than ever. It is not your imagination; it’s the Pokemon Go fever and it struck everyone from little kids to retirees. The newest app has already amassed more users than the dating app Tinder, surpassed Twitter’s daily user count and is getting more engagement than Facebook, and it’s only a week old! As it turns out more people are trying to catch Pokemon than a date.
Gatherings large and small are occurring all around communities typically focused around clusters of in-game hot spots called “PokeStops.” These PokeStops are tied to real world points of interest such as sculptures, monuments and churches and offer items to users of the game which lures many people to visit these spots on a regular basis. If your business is lucky enough to sit on or nearby one of these PokeStops, you’re sitting on a potential goldmine of customers.
I saw a perfect example last night at Library Square in the heart of downtown Hutchinson. There were 20 to 30 people sitting around the central fountain for hours socializing and playing Pokemon Go. This is the most people I’ve seen in that park without a special event going on since I started living in Hutchinson 15 years ago. What I didn’t see was businesses there turning people into customers. Downtown areas and parks are littered with these PokeStops and businesses could capitalize on the number of customers visiting these locations by enticing them to stop by their stores with special discounts or Pokemon themed items.
You don’t have to understand the game to understand that it’s bringing dozens if not hundreds of people close to your business in your local community. Watch for Vivid Image’s newest staff member, Heidi Arndt’s upcoming Pokemon Go blog post later this week, when she dives deeper into the topic.