With all the Pokémon Go craziness going on we couldn’t help but wonder how our clients might use this to their advantage. When you’ve got thousands of people hitting the streets it’s a no-brainer for retail stores to do everything they can to get a piece of that foot traffic.
THE GIST OF IT: AUGMENTED REALITY
If you’re still not quite grasping the concept, here’s the gist of it. There’s a thing called augmented reality (AR for short) where you can look through your phone’s camera as you walk around like it’s a magical window showing you things that are only there in cyberspace. For example, some AR programs identify landmarks for you as you approach them by displaying virtual signage you can only see on your phone screen.
AR WITH CUTE LITTLE CRITTERS
Pokémon Go takes this concept and instead of placing mere words in front of you, it renders critters called Pokémon that you can “capture” and train in the game to do battle with other critters. Pokéstops are physical locations where trainers (players) can pick up virtual items to help them catch more Pokémon. Gyms are also physical locations – one could be at a park, for example – where the training happens; one trainer pits his or her Pokémon against another team’s Pokémon.
TIME TO CASH IN
Maybe you don’t get it. That’s okay; you don’t have to. But there are some simple things you can do to cash in on the Pokémon Go craze while the getting’s good.
- Submit a request to become a Pokéstop or Gym.
Using the developer’s support form you can submit your business address for consideration in becoming a Pokéstop. Trainers want the stuff they can get at Pokéstops. You want their business. Why not? (Just note that at this time of this writing this is a brand new tool. We can’t guarantee results, but it’s worth a shot!)
- Schedule a meetup at your business.
Create a Facebook event inviting trainers to come to your location to hang out and catch some Pokémon, like one organizer did in Chicago’s Millennial Park on July 17th, drawing thousands.
- Give discounts to players who show you their avatar.
An “avatar” is the player’s virtual self in the game. Compliment players on their creativity as you hand them special Pokémon Go coupons to encourage them to eat or shop a bit as they hunt.
- Offer promotional freebies.
Got apparel? Offer them to trainers as freebies. If you can, add a little Pokémon flair (something like, “I caught more Pokémon at ______!”) to your t-shirts, hats, whatever. Give them a special way to promote your business as they head out in search of more Pokémon action.
If you are willing to take the time to get into the game a little yourself, you can buy “lures” to attract Pokémon (and the hunters that follow) for 30 minutes. Playing the game will help you understand it better and speak your new customer base’s language, too.
The trainers are out there … do you want them doing business with you?
Right. We thought so.