You may have heard about Pokemon GO, a new free-to-play augmented reality videogame for iPhone and Android. It rose to fame on social media practically overnight when it released on July 8 and has quickly become the biggest mobile game in U.S. history. You may have noticed large crowds hanging around your business, looking at their phones and asking each other, “did you catch it?”
Your business can benefit from this cultural happening. But, before you do, here are some things you need to know about the game:
- It is an augmented reality game, meaning mobile phones use GPS to find Pokemon in the real-world.
- In the game there are places called “Poke-Stops”, which give free items to players every five minutes. Your business may already be one. This will attract large crowds.
- You can ask to be removed from the game or added by using the official support page.
- Want to know if your business is highlighted in the game but haven’t downloaded it? Check the developer’s map and log in through your Google account.
If your location is a “Poke-Stop”, advertise the fact that players can stock up on free items and catch the pocket monsters they are looking for with signage outside your business or on social media. Let crowds know about any promotions you are running.
You can also set up what the game calls a “Lure Module” (which costs $1) to attract nearby players to your business. When you do this rare, sought-after Pokemon flock to your location. To do this you must already be designated as a “Poke-Stop”. Purchasing these “Lure Modules” and using them on your business in the game during peak lunch or dinner hours could get gamers to choose you over nearby competitors.
Players around the country are already reporting that they will choose where they eat dinner based on whether it benefits them in the game. Ask employees who are playing Pokemon GO what types of Pokemon are found near you, and spread the word. Niantic, the developer, is promising updates every other week, so it is likely you will continue to see droves of players for months to come. Whether you want to capitalize on the app for your business’s sake or want to have your business removed, you should take action now.