Dakarai Turner

From Pokémaster to Paying Customer – What the Early Success of Pokémon Go Means for Local Businesses

July 12, 2016

Whether you’re a fan of Pokémon or not, between last week (July 6th) and today, you’ve probably thought about, or already have downloaded the Pokémon Go app, for one of two reasons. You grew up playing Pokemon and love their games, or everyone around you is playing and you decided to give it a shot. Regardless of the reason, the augmented reality driven platform has taken the world by storm, and has already been a proven success for Nintendo. It was recently reported that Nintendo’s share price rose 24.52 percent in one day, adding $7.5 Billion to their market value. Phenomenal to say the least.

The object of the game, for the unaware, is to catch various monsters that pop up as you navigate the real worldMan playing Pokemon Go, as well as battle other players for territory. Just go outside in a well populated place and you will most likely see people walking around pointing their phones at the floor as if it were a metal detector. The app currently has more installations than Tinder, and is currently being used for 43 minutes a day on average in the U.S. For comparison, Snapchat’s daily usage is 22 minutes. To be fair, this is an app fresh out the oven that is living off of hype for right now, so time will tell if its success will last. Personally, I have never really been into Pokémon, but I am strongly considering downloading the app because of everyone around me talking about it…FOMO is real.

So what does this all mean for small businesses and marketers?

With Virtual and Augmented Reality reaching an all time high in terms of use, it opens a great world opportunities for brands to explore new media channels and create experiences for their consumers. Why does Pokémon Go appeal to so many people? It’s something different. There could have simply been a new Pokémon game that would definitely do well in terms of downloads from fanatics alone. However, what makes Pokémon Go special, is clearly the experience it provides. It forces you to gClothing store using Pokemon Goo outside and explore your city, all while interacting with the game.

It’s pretty early, but local businesses are already taking advantage of the popularity surrounding the app. “Pokéstops” and “Pokégyms” are real life locations that include various local businesses that are pre-determined. As you can imagine, with flocks of teenagers and young adults flocking around a local business, it’s on them to turn them into paying customers. Check out an example to the right of a local clothing store that is registered as a Pokéshop.

Users can make an in-app purchase for Lure Models. Essentially it creates a hot zone in the designated area that will attract Pokémon, and inevitably other players for 30 minutes. I mean, is it really that hard to imagine a local coffee shop using this feature to attract players near their store. Throw in an outdoor sign with a fantastic promotion aimed at Pokemon Go players and there you go! The Lure Model would only cost $1.29 per hour.

Pokemon Go store

It’s only been a week and Pokémon Go has taken complete control of the internet. It’s the subject of every water cooler conversation, and your mom is probably messaging you to tell her how it works. In the coming days we will definitely be seeing some creative ways that businesses are using the platform. The one question that arises when this much hype is involved, is will it last? Only time will tell.

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, who is currently completing an internship in account services for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.

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