Or, how we learnt to let go and embrace our inner Pikachu.
What is Pokémon Go?
Pokémon is from Japan, and is based around teenagers exploring a fictional world to catch creatures called pokémon to train and progress through a series of gyms. Pokémon come in many different ‘species’, once trained they learn new attacks and may even evolve into stronger pokémon.
Over the years it’s been presented in a selection of different ways, from video games and anime series, and card games to educational programs to explain environmental science.
Using a mixture of Google Maps and your phone’s GPS the game creates virtual pokémon to appear on the game’s map. The more the trainer walks the more pokémon they will find. At a certain level they can pit their pokémon against rivals once they have selected one of three teams; Mystic (blue), Instinct (yellow) or Valour (red).
To catch Pokémon trainers need to visit pokéstops, these tend to be point of interest in the local area – museums, land marks, or interesting buildings. Once they arrive there, they interact with the stop to be given a selection of items to catch pokémon and progress through the game. My suspicion is that they used a mix of Google Maps and Tripadvisor locations to select the pokéstops.
I consider it a fitness app in disguise. The potential for finding new pokémon, or evolving their current ones, has been reflected in many trainer’s behaviours. A colleague at Khaos HQ said that he’s ‘easily walked 45 km’ for Pokémon Go since it launched.
That’s all well and good - but how does it help my business?
Tip 1 – Attracting More Customers
One of the items featured in Pokémon Go is the ‘Lure Module’, when used on a pokéstop it increases the number of Pokemon at that location for all trainers. More often than not it’s not just Pokemon you’re drawing in- but trainers, too.
After you’ve downloaded and gone through the tutorial have a look round- what is marked in your local area. The chances are, if you’ve got a retail location, that there are pokéstops near by- if not you may even be one!
This is a screen shot of how the screen looks with the pokéstops nearby, they’re the blue stands, when you get close enough the cube turns into a sphere;
By placing lures on the nearby pokéstops you’re increasing the footfall to your area - and as we all know footfall means sales.
This has been trialled successfully in America, by museums especially, who have found that it increases the footfall and admissions drastically - stating they have users who have found them purely due to the lure they had placed!
If you’d like to suggest a pokéstop location you do so by submitting a request from to the game developer, Niantic, here; click on the button above ‘Search’.
Tip 2 – Pokéshopping
If you’re not lucky enough to be near a pokéstop you can still capitalise on Pokémon Go.
Market items with a pokémon slant, whether it’s a window display or suggesting ‘hacks’ using your products.
For example; trainers sometimes receive eggs at pokéstops for these to be hatched they have to walk a certain distance (2km, 5km, or 10km). Now travelling that far on foot doesn’t sound that much fun- but if you skate, scoot or bike under 13mph that will count towards the egg’s distance count.
If you sell more tech items, try ‘Pokémon Go Survival Packs’ with things like battery packs (the app is very power hungry), phone covers, and screen protectors - just in case of any accidents out hunting!
Just add a little imagination and you’ll be surprised at the results!
Tip 3 – Engagement
Sharing catches, especially the funny ones, is part of the Pokémon Go experience.
If you find there is a pokémon lurking in your stock a quick picture and caption for your social media channels will be well received.
It’s easily created content, and if aimed well enough can even have stock, offers and promotions in the background- or even being interacted with by your quarry.
Whether a pidgey is helping you shop;
A koffing surprises you in the aisles;
Or a blastoise is in your way (this will draw the trainers!);
It’s still not for me
For some of us the appeal of hunting imaginary monsters just isn’t our cup of tea or worse – it’s become a bit problematic.
If there is a pokéstop at your location, or one nearby, that is proving to be more of a pain then a pleasure you can request it to be removed. The same form as above: https://support.pokemongo.nianticlabs.com/hc/en-us/ (button above ‘Search’) can be used to remove bothersome pokéstops, and to report uncouth trainers.
Love it or hate it - it’s currently taking over the world (when the servers aren’t crashing)! We think it's worth embracing and can't wait to see what comes next!