Playing with the Pokémon GO App revealed that there was a Rattata on my coffee mug.
Merriam-Webster defines the word fad as a something (such as an interest or fashion) that is very popular for a short time. That would be how many people might describe Pokémon in light of the skyrocket in popularity of the new Pokémon Go App from Nintendo. The only catch of this description is that Pokémon actually came out in 1996. That all aside, what exactly is Pokémon GO anyway? And what is causing the fervor over this newest edition of the series? Below you’ll find the layman’s rundown of what in the world is going on, and more importantly, how you can profit from it.
Pokémania? What is it?
You’d think that a good way to begin understanding the world of Pokémon is to first grab your nearest adolescent or millennial and have them explain it. Having tried that first, I quickly realized that most of the nomenclature of follows the same conventions of The Smurfs wherein everything is smurfy or smurf-juice or smurftacular. This is less than helpful. Then I tried playing along with a coworker on his app and, while that helped to illustrate the addictive qualities of the game, I was almost left with more questions than before. Therefore, following some extremely in-depth research into the surprisingly expansive Pokémon universe, I’ve boiled it down to the basics here-
- Pokémon GO is a free app on iOS and Android that uses the player’s device to create an Augmented Reality (AR) of their surrounding world that is connected to Google Maps.
- In this AR version of their surroundings, certain monsters (Pokémon) pop up all over the place and the goal is to capture and collect them with Pokéballs. It’s basically just like a huge scavenger hunt that requires a smart phone.
- There are a set number of the creatures in the game (about 720 in total) and only the first 151 original ones are in the app. Note that this likely means several expansions to the app are in the future, thus keeping the game fresh.
- There are ways to get more of the valuable Pokéballs to capture Pokémon which you will need (trust me, I used up like 10 of my co-worker’s ammo trying to snag a Golbat.), along with other discoverable items scattered throughout the world.
- The catchphrase of “Gotta Catch ‘em All!” is no joke. The stories of mobs of people scouring random locations and coordinating Pokémon crawls are popping up all over the country with no signs of slowing down.
There are, of course, myriad other nuances to the whole world of Pokémon that I’m certainly enraging avid fans by having excluded, but for people who just want the basics, this is a good place to start.
One of our Support Team All-Stars got into the spirit with an example of how to shamelessly plug your business with Pokémon GO.
Why Should You Care?
This is the part that most people will likely overlook, but Pokémon GO is a legitimate revenue stream for your business. What’s that? How are a bunch of tunnel-visioned teens going to impact your bottom line, you ask? They don’t even have the money to spend that you want to collect, you say? False. TechCrunch reported that the daily in-app revenue of Pokémon GO is nearly five times that of the highest earning mobile game on iOS. These players are outspending the most ravenous online gamers at a dizzying rate to the tune of $1.6 million per day, and that’s not even accounting for all of the Android users out there, either. They have money, they want to find more Pokémon, and they might as well be doing it in your own place of business.
Great, So How Do I Pokémon GO?
Start by never asking that question verbatim, they’ll see your naiveté a mile away. Next, follow these 6 simple steps to bring in the crowds.
- Head over to the App Store or Android Market and download the app to get started, you’ll need one to accomplish all of the following steps.
- Keep an open mind and go play around with it for a bit. You don’t have to be the Great White Hunter and collect all of the Pokémon in your area, but familiarizing yourself with the interface and language will help.
- Find out if your business is a Gym or Poké Stop. These are randomly assigned hubs for players to get Pokéballs or to boost their stats.
- Be ready to put some money into the app and look at it the same way you would as a boosted social media post or Google Adwords investment. Plus, this is way less expensive (which will become clear in the next step) considering an initial investment of $100 will bank you a whopping 14,500 Pokécoins.
- This is the most important part, make sure that you buy a Pokémon Lure. These are virtual devices that draw more Pokémon activity to your location. And where there are Pokémon, there will be players. An 8-pack of lures costs 680 coins and one lure gives you an hour of boosted activity. With the aforementioned $100 investment, you can effectively create 84 hours of activity at your store for $1.19/hour.
- Next is to get creative on an incentive for the players when they arrive. You can search online for chalkboards and sandwich boards of businesses that leverage their lures to street traffic but remember that the “street” here is the key. It has been a long time since the walk-by customer was so prevalent as it is with this game, so be sure to capitalize on the heavy foot traffic with something that is playful yet still adds value.
Stay Tuned For More
We aren’t saying this is the new Burma-Shave ads or anything, but Pokémon GO easily has the momentum to be a fast and easy way to keep your business ahead of the curve. Plus, as we’ve shown here, the barriers for entry into the market are unbelievably low and, at least for the time being, not likely to be leveraged by your competitors. You should make sure to follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook for more useful tips Pokémon GO and other, more conventional, marketing tactics and trends for your business.