Pokémon Go has been one of the most talked about trends of the summer, and while the furore around the augmented reality game may be dying down somewhat, there are still lots of players avidly trying to ‘catch ’em all’. A game that takes people out into the outside world to play has been an ambitious and novel idea that has really captured the imaginations of all people, from hardcore gamers who usually wouldn’t touch a mobile game (preferring the kind of high end console and PC games talked about on sites like iwantcheats.net), through to people who don’t normally play video games at all. The demographic for the game is also an interesting combination of older millennials who have been fans of the Pokémon franchise since their childhood, and kids, though really people of all ages have found things to love about it.
With such a wide audience and so much buzz, it is no surprise that some businesses have been able to use the fad as a way to bring in more customers. Here are some methods that have been used:
Some shops, restaurants and bars have offered discounts or promotions to people who photograph Pokémon using the game’s augmented reality view in their location and post the pictures on social media. This gives them free social media publicity, as well as suggesting to potential customers that theirs might be a good place to visit to catch Pokémon.
Businesses who are lucky enough to have pokestops on their locations have found that by investing in lure modules (in game items that make more Pokémon appear for everybody in the area, which can be bought for real money), they can lure in people as well as virtual creatures. This is an especially good tactic for bars, pubs and clubs, as with endless lures going on, people who play the game tend to stay longer and buy more food and drink. Because Pokémon Go is an inherently social game that also encourages people to go out more, having lots of people playing within a venue also makes for a lively and fun atmosphere.
The Future of Pokémon Go for Marketing
These strategies are already being used by lots of businesses, however what is interesting is the potential for even bigger uses of the game for business in future. The developers of Pokémon Go, Niantic, have had sponsorship within their other big augmented reality game Ingress, however this doesn’t really lend itself to the Pokémon franchise. What could be more likely is that event organisers or venue owners might pay Niantic to arrange for a very rare Pokémon (perhaps one of the legendary Pokémon not yet implemented in the game) to appear at their event or location. This would certainly be an enormous draw while the game remains popular.
It is interesting to see how enterprising businesses keep their eye on trends like this and look for ways they can use them in their strategies.