Over the last few days you may have noticed a sharp increase in the number of (and the excitement with which) people walking around looking at the world through their phones. They are playing Pokemon Go! an interactive video game that allows people to hunt for Pokemon creatures in real life. There are plenty of ways to use it for fun, but there also are many creative tactics for using Pokemon Go! for your business.
The game is not unlike a scavenger hunt in that there are items (virtual cartoon animals) to be found and collected. Using a phone’s GPS and its camera, players can see the virtual Pokemon world and get alerts that tell them where the nearest Pokemon creature is. Once they find a creature they have to capture it. There are various ways to do that but, for our purposes, just knowing that it must be done is a start.
The app is free to download and to use, although it does cause a significant battery drain places with charging stations and free WiFi, then, are particularly attractive to Pokemon Go! Enthusiasts. But that is not the only way businesses can take advantage of the opportunity provided by the Pokemon Go! Explosion.
Poke Stops and Poke Gym locations: There are many Poke Stops and Gyms in our area. The Town of Berlin’s municipal lot is a gym and there are at least five Poke stops nearby. Players use these stops to get tools for the game, from balls to incense and more. The original list of Poke Stops comes from Pokemon Go’s developers’ first game called “Ingress.” Regardless, many rural areas don’t have a lot of stops in the original game. Now, apparently, you can request that Poke stops be added. This means you can request that YOUR BUSINESS be added as a Poke Stop. This gets gamers to come to your business to collect important components for continued playing of the game. Comicbook.com gives instructions on how you can request a stop or you can go straight to the request form on PokemonGo.com’s website. In addition, Restaurant Week provides instruction about how businesses can lure Pokemon animals to their locations. As the phenomenon continues, there likely will be many more commercial options and applications local businesses can take advantage of in the coming weeks.
Even without purchasing “Pokemon Lures” as directed in the Restaurant Week article, businesses can get a handle on where they stand Pokemon-wise, simply by downloading the app and knowing which animals are nearest them, and whether and how valuable they are. Similarly, members of the management team can download the app to get a better sense of the attraction. This way they can make better-informed decisions about how and to what extent the Pokemon Go! app can add another dimension to their businesses.
The staff at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station, for example, took a very creative approach to show how neatly their mission dovetailed with the Pokemon Go! craze.