Overnight Pokémon GO has exploded and has quickly become one of the most (if not the most) popular app in the States. With it’s perfect mix of adventure and nostalgia, it’s attracting users of all ages.

One of the main objectives of the game is to explore your local area, visiting local landmarks, parks and businesses, seeking out rare Pokémon and replenishing their stocks of PokéBalls and Potions. It might sound like a different language, but as is the way with many trends – you don’t have to wholly understand it or even enjoy it on a personal level in order to capitalize on the hype and attract new business!

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Pokémon GO basics

Pokémon came to the States in 1998 with Pokémon Red & Blue for the Nintendo Game Boy, 2 years after Red & Green launched in Japan. Since then it has become a global phenomenon and Pokémon GO has done more than just attract users in their mid-20s reliving their childhood, this game has gained traction amongst Millennials, Generation X, Y and older. Encouraging users to get up and go outside is key to succeeding at the game. Once they locate a Pokémon, players flick Pokéballs at them in order to catch them. Users also receive rewards for visiting PokéStops (preassigned landmarks in the real world) and for covering distances by foot.

Users at level 5 in the game are also required to select a ‘team’, these are Valor (red), Mystic (blue) and Instinct (yellow).

Opportunity in a new Pokémon world

Businesses need to strike while the iron is hot and act fast while users are still flocking to the app. There is already strong evidence that users of the app are actually deciding on what restaurants they are going to dine out at based on PokéStops in the area. There are a number of ways that you can attract new customers using the app and hype to your advantage.

pokemon go sign


Above is an example of a sign that’s been put up by a thrift shop, advertising the fact that their building is a PokéStop and trying to entice new customers into the store to view their ‘previously rocked threads’.

A museum in Arkansas discovered that they were a PokéStop and a hotspot for wild Pokémon, so they embraced this and took to social media and their blog to promote this news. For a business like a Museum, that requires a donation or entrance fee, this is a no brainer – although users may be more interested in their phones than the exhibits.

Becoming a PokéStop

Other businesses are taking steps to register themselves as PokéStops, while there is no current procedure to suggest new locations, the game’s developers Niantic appear to be using the same coordinates and locations as the portals on Ingress, a previous game they developed. It’s likely that if and when they look to add locations to Pokémon GO they may scour Ingress for new portals in areas where they don’t have many, so it could well be worth registering on their and playing the waiting game!

Alternatively, if you’re business has been registered as a PokéStop or Gym and you’re not enjoying all the extra people around your premises, you can visit this support page and request that your location is removed.

Utilising PokéStops

Pokémon GO offers purchase option called a “Lure Module” that attracts Pokémon to that location for 30 minutes. You can advertise that for an hour during lunch or after work (or on a weekend) that you’ll be turning a PokéStop of your choosing into a wild Pokémon hotspot.

Make sure you pick one that’s easy to access and may also attract natural foot traffic, and make sure you’re on hand to advertise that you are the user responsible for the module being active – and have some flyers handy to advertise your business!

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