Pokémon Go – the mega app. But how can you benefit?

27 September, 2016
by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish

By now, almost everyone has heard of Pokémon Go, the mobile app which lets users catch virtual Pokémon as if they were stood in front of them. The sight of people walking around with their phones held out in front of them, oblivious to their surroundings has become a familiar sight around the country. The Pokémon franchise has come a long way since its inception in 1995 and this is its first entrance into the smartphone world.


It is hard to predict how long the craze will last for due to the fickle nature of mobile gamers, but businesses are already looking at ways to utilise the influx of potential customers who are being drawn out of their homes and into town and city centres.


The uniqueness of the game is that it is based on real world locations and places of interest. Some businesses are already attracting more customers due to a particular rare Pokémon consistently being found at their premises. To encourage Pokémon appearances, lures can be purchased in-app which gives the location a 30 minute boost to attract Pokémon. Restaurants are obvious businesses that can take advantage of this. If users are drawn to the location, they will likely want to eat and drink whilst they catch more Pokémon.


Indeed, many restaurants in the UK are already doing this and are seeing tangible results. The benefits are not only immediate but could also continue after users inevitably loose interest in the app. The app might have introduced users to restaurants and shops for the first time and if their experience is good – repeat business is a clear possibility. Conversely, having lots of people turn up to a restaurant only to catch Pokémon and not to buy anything can prevent traditional non-Pokémon Go customers from being able to get a table.


The app can be mixed with effective use of social media to reach customers that may not be otherwise. If users post on social media that a particular Pokémon can be caught in a restaurant, or a particular area of town, this will encourage users to visit locations they may have never been before.


By becoming familiar with terms such as “Pokéstop” and “Pokémon Gym” business can take advantage of unexpected marketing potential the benefit of which, if managed and utilised correctly, could continue even after the Pokémon fervour has subsided.