How to use the Pokemon Go phenomenon to benefit your business

Within the last month Pokemon Go has taken over the world. It has had more downloads and clicks per day than both Twitter and Tinder combined. According to Fortune, it has over 65 million users in the United States alone and those players are spending approximately 1.6 million dollars PER DAY on in-app purchases. To say that Pokemon Go is a lucrative business would be the understatement of the year. So what is the phenomenon all about? What is the secret behind its’ popularity? Well, for starters, it has managed to cash in on the nostalgia of millennials who played the game as children; some are even going on Pokemon “dates” and using it as a fun active way to get to know someone without the pressure of a sit down dinner or the awkward silence of a movie. It has also made video games mobile for children now, seeing that video games have often been a sedentary practice, Pokemon Go combines a child’s love for video games with exercise (you have to hike 2-10 km to “hatch” an egg and receive a new pokemon)- making it a fan favorite of parents who want their kids to go outside more as well. With their ability to market themselves to young adults, children, and their parents it seems that Pokemon Go has managed to catch us all, not the other way around.

Businesses that have been lucky enough to become “Pokestops” have seen a surge in business, a prime example would be the Santa Monica Pier, the developers of Pokemon Go have made almost every restaurant on the pier a stop and on any given night you can see thousands of people walking around to catch pokemon, often stopping at the shops for a coffee, a snack, or even a beer. However on the contrary, some pokestops (such as apartment buildings or hotels) have complained that they have seen a surge in loiterers outside of the building. So can your business become a pokestop? Unfortunately, the reps at Niantic have stated that they will be launching sponsored stops soon, but not quite yet, and personally I think the Pokemon Go developers are being very strategic in their approach; showing the value of being a pokestop FIRST and then allowing businesses to sign up to be one (or contest it) LATER, there is however a form that users can fill out to request more pokestops in their neighborhood. So that leaves the question, how can your business cash in on the craze NOW?
Well some businesses have started to offer discounts or freebies to Pokemon “trainers”. The LA Zoo has been offering a discount to pokemon users and pizza places such as Tomato Pie Pizza have started to offer freebies based on your pokemon trainer level. So consider, does your business offer a product or service that either millennials, children, or parents would be interested in? Another approach could be to see where the pokestops are in the area of your business and form a partnership. For example if the closest stop is a clothing store and you own a dry cleaning business you could offer their customers a discount for coming to you with proof of purchase. Some bars and restaurants have been banding together for Pokemon “bar crawls” to benefit all of them, and a bakery has been making Pokemon themed cupcakes and cookies. Whatever your niche may be, get creative!