Can Pokemon Go Increase Sales?
You’ll have heard about it by now, in fact there’s really no escaping it and if you don’t know about it you’re either in solitary confinement or are living your life as an ostrich with your head either metaphorically or literally in the sand.
I’m talking about the latest wave of crazy to hit our shores; Pokemon Go.
Officially launched in the UK on July the 14th Pokemon Go has taken the country by storm, with players roaming the streets to find and catch the best Pokemon, take over gyms and raid Pokestops for power-ups. No doubt you’ll have seen various tweets, FB posts, news articles, warning messages, crime reports all Pokemon centric and honestly I haven’t seen a craze like this since, well the last time Pokemon was a craze.
What does this have to do obtaining more business? Well if you’re savvy enough any big craze can be used boost sales and Pokemon Go is no exception. Many restaurants have already jumped on the game as a way to bolster sales and with 21m users in the US alone it’s with good reason; it’s already surpassed Candy Crush as the biggest mobile game ever. Yes, Candy Crush people.
Just for the uninitiated out there here’s a handy description of what I’m talking about: According to Wikipedia Pokémon Go “is a free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic and published by The Pokémon Company as part of the Pokémon franchise.” According to the Pokémon website, Pokémon Go “allows you to find and catch more than a hundred species of Pokémon as you explore your surroundings.”
Basically, it enables players to trap imaginary creatures in the real world like a scavenger hunt, meaning that people are literally walking right by your business and here’s how you can turn that foot fall into sales.
Here’s my simple three step plan to boost profits using Pokemon Go
Lure them in:
If your business is one of many Pokestops (which gives players the opportunity to stock up on Pokeballs) and chances are it is, you can actually buy a lure model and attach it to the Pokestop attracting Pokemon (and then obviously people seeking to capture them).
Using lures increase the rate of Pokemon generation in the area around the PokeStop where they’re placed for one half hour. That may not sound that powerful, but Pokemon are scarcer than you think and as an outstanding example Maxwells Bar and Grill in Covent Garden has reported a mind boggling 26% increase in business in its first week alone since it started using lures as a way to drive business in fact, the restaurant now has a sole employee responsible purely for setting lures for the business . New York pizzeria L’inizio Pizza Bar saw sales rocket up 75 percent this weekend after its manager, Sean Benedetti, spent $10 to have a dozen Pokemon lured to the location, according to the New York Post.
Costa has also seen a 30% rise in footfall and is looking to engage further with the game and Yelp have recently began adding a filter which allows you to see if there is a Pokestop near a particular restaurant so catchers don’t have to waste their time at Pokemonless restaurants
Social Media engagement:
Strategy here is key. Using Pokemon Go can actually raise your social media profile. Restaurants are currently branding themselves as Pokemon hotspots and engaging with app users on social media. You should be getting people excited about visiting your business by getting on social media and show off the valuable or rare Pokemon popping up in your area. To know what to look for, a Reddit user has created a handy rarity chart.
After a restaurant released footage of users swarming around it trying to catch rare Pokemon a lot of other businesses have tried to follow suit. Brands are encouraging players to share their captures on social media. Sandwich boards featuring which team is currently in control of your Pokegym (A Pokegym is a place where players battle their Pokémon in a bid to gain control of the location for their team) are also helpful use these to offer special offers to members of that specific team, customers will be fighting to gain control to have access to the same offers and don’t worry about gleaning that information yourself just ask players to let you know when a gym changes hand they’ll be only too happy to shout about it! Offer customers a discount off to take a screenshot of a Pokémon in your store or restaurant and then post it on social media with a tag to your business. While it might just be a pound or so off for them, it spreads your brand online. It also shows other nearby players how many rare and exotic Pokémon are crawling around your establishment, and it might encourage them to come visit and maybe spend a few pounds of their own
Let people know when you will be dropping a lure in order to get them to your business at the right time. You can hold lure parties and have hundreds of invitees ready to show up at your business in an otherwise quiet period. Give prizes away offering to lay down Incense (an in-game purchase similar to a Lure, but which only gives effects to the person who triggered it), and take screenshots of the Pokemon they capture. Buy lures and drop them in succession to create lure party, upsell products by creating Pokémon-inspired drinks or dishes and offer customers who show you the game on their phone a discount! Perhaps your business is Pokémon Gym than a PokéStop. In that event, there’s another way you can get players to spend money at your business. Advertise that you’ll be hosting a tournament in advance, perhaps even offering discounts to the gym battle winners. Advertise that the players who successfully become gym leaders (with proof of gamer ID) will be entitled to that discount. Not only is it a great way to harness those intense “Pokémon Go” rivalries for your business, but to hold gyms teams need multiple members to defend it. So, while you’re giving discounts to the gym leaders, their teammates will be there alongside them as well, most likely as full-paying customers.
With this advice you could be one of the many businesses who right now are capitalizing on a phenomenon while it’s still in its first flush of success but also trust me when I say this game is creating explosions of brand new business everywhere but of course no marketing channel is eternal, but businesses that want to win have to keep one eye open for these big trends and get ready to capitalize on them when it’s time. With Pokemon Go, businesses have an amazing opportunity to create strong emotional bonds with new customers which as I mentioned in my blog about social identity, can be used to increase profits, and for very little money Pokémon Go holds legitimate marketing and business opportunities.
Even before the game is opened up to sponsorship or ad opportunities, retailers and restaurants are figuring out ways to cash in. With bands of Pokémon hunters taking to the streets and venturing into new neighbourhoods, working up a thirst, a hunger and the urgent need to pee, businesses nearby can really make the most of this opportunity if they know what they are doing.