Last week, the much-anticipated augmented reality game from Niantic and Nintendo has finally reached the Philippines—and it has been positively received by both old fans of the franchise as well as newcomers. Pokemon Go, the latest game from Japanese game developer’s long-running franchise, has made average citizens become the Pokemon trainers they’ve always wanted to be since they were kids.
While the game mostly appeals to casual gamers, businesses can also capitalize on the hype to promote their establishment and make more money—whether or not you’ve been assigned as a Pokestop or a Gym.
Pokestops are fixtures scattered all over the map, often assigned to cultural spots, murals, statues, tourist attractions, and popular establishments. They’re where players can get Poke Balls, Potions, Incense, and other free items. They’re also where players gather to catch Pokemons that have been “lured” through the use of an Incense or a Lure Module.
A few business establishments in Metro Manila have been identified as Pokestops, such as Tipsy Pig in Capitol Commons, Pasig, and SM Jazz in Makati.
Gyms, on the other hand, are special points found in the game that can be claimed by battling teams. These are the points of interests where Pokemon battles happen. They are indicated by a white tower icon in the game.
Niantic, the game’s developer, has temporarily suspended applications for new Pokestops and Gyms, meaning it may be impossible for your business establishment to be tagged as such, for now. In case you want to try your luck in the future, here are a few tips and tricks to increase your chances of success, as posted in the Niantic website:
1. Include a description. The developers will use it to verify and determine whether you meet their criteria.
2. Take a clear photo. Has to be taken in broad daylight and at a reasonable distance. Low-quality photos may automatically be rejected.
3. Provide a detailed title. Write down your specific and official name of your restaurant or building.
4. Make sure the location pin you submitted is correct. A wrong spot is a ground for rejection.
How to lure players to your spot
In the meantime, understanding your business’s environment in the eyes of Pokemon Go players will help you formulate which marketing promo and strategy will work for you.
Are there multiple gyms around? Or maybe you’re in the middle of a sea of Pokestops? Once you’ve figured out where your shop stands, you can now mix and match different ways to lure more customers and train them to be your very best patrons.
Set up a Lure Party
Regardless of what points of interests are nearby, you can set up a bait that will lure Pokemons—and eventually, players—to your business with the help of a Lure Module.
Since players are eager to catch Pokemons and don’t want to spend money on Lure Modules, they will rely on shops who are more than generous to set up Lure Parties. Remember, a Lure Module lasts for up to 30 minutes, so make sure to buy as many as you want and see an increase of traffic to your place in no time.
Make team-specific promotions
Team identity is strong among Pokemon players, and knowing how to tap into this team loyalty will help you convert it to a loyalty to your business. To attract members of teams into patronizing your business, lure them with team-specific promos such as “Mystic Mondays” where all members of Mystic get discounts. Since there are only three teams, you can easily switch your promos even on a daily basis.
Turn your shop into a power stop
Let’s face it: Pokemon Go is a battery hogger, and it’s only a matter of time before players run out of juice. Want to make your shop more appealing to players? Provide free charging at your shop and watch as people who deplete their smartphones flock to your business. Couple this with other Pokemon Go-related discounts and you’ll not just energize your phone but also fill their tummies with food.
Host a hunt
A community-wide hunting is a perfect way for people to bond while having fun catching Pokemons—and this is an opportunity for you to spearhead one in your area. If you are active in the game yourself, you organize a “Poke-hunt” in your area that will start and end with your business. End it with a bang by setting up a Lure Module in the end and players will stick with you until they’re satisfied.
Combine forces with fellow store owners
Camaraderie is at the heart of Pokemon Go, and ’treps who know the value of this will thrive even in the middle of rivalry with nearby shops. You may want to combine forces with other shops owners nearby, pool a marketing budget, and host events in your area. This will help you draw foot traffic not just to your business but also your area.
Reward the victors
Is there a nearby gym in your area? This is the perfect opportunity to challenge players to become good Pokemon trainers as well as have their eyes on your promos by offering discounts and freebies to the team that owns the nearest gym. By offering them a reward, players will be challenged to either capture or defend the gym and let them enjoy the spoils that await them in your shop.
Pokemon Go is slowly revolutionizing the way people play games as well as providing business to have new opportunities to make themselves more prominent. While entrepreneurs have the chance to thrive in this brave new world, this doesn’t mean that you must extort money from players for every move they make in your vicinity. Remember, players are dangerously savvy, and being too greedy may have the reverse effect on your business.