Pokémon a fictional world filled with cute bouncy
creatures. It's just for kids right? WRONG! If you're
anything like me, you may have missed the Pokémon phenomenon
when it first hit our screens in the mid-nineties. This time round,
it is near impossible to miss following the launch of the app-based
game, Pokémon Go, which has taken the world by storm.
Following its release, Nintendo's market value has doubled and
the app has been downloaded over 30 million times.
That is a desirable target audience! So If you're a
retailer, now is the time to wake up and take note. Pokémon
Go isn't just a game. It combines virtual reality with the real
world by guiding its users via a customised version of Google Maps
taking consumers to shops, restaurants and other sites around their
locale in search of "catching" Pokémon and is of
particular relevance to bricks and mortar retailers.
How can you benefit?
Some retailers might see this as unwanted custom and are putting
up signs saying "Pokémon for paying customers
only". However, others are embracing the opportunity to
attract increased footfall into their premises. Even young
entrepreneurs are setting up lemonade stands outside their homes to
capitalise off Pokémon trainers. The hysteria could be short
lived, so why not strike while the iron is hot.
1. Are there Pokémon nearby?
Do you house a Pokémon? -
Pokémon have been placed in lots of different locations on
the virtual map. So check the game to see if there are
Pokémon in or nearby your premises.
Are you a Pokéstop or a
Pokémon Gym? Pokéstops are places where users can
restock by collecting Pokéballs and other items.
Pokémon Gyms are where users can train the Pokémon
they have collected. So check the game to see if you can use this
feature to attract custom.
Once you have established whether you are fortunate enough to
have a Pokémon, Pokéstop or a Pokémon Gym
located at or nearby your premises, you may be attracting new
customers without even knowing it. Twitter is awash with comments
from people choosing their lunch spot based on whether there are
Pokémon available in the area. However, if you want to be
more pro-active, you can promote the fact and even consider linking
it into promotions. Post tweets and messages with text naming the
Pokémon – " Pokémon can be found at
[....]", "Pokéstop at [....]"; post images of
the Pokémon at your store; or just use good old fashion
signs in your window.
2. Paid for advertising
Buy a "lure" – you
can make various purchases within the game. One such purchase which
could benefit retailers is a "lure" - it attracts
Pokémon to a location for a period of 30 minutes. So you
could use a lure around peak trading hours e.g. to attract a lunch
crowd. You can publicise this in the same methods mentioned above
e.g. " Pokémon lure released at 12.30pm, just in time
for your lunch break!"
Sponsored locations – although
not yet an available option, there is speculation that sponsored
locations may be coming to the game. The developers of the game,
Niantic are well versed in this paid for advertising strategy,
having adopted it in a previous app known as Ingress. A number of
sponsorship arrangements were entered into, to allow well known
retailers to sponsor locations within the location based game.
Also, with the game due to launch in Japan, there are rumours of a
collaboration with McDonald's circulating.
Could advertising possibilities in Pokémon Go move even
one step further by integrating more than mere sponsorship into the
game. For example, could you virtually feed yourself or your
Pokémon at a sponsored pizza stop, drink a coffee at your
local coffee shop or get a ride in a taxi to your next
One thing that Pokémon Go has made clear is that
augmented reality ("AR") is much closer to being
integrated into our daily lives than ever before envisaged –
there are AR apps for visualising furniture products within your
home, virtually previewing your new car options, virtually trying
on make-up or jewellery or browsing stock before visiting a store
and now with Pokémon Go, AR is impacting on real life
choices – where to eat, where to meet friends, even what time
to meet or eat!
So if you're a retailer, bricks and mortar and/or e-commerce
think about how AR could be an attractive proposition for your
The game will continue to develop and so will the world of AR.
Will you ride the wave and reap the benefits or remain stranded on
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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