Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you will have heard the chatter about the revival of the Pokémon craze following the launch of the new augmented reality app, Pokémon Go. Now in over 26 countries and with over 30 million downloads, it has become a real phenomenon. It hasn’t taken long for businesses to realise that they can capitalise on it. With the first ‘sponsored location’ -which turns the location into a hub for Pokémon- launching in Japan yesterday, it is easy to see  how larger companies can pay to have Pokémon Go users flock to their establishments, but smaller businesses might have to get more creative with their marketing strategy to capitalise on the craze.

By offering free wi-fi and phone charging, businesses can allow weary Pokémon hunters to replenish their battery, and take the strain off their data allowance, and in doing so earning their patronage. This is a particularly great strategy for restaurants and cafés lucky enough to be located near the in game Pokéstops, which allow users to collect rewards, and gyms, where trainers can use the Pokémon they have caught to fight other Pokémon. This means users are likely to stay in one place for longer, and maybe stop for a drink or a bite to eat in the process. Once the aspiring Pokémon trainers have refuelled, encourage them to tweet about the Pokémon they’ve caught (the rarer, the better) during their pit-stop –even get the staff involved – the prospect of a rare Pokémon is bound to get trainers to come running.

Some businesses have been offering discounts to users who belong to certain ‘trainer teams’ or who have caught certain Pokémon. Others have been utilising nearby Pokéstop by using in-game ‘lures’ to attract Pokémon to the area and, by default, players to their business. You could even advertise the ‘lure’ as an event and let people know when you will be welcoming an influx of Pokémon.

Over the next few weeks, we’re sure we will see a few of these Pokémon Go related marketing strategies popping up around Birmingham and our home in the Jewellery Quarter – but only time will tell whether or not the Pokémon Go effect will be a lasting one.

Posted by: Greta Baker on