If you have a brick and mortar store your business just got a gift from Niantic in the form of the surprise super hit Game Pokemon Go. If you are lucky enough to be a gym or PokeStop (or are near one!) you have seen the folks driving by, walking by and just generally loitering. Hopefully, you have even seen a nice bump in business as folks discover you or just pay you a visit while on the hunt for that Scyther. On the other hand, if you are not one of the lucky few you might be wondering how to get in the game.
Here are a few ideas that will help you join the fun!
Lures and Incense: Both of these attract Pokemon to your location. You can just place a lure or incense, and that will bring folks your way (you can only place a lure at a PokeStop). That alone can be fun for your regulars. Today I have been camped out at my favorite spot, Good To Go Taco. This morning Jeanna and Colleen placed a lure and we have all intermittently been putting out incense. Its been lots of fun for them and for the rest of us. (Yes I ate breakfast and lunch here!)
Try offering an incentive to your customers to get you to place the lure or incense. It's a Grind Coffee House in Diamond Bar California did this by promising to drop a Lure for every 15 paid drinks.
- Make it a party! Let folks know you are dropping lures or incense for a particular period and then make it an event. Have a DJ or other special guests to draw folks into your store to do more than catch some Pokemon. ShowDown eSports, a gaming events space in San Francisco, is hosting a Pokémon Go party with non-stop Lures and live DJs.
- Make is a community event: Partner with other local businesses to lay down incense at 30-minute intervals Make sure you promote it raise as much awareness as possible about it. Pokemon hunters travel from place to place catching all the Pokemon they can AND discover new businesses while they are at it. Just make sure you have something in place to invite them to come back and stay awhile. Have printed coupons for each of the players or set up samples that make them want to come back for more.
Reward them and get 'em to tag you! Take advantage of the picture taking option in the game and encourage your customers to take a Pokemon Go picture at your store. Have them tag you and then give a prize for the most creative or fun picture or do a random drawing. You can make this as easy or as hard as you want, the bigger the real-life prize, the rarer your Pokemon should be. If you are offering a free drink then rewarding them for a Pidgey may be worth your while. On the other hand, if you are offering a $25 gift card maybe it should be something a little tougher to catch. Again, as you draw new customers into the store make sure you give them a reason to check out your products and come back when they aren't playing.
- If you are a gym (or on a team!), offer a discount to folks on your team. If you are on team Valor, put out the call for all Team Valor folks to come in and get their discount. Encourage them to share the discount with everyone on their team either via social media or have paper coupons handy they can take with them. Make sure they can share it with their friends!
UPDATE 7/15/16: We found this fantastic approach at My Family's Pizza here in Dallas. LOVE this.
Don’t have a store? Get Creative!
Lyft and Uber drivers have gotten clever and placed ads offering to drive Pokemon Go players aroundthe city for $20-$30 per person.
Have you used Pokemon Go to drive business? I’d love to hear what you did!
**Updated 7/14 regarding the difference between lures and incense