By now, most of you have probably heard of Pokémon, and many of you may have heard of the new augmented reality game Pokémon Go! Within days this smartphone app, which utilizes GPS and your phone’s camera to turn the world around you into a massive Pokémon hunting ground, has enthralled the world with the potential to become an actual PokéTrainer. The game requires you move yourself in order to move your character in game, so keep an eye out and you’ll see more people than usual walking around with their phones out, pointing at the areas around them and exclaiming as they cast their phones like a fishing pole.
But one thing that is just becoming apparent is the potential benefit this new game may have for businesses. The game is free-to-play, and is currently topping charts on the Google Play Store and the App Store. Business owners should be paying close attention to it; The game transforms local landmarks and businesses into PokéStops and Pokémon Gyms, which are essentially gathering spaces that players physically must visit to stock up on supplies and do battle with other players.
Fortunately for businesses, you can also do more than simply embrace the trend with signage and marketing. Any player (in this case, think “a savvy business owner”) can also purchase (with “money” earned in game) a “Lure Module,” which attracts Pokémon to a particular place for 30 minutes. Those Pokémon don’t just show up for you, they’re visible to the more than 7.5 million people who have downloaded the game. The more Pokémon digitally hanging around your business, the more smart phone-wielding players may walk in and decide to get a drink, food or play an arcade game.