If you haven’t heard about Pokémon Go, you’ve either been wearing blinders for the last week or you’re lying to yourself. The augmented-reality app based around the beloved Pokémon characters already has more users than the ever-infamous dating app, Tinder (it’s good to see people have their priorities straight). Even more impressive, however, is that the number of trainers looking to “catch ’em all” is about to overtake the number of daily active users on Twitter.

Trainers are going all in, too. You may have noticed that Snapchat’s newest universal geotag gives you the option to log the number of miles snappers have traveled in their quest to be the very best there ever was. True to its name, Pokémon Go has people going.

Thanks Wazee Super Club!

If you have had your blinders on, let me fill you in….

Players move through their real world to find one of two places: a Pokéstop to refresh on Pokéballs, potions, and other items or to gyms where they can battle Pokémon to gain control of the location for their team (go Valor!) Both of these locations are typically places of note around your respective city. Even some of our own clients have found themselves to be Pokéstops!

Already, businesses have realized something revolutionary: these gyms and Pokéstops are absurdly efficient at luring in customers. Literally.

In the game, items called lures can be purchased using in-game currency (each one costs about 99 cents) and are essentially upgrades to increase the number of Pokémon in the vicinity for a half an hour at a time. Lures are public and show up on the app’s map so everyone can see and take advantage of them. Look at it this way, for $5 anyone can instantly make hundreds of Pokémon Go users aware of their establishment. That’s minimal spending for two-and-a-half hours with hordes of trainers looking to park it somewhere and catch Pokémon. Restaurants and coffee shops especially are capitalizing on this opportunity. At the time of this writing someone has put a lure on the Pokéstop at the restaurant right across from our office.

Even just yesterday I found myself at a new happy hour place simply because they were right on a lure site. Realistically I never would have given the place a second glance had it not been for the pretty falling petals on my app’s map. Not only was it an amazing happy hour but I also caught a Pidgeot!

Instagram @sandwichbowl_lawrenceks

If your business isn’t on or near a Pokéstop, there are still ways to capitalize on the craze. Some places are going so far as to offer a discount to trainers from their favorite team whether it’s Instinct, Mystic, or Valor.

 

Fortunately this craze, and the opportunities it presents, is just getting started. The game creates a unique hybrid of virtual and in-person chances to get creative and goofy and interact with people who could easily become lifetime customers.

 

What is your brand doing to take advantage of the Pokécraze?