Pokemon Go

Without a doubt, unless you’re recently returning from an outer space mission, you have heard about the outrageously popular augmented reality game ‘Pokémon Go’.   This mobile game became an instant success and altered lives, both young and old of more than 20 million people within the first week.    Pokémon Go has also affected thousands of businesses across the US who are cashing in on the popular game thanks to crowds of players cruising the streets trying find a PokéStop or capture their next character.

The game works through a smartphone’s camera overlaying some 250 Pokémon characters into real-world settings. Players capture these creatures by throwing Pokéballs at them, which they collect at various interesting places throughout the community. Players slowly “level up” during the game until they reach the status of Pokémon trainer, where they can take a group of captured creatures to a Pokégym and teach them how to fight. And they can also purchase objects to use inside the game, which is how Nintendo and its partners are making a reported $1.6m per day from the free download.

Is your center taking advantage of this millennial driven craze to drive new customers to your center? Don’t be a slow poke folks.  Although it’s not likely that Pokémon Go will be losing momentum anytime soon, don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of this fun new game and capture new customer. Pokémon Go has done a great job of encouraging players to get out and exercise but even the most motivated Pokémon gamers get a little lazy sometimes and want the Pokémon to come to them.

Incense will release a “mysterious fragrance” that will attract wild Pokémon to your location for 30 minutes. All you need to do is catch them when they show up. Everyone gets two of them to start the game. Encourage your customers to use incense at your center and by notifying the front desk when they do, they will be rewarded (bonus Players Club points, coupon or promotional item). Once you know incense has been released, announce it to the customers who can also take advantage of opportunity.

Another form of attracting Pokémon characters to you instead of going on the move is with lure modules which are associated with Pokéstops.

Pokéstops in Pokémon GO are incredibly useful places for Pokémon Trainers. You can hit them up every day and pick up a fresh batch of mystery items. However, they also have another use for yourself and other players, if you have a Pokéstop module as these modules can bring potential customers into your center who otherwise might not stop in.

Here’s what Pokéstop modules are and how you can get them. If there isn’t a Pokéstop near you, it is possible to request that your center be a designated Pokéstop. REQUEST TO BE A POKÉSTOP.

Lure modules are essentially consumable items that you can attach to a Pokéstop. These Lure modules are basically Incense and will attract Pokemon Characters to the Pokestop for 30 minutes, thus luring those wishing to capture the characters and Pokémon trainers in the area.

Lure modules, can be obtained by Pokécoins which can be purchased in the game with real currency. You can buy one Lure module for 100 Pokécoins or buy a set of eight for 680 Pokécoins. Some of you might be thinking…”I don’t want a bunch of people stopping in my center to just capture a Pokémon character and leave or take advantage of a Pokéstop…I want paying customers”. Remember, these Pokémon Go fans might not have ever stepped into your center before but while there to catch the character or take advantage of the Pokéstop you can make a great impression on them and have them stopping in more often. Give them a reason to return.

Businesses taking advantage of Pokéstops have reported a huge increase in food traffic as a result. L’inizio Pizza Bar made national headlines by reporting a 75% increase in walk up business by taking advantage of being next to a Pokéstop. Have a Pokémon brainstorming session and bounce around ideas in which to tap into this fun new craze.

Here’s a few ideas to think about:

  • Offer incentives for customers that capture a Pokémon character while in your center. Have them post the photo on Facebook and tag your center for a special offer. Encourage customers to snap a picture of their character sightings and post it on Facebook. Take this concept one step further by offering 1 bonus Players Club point for each like generated in a one week period of the Pokémon sighting photo posted to the customer’s timeline.
  • Tie this craze into your loyalty program by offering extra Players Club points for characters captured at the center. Or perhaps associate Players Club points to each of the 250 characters and upon proof of capture, add the appropriate points to their account.
  • Post a Lucky Pokémon character each day to the center Facebook page and every customer showing proof of catching that character (can show their Pokédex) will receive the posted discount on bowling. Perhaps consider giving more points for the rarest characters. (See link below for 25 rarest characters)
  • Have a Pokémon Spin to Win Wheel, with various characters and discounts associated with those characters. If you spin the wheel and have already captured that character, you will receive that discount on bowling that day.
  • Be creative and come up with food and drink items that will play into this national craze.
  • If your center becomes a Pokéstop and purchases a Lure module, or if you have customers spreading incense BE SURE to spread the word.

Make sure your center is prepared for a wave of new business. Remember, first impressions are crucial. Make sure you staff is friendly, the center is clean and you have plenty of BES X marketing material out. The same crowd that is playing Pokémon Go is the tech-savvy customer looking to have fun… and we all know that’s just what BES X serves up!

So, don’t be a slowpoké…take advantage of the ability to tap into thousands of new customers that are obviously looking for FUN!


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