The world has been taken by storm by Pokémon in the past two weeks since the launch of Pokémon GO created by Niantic Inc. The Google start-up launched the record breaking app on July 4th in Australia, New Zealand, and the US and due to the extreme popularity of the game has caused a social media takeover. According to SurveyMonkey, the game attracted just under 21 million daily active users in the US which has made it the biggest mobile game in US history.
You might wonder why this game is of any importance to actual businesses since it’s an app based off the popular children’s show and game in the 1990’s. Well, the creators of the augmented reality game have truly opened a whole new can of worms for communications professionals as it forces players to go out into their communities in order to catch Pokémon and battle other players at ‘gyms’.
There are also Pokestops located at various real world locations, usually at memorials or landmarks, but also at churches, libraries, and police stations. Players of all ages who are engaging with the game are exploring their communities and wandering around libraries, as seen in Guernsey just last week, and lurking around businesses that are close to the gyms or Pokestops in the game.
Why is this important for local businesses to grasp the craze? There may never be a better opportunity for local businesses to engage with prospective customers who are engaging with the Pokémon GO game. While there is another augmented reality game out there called Ingress, also created by Niantic, it hasn’t quite reached the craze and popularity that Pokémon GO has, and it only took a matter of days! As a result, Niantic has created opportunities that are the first of their kind which will cater to an augmented reality game and has vast scope to develop this area further.
If you find your business nearby these landmarks in the game which are attracting players then why not invite them in to not only catch Pokémon, but engage with your business as well. Get involved with the game to understand better how you can use it to benefit your business or organisation. There are various ways in doing this and the only way to find out what best suits you is to look into this international craze and see what’s happening with it
Already, an Uber driver in the US has pounced on the opportunity to offer rides to people who want to go Pokémon hunting and help them ‘catch ‘em all.’ Both the Guille-Alles Library in Guernsey and Durrell Conservation Park in Jersey have encouraged players to come to their premises and have even launched competitions based on the game. In Indiana, a local animal shelter is encouraging players to walk their shelter dogs while they go hunting in parks. The app has opened up unforeseen opportunities to creative local businesses and it’s not one to be missed.