By Longfei Zhang and Yining Xu
Mewtwo at Times Square. Rayquaza flying over Burj Khalifa Dubai. Dialga runs near Big Ben. We have been busy traveling between the real world and virtual world lately. Those Pokémons that we have run into are part of the augmented reality mobile game Pokémon GO. It encourages the players to explore the surroundings while catching the Pokémon. Along the journey, players would be able to find supplies such as Pokéball and potion by stopping at the predetermined Pokéstops such as landmarks, restaurants, and shops. Also, they can compete with other players at the gyms, which are usually high-profile public places such as train stations and museums. Not only individuals are obsessed with this game, but also mega companies and small firms, since plenty of opportunities are booming in this game-related fields. There is no doubt that wise business owners want to chip in.
￼Successful Business Campaigns
Nintendo’s stock surged almost 100% after the successful launch of Pokémon GO on July 7th, which lasted for 10 days. It came to an abrupt halt on July 22nd, an 8.18% decline from the previous day, and then closed the day with a 4.86% down from the starting price. This Pokémon GO madness brings prime business opportunities for all kinds of business. Niantic CEO John Hanke confirmed to the New York Times that, the company will be announcing details about sponsored locations inside Pokémon GO in the near future. Meanwhile, some big firms are already linking their business to this popular game.
- McDonald’s Japan just announced that they would be the first paying sponsor of Pokémon GO in Japan. By making 3,000 of their outlets as the “gyms” for battle location, McDonald’s would most likely to increase their revenue as the game players decide to get a meal while they’re playing the battle game.
- T-Mobile provides free and unlimited high speed data to Pokémon GO gaming till August 2017 since players could easily used up their data and get overcharged. On top of that, there will be 250 lucky players winning $100 in PokéCoins, which is the currency in the game that you can earn by leaving a Pokémon at a Gym to defend it. If you want to use real money to get PokéCoins, 100 PokéCoins are $0.99; so, $100 in PokéCoins is $99 in reality! In addition, five players could win the Pokémon GO hunting trip anywhere in the U.S. for themselves and a guest!
However, some local businesses including restaurant, coffee shop, clothing store are already profiting or getting ready to profit from this widespread mobile game.
- L’inizio Pizza Bar’s business went up to 75% after the shop owner Tom Lattanzio spent $10 to have a dozen of the Pokémon characters lured to the store, since lots of players came to catch the Pokémon while having some beer or pizza at the restaurant.
- Fasten, a Boston-based ride-share company, offered a flat fee of $5 for a ride from nine “hot spots” for Pokémon hunting.
- An indie clothing store made a larger poster of Pokéstop in their front door and attracted enthusiastic players to come inside to get their Pokéballs.
- Kaleidoscope Café in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania offers a 10 percent discount to anyone who played Pokémon GO.
- It’s A Grind Coffee House in California, being one of the Pokéstop, offers a fresh Lure in their stop for every 15 paid drinks purchased.
- Tanghui, a high-end Chinese restaurant in Sydney, just announced that it would spread the Lure at lunch and dinner times in order to attract massive Pokémon GO players.
- Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden — same as many other museum and art galleries — is reportedly to have 60% plus their visitors one day playing the game; and those museums are encouraging players to drop by and take advantage.
Emerging Business Models
- PokéDates, a new social App, charges $20 every time to set up an offline date at the gym or Pokéstop based on the online questions you fill out.
- Pokémon GO Driver. Some drivers also take advantage of the physical movability of Pokémon GO, and advertise the Pokémon Ride for about $30 an hour, which basically drive players around the city for couple hours to catch the Pokémons that don’t reside in the players’ neighborhoods. From our point of view, those Pokémon drivers might be able to cooperate with the Pokéstop restaurant owners – they can drive around the restaurant area and lure the players in when they are hungry, or just simply tell the players that there are some restaurants giving out discounts/coupons to Pokémon GO players. This is a win-win for both Pokémon drivers and restaurant owners, as the drivers could get advertisement fee and the owners could boost their business.
- Professional Pokémon Egg Walker. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not dog walker, but Pokémon Egg walker. Pokémon Eggs are found randomly from Pokéstops until you reach a maximum of 9 in your bag. In order to hatch them, you’ll need to walk around in order to satisfy the egg mileage showing on the screen. There are already some people providing the hatching service. Narcis Radoi, from London, charges £5 for a 10km egg, £3 for a 5km egg, and £1 for a 2km egg. And he will catch any pokémon that pops up along the way as a bonus for you.
- PokéBall Charger is invented by Robbie Savage. This Pokémon GO Power Bank Shaped like Pokémon catching ball, the PokéBall Charger gives player all the juice needed for a full day of Pokémon GO adventuring.
- Pokémon GO Badges and Certificate are designed by Nova Nocturne. Every player would be able to get their own specialized badges if they pay a few bucks, and the badges could be traded offline. Each gym winners could get not only badges, but also T-shirts and certificates.
- “Pokémon Go – The Story Behind Viral Success” is a documentary focusing on what is driving the phenomenon of Pokémon GO by Filip Arnqvist-Eiritz. It will also include interviews with Niantic Lab, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company.
- Pokemon Go Home, a free day-long event, aims at promoting community cohesion in Birmingham, UK. This event uses Lure and Incense modules to draw people’s attention to visit the minority societies, cultural organizations, and places of worship in a single day. This crowdfunding has already successfully raised £1,580 from 49 backers.
- PokéGloves by Lewis B combines the Pokémon Team color concept and smart phone heat sensor gloves in order to promote more sales. PokéGloves are targeted at the players who want to make friends within their teams.
- Straight Ball Thrower is designed by Diyang Zhang and Pei Jian that enables people to throw the ball straightly so that the chances to catch Pokémon can be increased.
- PokeCase is invented to let people have a better shot at catching the difficult Pokémons.
- Pokémon Go Locator Band by Daniil Verhovskiy from Ukraine is charged $150. The wearable device will vibrate every time you pass a Pokémon and show you the direction to that Pokémon.
How to Use Pokémon GO to Boost Your Buisness
This is a global phenomenon. 7.5 million more players are obsessed with this game right now, thus, whichever business takes advantage of this large amount customer set would definitely ascend to a new level. Here are some of our suggestions to boost your business with Pokémon GO:
- Use Incense and Lure. Spend a few bucks on the Incense and Lure on your business location to attract the Pokémon catchers. What is incense? Incense attracts Pokémon to you for 30 minutes. When you activate an Incense, it will go with you wherever you walk. What is Lure? Lures are placed in a PokéStop which attract Pokémon to this specific location for 30 minutes. When you place a Lure module at a Pokéstop, it remains at that location, even if you leave.
For example, with $39.99 netting you get 5,200 PokéCoins, an eight-pack of Lures costing 680 PokéCoins:
5,200 PokéCoins / 680 =7 eight-pack of Lures
(7 * 8)/2 = 28 hours
$39.99/28 hours = $1.43 per hour
- What are you still waiting for? Buy the Lure now and activate it! It only costs you 1.5 bucks an hour to attract two times or even three times more customers than usual.
- Be an active supporter of the game. Reward the players with coupons and discounts, giving them a reason to stay and support your business. Give out free appetizers if the players catch a Pokémon in your place using the augmented reality camera and post it on his/her social media. Make sure they screenshotted the Pokémons that are in your shop. Remind them of tagging your business.
- Tag example: #LeoPizzaPokémonGo #Zubat@Leopizzashop
- Draw 10 lucky customers with those tags everyday, give out coupons to them, and re-post on your official account
- Be a protester of the game. It is inevitable that people would be focusing on their smartphones when they are playing Pokémon GO. There won’t be a lot of communication while people are all on their phones, and people will not pay attention to the business/meal itself. So protesting this game at your business zone protects normal social interaction. Also, if your business targets elderly customers that are not interested in Pokémon, you could advertise your business place as a Pokémon-free zone.
- Pokémon GO Tip Jar. Pokémon GO players are split into three teams when they reach level 5 – Valor (Red), Instinct (Yellow), Mystic (Blue). Put three tip bottles based on those teams. The winning team naturally would tip more, so if you have three tip jars, you are for sure getting the most tips from all the Pokémon GO players.
- PokéHunt. Design a route which has the most Pokémons that starts and ends at your business location. The player who catches the highest combat power (CP) Pokémon could be awarded as the best Pokémon player of the day with some coupons or free beers.
- For instance, Leo’s pizza shop’s PokéHunt starts at 3 p.m., and ends at 5 p.m. The winner can get free appetizers and the participants could get 5% off on their orders. Naturally, everyone comes back to Leo’s pizza shop to grab dinner when the PokéHunt is over, as well as socialize and make new friends.
- Happy Pokémon GO Hour. Usually during the regular happy hour (3-5pm), it is the slowest time of the day. So try change the happy hour into “Happy Pokémon GO hour” in order to attract more catchers during the regular happy hour.
- For example, during the Happy Pokémon GO Hour, if the player catches a CP 400+ Pokémon, he/she could get 30% off on his bill; if the player catches a CP 200+ Pokémon, he/she could get 20% off; if the Pokémon CP is under 200, only 10% off. Also, be aware of free riders using other people’s account, you could ask the servers to write down each account.
- Official Site
- Pokémon Egg
- Pokémon GO Glossary
- Submit a request
- Pokémon GO Wiki Guide
- Data Usage Tips
- Battery Usage Tips
- How to remove Pokémon GO’s full access to your Google account