pokemon go ft image

If you’ve recently noticed an increase in the number of people walking around staring down at their phones, you aren’t imagining things.

When Nintendo and Niantic released Pokémon GO, it was instantly successful, with more than twice the users of the popular dating app Tinder.

Even bigger, it’s eclipsed Twitter’s daily active users and boasts over 15 million mobile installs.

Which is all well and good for Nintendo and Niantic, but just what is this juggernaut, and how can your business take advantage?

Pokémon first came about in the 1990s as a video game, a card game, and a popular cartoon. Pokémon Trainers capture the small Pokémon (from Pocket Monster) and train them to fight each other.

This newest version takes that concept and puts it out into the real world, where Pokémon Trainers go out into their neighborhoods and catch small Pokémon (with names like Bulbasaur, Koffing, and Pikachu) using their cell phones.

Players can take pictures of their captures, and take them to Pokémon Gyms (typically public landmarks and churches) to train them so they become more powerful. Players can form and join teams.

Unsurprisingly, Constant Contact employees and customers alike have been drawn to this new trend and are eager to see how it can impact small businesses.

Here’s some advice for getting started:

Gotta Catch ‘Em All

Have you noticed a sudden increase in foot traffic going by or into your business? You may already be a PokéStop, a place where players can get rewards or battle fellow players. There isn’t an official map of all PokéStops, but you can check within the app.

If you’re not a PokéStop, you haven’t lost out. You can always purchase a Lure in the app.

Lures are actually quite affordable if you get them in bulk, and last for a half hour each. If you put a Lure in your business, it will cause more Pokémon to spawn, which will draw in people who want to catch them.

What else can you do?

Some businesses have found that they don’t even need to have any sort of official tie to Pokémon GO in order to attract in the business.

Restaurants are putting Pokémon-themed messages on their sandwich boards. Animal shelters are offering to let people walk their dogs and catch Pokémon. Pokémon themed window displays will attract business without even needing a Lure.

Check out some creative ways these four businesses and organizations are making the most of the Pokémon Go fever:

1. A Framer’s Touch

2. Toll Booth Saddle Shop

3. Peabody Essex Museum

4. In a Pickle

Ready to jump on the Pokémon Go trend yourself?

The best way to get started is to install the app and play the game a bit yourself. (You’ll need to set up an account in the app to purchase Lures, so that won’t be a big jump.)

Installing the app is the best way to get in the user mindset yourself and understand how your business can take part.

Just watch out, you might be surprised how addictive this game can be!

Already given Pokémon Go a try? Or have questions about getting started? Leave us a comment and let us know!