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Internet Strategy

How To Use “Pokémon Go” To Attract More Customers To Your Local Business

Mike McGovern | Jul 11, 2016

Pokémon Go — What Is It?

Nintendo’s mobile game app was released last week and already is a global phenomenon.

To say that some are obsessed with the game is an understatement.

For some perspective on its impact, consider Twitter, which is now the third most popular social network. It has close to 310,000,000 unique monthly users.

Pokémon Go will likely surpass that number soon — the game is only a week old.

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The free Apple iOS and Android app allows you to hunt and collect Pokémon characters in the real world by using your phone’s GPS and camera.

The game takes real-world landmarks and turns them into PokéStops (supply caches) and Pokémon Gyms (where you train Pokémon to battle other teams).

Players navigate real-world maps hunting for Pokémon. Right: Capture Pokémon by tossing PokéBalls to them. They love PokéBalls.

Practical Ways To Attract Customers With Pokémon Go

First, you’ll need to download the free app

The game is available for iPhone or Android.

Next, check if there are PokéStops nearby.

If you’re near a PokéStop, buy Lure Modules to make your business attractive to Pokémon, and the players hunting them.


Buying Lure Modules

To get the best value, buy two 8-packs of lures. Purchase one 1,200 coin set and two 100 coin sets ($12 real dollars).

Put a sign up in your storefront that you’re putting lures out periodically (and then do so).

If you don’t have a PokéStop nearby, simply skip this step.

Either way, create offers simply to get players who might pass by to come inside your store.

Maybe a goal is to sell something today, but a better goal is just to get them inside your place of business. The odds of someone shopping with you increase wildly if they’ve simply set foot inside your business once.

A few York County businesses have seen sales go up 5%–30% because of the increased foot traffic from the game.

INSIDER TIP: Once players hit level 5, they must join 1 of 3 teams (Yellow, Blue, or Red). Have fun with that by offering different incentives to different teams.


For now, the only way to get Pokécoins is to buy them with real money. There are six tiers:

100 Pokécoins – $0.99
550 Pokécoins – $4.99
1200 Pokécoins – $9.99
2500 Pokécoins – $19.99
5200 Pokécoins – $39.99
14500 Pokécoins – $99.99


Place a sign at your storefront.

A clothing store latched onto the craze and placed a sidewalk sign out front to attract players.


Offer a Pokémon-inspired item.

Even if you’re not a designated Gym, perhaps your business doubles as a PokéStop or is close to one.

A coffee shop could create a Pokémon-inspired drink (a Caterpie cafe latte?) or a restaurant could add a new menu item (Lucky Eggs & Bacon with Stardust-sprinkled Pancakes?).

You’ll probably have better ideas.

The point is to connect with players. You’ll build brand awareness and affinity, perhaps with a completely new audience.

lancaster-brewing-pokemon-tweetLancaster’s Iron Hill Brewery is a designated Pokémon Gym and they’re rolling with it.

Be a Part of the Craze!

For now, the game developers have determined which buildings and landmarks are designated as Gyms or PokéStops. Hopefully they’ll soon realize the marketing opportunity that’s in front of them.

YDOP is located near two PokéStops on E. Orange Street, Lancaster.

Share How You’re Participating

Share your photos on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and tag them #pokemongolancaster.