Vincenzo Landino is an entrepreneur, speaker and host of the Brand Boost Podcast. Vincenzo is the the co-founder and Creative Director of Aftermarq, a creative studio that specializes in brand amplification, strategy and storytelling through video and live streaming. With experience as a brand correspondent, Vincenzo’s portfolio includes a 1 billion impression campaign launch for Applebee’s as well as work for Kia Motors, Paul Mitchell Schools, Homes.com, Barilla Pasta, DC United, Tinder, SAP, and Zoomph.

Pokèmon were first imagined in 1989 by Satoshi Tajiri when the Nintendo Gameboy was also invented. The name Pokèmon comes from the Japanese brand Pocket Monsters (PokettoMonsutā).

Any 90’s kid knows this game from getting either Red, Yellow or Blue game cartridge for their Gameboy. Or maybe you played the card game and winning the epic Mewtwo in a battle with your friends at recess was your jam. Either way, Pokèmon was a game that everyone would play and talk about.

Fast forward nearly over 25 years to 2016.

Pokèmon Go is the new rage with an added twist. Rather than move your thumbs to guide a digital character across the map, you now have to physically move around to catch ’em all. Your world is your map.

I even jokingly posted this on Facebook:

For real though, the craze has gone so mainstream that I’ve seen people catching Pokèmon while on vacation in Europe, at the gym, while out at the bar and even on the subway (thanks Joobs for that one!). In fact, the app has become so popular that it’s about to surpass the DAU’s of Twitter for the Android platform!

zoomph pokemon go demographic
Zoomph’s Tracking Finds a Solid Generational Mix

You’re probably asking why I’m writing about this. I asked myself the same question before realizing that there is so much opportunity for small, local businesses to take advantage of it.

How?

  • Fitness centers, gyms, trainers can attract people by creating classes specifically geared around finding Pokèmon. What’s better for fitness than getting out and taking a walk or a hike?
  • F&B businesses can offer incentives for patrons to come in and access their Pokèmon, at the same time insuring they actually spend money.
  • How about a grocery store meetup? (or a meetup of any kind)

How are some businesses currently handling the craze? Check out this photo below:

pokemon-4

Here’s a PokèGym in Chicago. As you can see, there are plenty of people working out their trainer skills here.

Screen grab from 'dziubs' Snapchat
Screen grab from ‘dziubs’ Snapchat in Chicago

One thing businesses currently cannot do is apply to become a PokeStop or PokeGym. PokeStops and PokeGyms are pre-determined by the developer, Niantic Labs, using an algorithm, likely known by like, three people. This looks like it could be an easy opportunity for Niantic Labs to make money, aside from obvious advertising opportunities.

However, there’s an opportunity! Pokèmon Go has an in-game item called a “Lure” which attracts Pokémon to a specific PokèStop for 30 minutes. Savvy business owners will buy one, and increase the foot traffic near their store during that period of time. How? Because anyone in the area can see the Pokèmon that are coming out of the woodwork!

Pokemon Go Lure Module

What we know so far is that people are actually getting up off the couch and out and about. What’s really cool is that people are meeting and talking, you know, like the old days. Personally, I’ve never seen an app cover so much demographic ground. From 8-10 year olds all the way up to 50+ demographic. That is the power we are seeing here. The ability to bring those age demographics together and talking to one another.

People are even discovering places in their city that they’ve never even known existed!

No one knows how long this Pokèmon Go craze will last. I’m guessing longer than most game crazes because it’s doing something that no other game has been able to do. One thing I do know is that the hype and excitement behind this app should have game makers looking for new opportunities.

Speaking of new opportunities, I’ll leave this one here:

Are you playing Pokèmon Go? What do you think about the app? Will it stick around? Let me know your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Children to adults in our area who I suspect have not taken a walk in ages are out and about in numbers. It’s amazing to see. I wonder how long this will trend.

    1. I think if it can continue blending demographics and get people moving, it could change the tide of how app developers build apps and concepts. Augmented reality is here for sure.

  2. I installed it and it is so much fun to play with my 5 year old! I can see businesses prospering from this if their target audience is age group playing Pokemon game now and if they use creativity to bring Pokemon to their local business offering. For example special Pokemon mix at frozen yogurt place which I can see being popular. Grea idea from the article was to find a Pokemon at the store. Briliant!

  3. Please for the Love of God let this game stay safe enough for me to allow my 13 Yr Old child to continue to play it. She loves it and has got more exercise this past weekend than the last year on her own!
    She’s usually playing with her phone or laptop not wanting g to go outside….. this game changes everything!
    Go Pokémon Go!!!

  4. Heard about it, do not see it on the playstore. Son would love it and like you said business could use as well as churches or non profits. I may talk to some clients as people who go on vacation could bring in more tourism. I remeber my son had a game on nintendo where he could see a 3d image of a character, this is way beyond and it is augmented reality. Thanks Vincenzo

  5. The Base of the PokeStop-Algorhytm is the Ingress-Intel, with a Filter to avoid PokeStops to be too close to each other.

    1. Thanks for your comment! I think I should have clarified that Lure Module’s can only be used at PokeStop’s. That’s good that the Ingress-intel doesn’t allow too many stops near one another.

    1. Susan, thanks for reading!

      PokeStops don’t currently show up on Google Maps, but that’s ok. Lures are used at PokèStops to attract Pokemom (and players!) for 30 minutes at a time.

      I’d first locate your nearest PokeStop and create a creative way to offer player an incentive to come to your store.

      Off the top of my head Im thinking you could offer players of certain levels a free cookie. Over level 10 gets them a free Pokemon cookie! Over level 20 gets them 2! and so on.

      I see you’re in Wilton. I’m in Wallingford! 🙂

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