By now, you’ve probably heard of Pokemon Go. For the uninitiated, Pokemon is a Nintendo-owned franchise that was hugely popular in the ‘90s as a trading card game where each card represented a different Pokemon creature. Pokemon “masters” could battle each other, with the outcome being determined by the statistics written on the Pokemon cards.
Fast forward 20 years and, like many nostalgia properties, Pokemon is making a huge comeback - in the form of a smartphone app. In basic terms, Pokemon Go is a free game for Android and iOS devices that uses your phone’s GPS to determine where you are and lead you to real world locations where you can “capture” varieties of Pokemon. The game uses augmented reality to overlay the Pokemon over what your smartphone camera sees in real life. In short, you’re living the game.
Okay, now you’re thinking, “I know what Pokemon Go is, but how can that benefit me and my business?” Well, here are three ways in which the game can actually help you connect with potential customers:
It happens all the time - you drive or walk down the same streets in your neighborhood and don’t really take in the surroundings. Pokemon Go may be changing that for a lot of people. Before heading out to capture Pokemon, players check their maps to find the nearest PokeStops (where Pokemon reside) and Pokemon Gyms (where you train and upgrade Pokemon). If you’re a local business, make sure to download the game from either the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and check to see if your business is, indeed, a PokeStop or Pokemon Gym. At the very least, being a designated PokeStop, or near one, will increase awareness of your business.
Now that there’s all this extra foot traffic near your business, why not take advantage of it and advertise your services? Maybe you’re a small family practice clinic and want to raise awareness of your walk-in acute care hours. Think about putting a sign outside your office or setting up a display with promotional materials, such as business cards and brochures. The extra exposure may help bring patients through your doors in the future. And, if nothing else, the neighborhood kids might not mind a trip to the doctor’s office so much anymore, if they can capture a Nidoran on the way in!
Have Fun With It
Maybe take a few minutes to learn the basics of the game … if you’re part of that clinic mentioned above, have a discussion about it with your patients. You’ll be surprised how far having something in common will go towards goodwill and a favorable first impression! Let’s say you have a pediatric department - buy some old-school Pokemon cards and hand one out in place of sugary lollipops. If you have patients who need more physical exercise, recommend they download the game and walk around their neighborhood to collect Pokemon. For older patients, it’s a great way for them to bond with younger family members while increasing their physical activity.
There are many more ways you can benefit from the latest craze sweeping the nation, but we hope these ideas will get your creative juices flowing!