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Can Pokemon GO! actually HELP your business?

Hope we’re not Slowpokes to this one.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve surely noticed that the new Android/Apple App Pokemon GO! has taken over the globe at this point. And if you’ve gone out recently, you’ve probably noticed an increase in zombie-like millennials walking around staring at their phones, trying to catch ’em all.

But is their potential beyond the basic conceit of the game to actually get people moving and interacting with your brand?

Possibly.

Whataburger is quick on the trend.

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Customers definitely appreciate a brand that is in tune with pop culture . It shows an appreciable awareness about your company and it is especially enticing to millennials who are on the forefront of pop culture.

However, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Not every brand should be seizing the Pokemon Go trend – remember with any phenomena, you have to know your audience. Case in point:

Location, Location, Location

One of the unique features of Pokemon GO is Niantic’s API, which designates particular landmarks as Poke Stops, which are integral for progressing in the game by providing items and lure locations.

McDonalds has taken advantage of this through a sponsorship which may begin setting a standard for other businesses – want new customers? Literally LURE them to your location.

If you can’t become a lure (there is a request form, but you can imagine the volume would make it hard for one to become visible) – then another option to reaching out is by going to other lure spots.

In Vancouver, some of the most populated areas are Robson Square, Waterfront Plaza, Metrotown fountains, Green Timbers Park in Surrey, Jericho Beach, and Olympic Village. If you’re situated around these areas, and, for instance, own a restaurant, why not try something like this:

How long will it last?

It seems Pokemon Go came out of nowhere – but in reality, the application had been in the works for years leading up to the launch in early July, and Pokemon as a franchise has been around in the mid-90s.

Unfortunately, one of the major plagues to Pokemon GO! is server instability, which at this point has been pretty bumpy. You may not be able to access the game at all at any given point, which could frustrate any Pokemon GO! related events/meetups that are organised, or nullify your purchase of a Lure Module or two.

Another issue you won’t hear until later is that Pokemon GO! currently  has a level cap of about Level 40 – however the game become exponentially more difficult past Level 20, to the point where you would need to gain as much experience as it took you to get from Level 1 to 20, to get from Level 29 to 30.

As of this article, most players have not yet reached Level 20 and you should expect a drop in playing once this reality is met since progress beyond this point does not appeal to casual gamers and requires a serious investment of time.

What should I do?

Try not to get addicted yourself!

We kid.

You probably already are though.

In all fairness, like any trend, it’s best to do your own research, and make sure incorporating Pokemon Go with your brand is a correct fit if you choose to go down that route. Nobody likes bandwagoners!

As for us at Red+Ripley, let’s just say we’re in front of enough camera and computer screens already…