How Your Business Can Capitalize on the Pokemon Go Trend

Pokemon Go is overshadowing and outperforming virtually every other app, with more daily users than Twitter, twice as many downloads as Tinder and double the engagement of Snapchat. Because of the overwhelming popularity of the app among young adults, B2C companies are capitalizing on Pokemon Go to attract the business of their target audiences.
For the past two weeks, newsfeeds, media channels and blogs have been filled with one topic: Pokemon Go, and for good reason. A recent study by SensorTower showed that the average iPhone user spends more time (approximately 33 minutes) playing Pokemon Go than any other app, including extremely popular applications like Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. While this is clearly a huge success for the developers (Niantic), these “Pokemania” numbers indicate an incredible opportunity for businesses to interact and draw in sales.


The game works using augmented reality, that is, combining real world surroundings with simulated game elements (i.e. the Pokemon themselves). Users must physically walk around their neighborhood in order to catch various Pokemon creatures. In order to do so, users have to collect various items located at real-life locations like stores, restaurants, landmarks and more, called PokeStops. Users can actually make in-app purchases to increase the likelihood of Pokemon visiting any given area. Eventually, players are able to battle their creatures at Gyms which are interspersed throughout a city or town.

Don’t see the marketing potential yet? By using the in-app purchases, businesses have been able to draw in crowds searching for new Pokemon to add to their collection. Businesses nearby, or on top of a PokeStop, can make a small purchase (as little as 99 cents) to attract more Pokemon to that specific area. One pizza restaurant in Queens reported seeing a 75 percent increase in business after investing just $10 to attract Pokemon Go players.

Additionally, some businesses are promoting and sharing photos of rare and interesting Pokemon native to their area on social media in an effort to garner in players. The business opportunities will extend much further beyond these organic strategies. David Jones, a major shareholder at Niantic said in an interview with Quartz that major brands have been showing interest in getting involved with the game and sponsoring products and locations. “You will absolutely be seeing that and you will be seeing it done in a way that adds value to the game rather than detracts,” he said.

It is important to note that this game most likely is a trend that will begin to wane as it becomes less novel, while augmented reality technology will continue to bridge the real and virtual worlds and will present new and unique opportunities for brands and businesses to grow.