How Can Businesses Capitalize on the Pokémon Go Phenomena?

The numbers are staggering. Since its release, more than 100 million people have downloaded the Pokémon Go app to their phones, and over 20 million players log in daily – making it the largest mobile game in U.S. history. While the mobile gaming app has started see a drop in daily active users since its meteoric rise, Niantic, the game’s developer, said recently at a Comic-Con panel that Pokémon Go only launched with 10 percent of its intended features.

Those features include more Gym functionality, customizable PokéStops, Pokémon breeding and the inclusion of some legendary features. Much of this won’t come until the game has launched in additional markets and achieved greater stability according to Niantic.

One thing hasn’t changed: Pokémon Go remains at the top of the most downloaded app charts.


So what does this mean for South Florida businesses? One look below our Brickell Avenue office here at Schwartz Media Strategies and it’s quite clear that the app is still extremely popular with Downtown Miami residents, workers and visitors alike.

Pokémon Go uses maps powered by GPS to create a virtual world where characters and items are collected. Upon spotting a Pokémon, the game uses the phone’s camera to superimpose creatures into the real world where they can then be “captured.”

Downtown Miami in particular is teaming with Pokémon. Curbed Miami created a map for finding rare Pokémon and YouTuber Chris Smoove has garnered more than 1 million views of his Pokémon searches across downtown Miami. The InterContinental Miami hotel has emerged as another downtown Miami hotspot for Pokémon with many sightings around the famous Spindle sculpture in the lobby and even in the presidential suite.

Other South Florida businesses are also taking advantage of the Pokémon craze to drive brand awareness and traffic. For example, the iconic CocoWalk in the heart of Coconut Grove, recently hosted a contest on Facebook where they asked visitors to post a photo of themselves playing Pokémon Go in the comments section of their Facebook post. The post reached more than 16,600 people, almost two times the amount of people that follow the page. One person claimed he walked 5 miles from Brickell to enter the contest and, of course, catch Pokémon.

Real world businesses located near a Pokémon stop can capitalize on the game’s popularity to drive acquisition and boost revenue by understanding how their locations fit into the virtual world. Here’s how:

  1. Leverage social media. Engage your social media followers by promoting PokéStops near you and create two-way engagement by having users share their success on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. You could even consider offering a discount or promotion to the best Pokémon photo that shows your business.
  1. Create signage and place it next to PokéStops or gyms and offer specials or promotions to players who visit your business.
  1. Purchase a “Lure Module.” For a relatively small investment, Lure Modules, which draw characters to particular PokéStops, can be purchased. Think of it as setting virtual bait to bring real customers closer to your doorstep.

South Florida brands are only scratching the surface of the Pokémon Go phenomenon and it will be interesting to see how the trend continues to develop.