What Business Owners Can Take Away From Pokémon GO

Okay, so what’s the big deal about Pokémon GO?

You may be wondering because you’ve seen news stories. Or had groups of people milling around your business who look like they’re using their smartphones to hunt for something.

First, a quick crash course: Pokémon GO is a free mobile game app. As explained here, “it uses your phone’s GPS and clock to detect where you are and make Pokémon appear around you (or on your phone screen) so you can go and catch them. As you move around, different and more types of Pokémon will appear depending on where you are and what time it is.”

The game app has only been out a short while so there’s still a lot to learn. But here a few quick observations:

What’s old can become new again. Pokémon became super popular when it was first released in 1998. Now here it is, two decades later, and the game is again taking the world by storm. Who knows – it could come out in yet another form in another 20 years.

Persistence pays. Pokémon GO seems to have come out of nowhere but it’s been in the works for years. That seems to be the case with many “overnight sensations.”

Hype fosters creative marketing. Businesses aren’t wasting any time to leverage the increased foot traffic that’s resulted from the mobile game. Among the tactics so far:  activating “lures” that attract virtual Pokémon characters to a business location; posting about Pokémon that have been seen nearby; offering services to help players “catch ‘em all”; and providing discounts to customers who have the Pokémon GO app on their phones.

Augmented Reality (AR) is a game changer. This technology gives a live view of a real-world environment with elements that are augmented by a computer. Or to put it another way, you’re able to actually be in life and in your phone or computer’s screen at the same time. For the business owner, it’s good to be aware of this trend and keep tabs on what’s going on. No doubt it will be interesting to see how AR evolves in the future.

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About Lynne Strang

I'm a writer who blogs about 40-and-older business owners. I am also the author of "Late-Blooming Entrepreneurs: Eight Principles for Starting a Business After Age 40." Outside of work, I enjoy reading, cooking, vegetable gardening and exercise (especially cycling).
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2 Responses to What Business Owners Can Take Away From Pokémon GO

  1. Great post. I agree with everything you said. I wrote a post a few weeks ago highlighting the failure of big brands like Wal-Mart and Target to jump all over this craze. As for your last point, I agree, augmented reality technology in the app space is a game changer. We’re going to see a bunch of interesting apps pop-up over the next 12-months.

    • Lynne Strang says:

      For sure. The speed at which Pokemon Go flourished was remarkable. Many in the business community learned some lessons from this experience. As a result, they may be better prepared when the next “big” AR app emerges.

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