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A Simple Guide to Pokémon GO for Small Business, Part 1: The Basics

A Simple Guide to Pokemon Go

What the Heck is Pokémon GO?

In simple terms, Pokémon GO is a mobile game which has players navigate the real world to find animated monsters called Pokémon. Why should small businesses care? Because these players have the potential to find themselves walking through your doors, and becoming a customer.


What are Pokémon?

Pokémon are cartoon, animal-like creatures, that human trainers capture in Pokéballs. The general goal is to become the better Pokémon “trainer,” and have the strongest Pokémon. Trainers travel extensively because some Pokémon are exclusive to certain locations.

Is Pokémon GO just a fad?

With a long history of Pokémon video games, television shows, trading cards, and other themed products, it’s hard to reduce the new Pokémon GO game to just a “fad.” Pokémon is an iconic franchise, which continues to capture the hearts of today’s youth, as well as striking feelings of familiarity and nostalgia for adults.

How does Pokémon GO work?

Using the phone’s camera and GPS navigation, the app tracks the person’s location. As the player walks around, Pokémon pop up on their map. Tapping on the Pokémon will show it superimposed on the real world, and ready for catching.

How will this benefit my small business?

There are a number of ways that your business can benefit from the game, depending on your proximity to Pokéstops and Gyms. Even if your business is not near anything relevant to Pokémon GO, you can still utilize this app’s popularity to get some new customers through the door.


If you plan on incorporating Pokémon GO into your business strategy, make sure you get the basic terms down. Here, we have shared 10 essential terms.


The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Pokémon GO Terminology


  1. Pokémon– cartoon animal-like creatures. Note, this is both the singular and plural term. Pronunciation varies but common pronunciations are poh-kay-mon and poh-key-mon. Just avoid saying Pokéman or Pokémons.
  1. Trainer – humans who capture Pokémon. Generally, trainers have a loving relationship with their Pokémon. Ash Ketchum, a trainer, is the series’ original protagonist.
  1. Pikachu – One Pokémon species. Pikachu is likely the franchise’s most recognizable Pokémon.
  1. Pokéballs – small ball containers which hold Pokémon for travel.
  1. Pokéstop – In the Pokémon GO game, Pokéstops grant resources such as Pokéballs every 5 minutes. Pokéstops are placed according to places of interest, most of which are sourced from Niantic’s earlier game, Ingress.
  1. Gym – The arena where trainers battle using their Pokémon.
  1. Team Instinct, Team Mystic, Team Valor – The three teams a player can join. These teams battle each other to take control of gyms.
  1. Lure – a purchasable (with real money) in-game item used to attract Pokémon. Lures are placed on Pokéstops for 30 min and are indicated on player maps with pink leaves on the Pokéstop’s icon.
  1. Trainer Level – Players level up with points gained for actions in the game.
  1. CP – Combat points, an indication of the Pokémon’s strength.


Understanding the basics of Pokémon GO can help setup your business to reach new audiences and connect with customers on a deeper level. Keeping open-minded about the possibilities of trending media, such as Pokémon GO, can be pivotal to your small business’s success.

In Part 2 of this series, we will explore marketing opportunities you can use to gain new customers from the Pokémon GO craze.