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A Simple Guide to Pokémon GO for Small Business, Part 2: Marketing Ideas

Pokemon Go Marketing Ideas

As we discussed in Part 1 of this series, the new augmented reality mobile game, Pokémon GO, is rapidly capturing the hearts of people everywhere. Whether they are dedicated Pokémon fans that have kept up with the newest Nintendo DS games, or are part of the dormant audiences that were awakened by an accessible experience of nostalgia, Pokémon GO has appealed to a huge audience.


10 Pokémon GO Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Pokéstops are places indicated on the game’s animated map, which grant free resources, such as Pokéballs and potions. They’re essential to playing the game because most of the items generated here can’t be obtained elsewhere—and they’re free. Pokéstops are placed according to places of interest, most of which are sourced from Niantic’s earlier game, Ingress.

Ideas for Businesses Near Pokéstops

  1. Lure happy hour.
    For roughly $1, Lures are placed on PokéStops to attract Pokémon for 30 minutes. This is valuable for players because they are able to catch Pokémon with minimal movement and may have access to more unique finds.
    Bad news, if you are not located within the reach of a PokéStop, lures are useless for your business plan.
  1. Discounts for gym owners.
    If your business is located near a gym, as opposed to a Pokéstop, you can offer alternate discounts based on what team is actively controlling the gym. Teams can get quite competitive so this can be a fun way to contribute to that competition. Depending on how frequently your gym changes hands, and whether you want to be keeping track of that, you may want to limit your strategy to who is owning it at a specific hour or timeframe.
  1. Giveaways
    While you can’t give away in-game Pokémon or currency, Pokémon Team pins and stickers or other merchandise could be a viable option. Another idea is putting together a gift basket of player essentials, such as a portable phone battery and backpack.
  1. Frequent visitor or loyalty programs.
    It’s not unusual for users to frequent their neighborhood Pokéstops – it’s the only source for most of the game’s resources. Entice visitors to venture inside your business by offering a frequent visitor program. Check out this blog post for more info on loyalty programs.
  1. Social Media contests.
    One of the great pleasures of the game’s augmented reality is the ability to see these characters superimposed into the real world. These make for funny photo ops, and can provide a great marketing opportunity on social media. Create a promotional hashtag for users to post photos in exchange for discounts, or have a prize for the funniest photo. You can also re-purpose these photos as content for your own social channels.
  1. Advertise the catches.
    Make posters of what has been recently seen. Imagine those photos where restaurant owners pose with famous people, but with Pokémon instead.
  1. Simple sign.
    In the same way that people put up holiday décor to get in the holiday spirit, a little decoration goes a long way in transforming your location to a Pokémon trainer-friendly place.

Ideas for Non-Pokéstop Businesses

  1. Celebrate trainer levels with discounts.
    Have a day where you celebrate Pokémon training by offering discounts according to your customer’s level or other achievements. Because players will continue leveling as the app is out, a good place to start could be having three different discount tiers according to levels, such as Level 5: 5% off, Level 10: 10% off, Level 15+: 15% off.
  1. Themed product names.
    Make trainers feel at home by offering themed products or specials. You can have a drink called a super-potion, or a special named after a Pokémon.
    Tip: To avoid looking out of touch, stick with the original 151 Pokémon. These are the only ones offered in the game at the moment and are the most well known.
  1. Offer discounts based on team affiliation.
    There are 3 teams – Team Mystic (blue), Team Instinct (yellow), Team Valor (red). The app encourages competition with trainers taking over gyms for their team. The motivation for why someone would choose a certain team has many possibilities: they could align with the motto, the name, the color, or the legendary birds which function as mascots. Avoid stepping on toes by cycling through team discounts.


These marketing ideas can help your business seize new opportunities with Pokémon GO’s unique popularity. Although these ideas will not fit every business, consider adapting them appropriately to suit yours. Have you had success with Pokémon GO marketing? Let us know in the comments or tweet us: @KabbageInc.


Kabbage Team

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