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4 Tips to Capitalize on Pokemon Go for Your Pawn Shop Marketing
The other week at Pawn Expo, many of you got to learn about my fascination with Pokemon Go – a mobile app/game that is sweeping the nation. I’m not saying that Pokemon Go is for everybody but it definitely provides some great opportunities for businesses to jump on the craze and drive more traffic to their stores (over 2,500 people attended a recent Pokemon Go Catch & Greet at Sunset Park in Las Vegas). So with my Pokemon Go fandom and marketing knowledge in hand, let me tell you the many reasons why Pokemon Go is good for your pawn shop and how to exploit it to increase sales.
Let me start by explaining the premise of the game. If you are familiar with Geocaching, Pokemon Go is very similar but builds upon the GPS tracking and treasure hunt aspects of the game by incorporating the nostalgia and gaming elements of Pokemon. Currently, I think it’s safe to say that us “older” millennials are the predominant demographic playing this game as we grew up with the Pokemon franchise and can utilize the perks of adulthood (our own transportation and lack of curfew) to become expert Pokemon trainers.
To be one of the best, you have to do a lot more than just try to “catch them all” like the Pokemon slogan promotes. You have to visit PokeStops – many located at local parks and landmarks – to replenish supplies. You must also walk certain distances to hatch your Pokemon eggs, oftentimes revealing a Pokemon that you haven’t yet caught. Also, around the Pokestops, you oftentimes find more Pokemon which you can add to your collection, and hope to eventually evolve to become more powerful. Then, with your most powerful Pokemon, you can battle others at Gyms – located sporadically around neighborhoods – which will give you more XP, Prestige, and extra goodies, let alone bragging rights.
Now that you know a little bit about the game, let me tell you how your business can capitalize on this viral trend.
1) Apply for a PokeStop
As I mentioned earlier, Pokestops are places that Pokemon Go trainers visit to replenish supplies. Existing PokeStops were created from data of Niantic Labs (creator of Pokemon Go) other app – Ingress. If your business isn’t already a PokeStop, you can apply to get one here. Once your business has established a PokeStop or there are some in your vicinity, you can then target the thousands of PokemonGo trainers who visit it with Pokemon upsells or special events.
2) Set Pokemon Lures
Instead of having to go out and explore areas to find more Pokemon, trainers can set Pokemon Lures to draw the Pokemon to them. They must be deployed at Pokestops and last for a half hour. So you know that PokeStop at your business that you just applied for and received? Create a Pokemon Go account and purchase lures (about $1 a piece) in order to apply them to your PokeStop and watch as nearby Pokemon trainers come to catch the abundance of Pokemon by your store. I’ve seen many businesses market Pokemon catch and greet events where they promise to release lures every half hour at the Pokestop by their business to draw in huge crowds.
3) Upsell & Target the Pokemon Crowd
While the Pokemon Go trainers are visiting your store or locations nearby, target them and create upsell opportunities by having a Pokemon station filled with merchandise or other retail opportunities. Since Pokemon Go drains phone batteries, have power banks there to sell and other cell phone cords/chargers. Also, consider selling bottled water and other snacks to refuel trainers on-the-go. Lastly, look into retailing the Pokemon Go Plus bracelet and accompanying skins. The presale is already sold out in most places but if you can get your hands on them, you may be able to sell for double, even triple, the retail/wholesale value (yes, they are really that high in demand).
4) Hold your Own Pokemon Go Event
Want to draw in a large crowd all at once? Consider holding a Pokemon Go Catch & Greet at your store. Advertise across social media and local Pokemon Go groups about your event. Promise lures, Pokemon merchandise, fun giveaways, and maybe even a discount – Pokemon events have drawn hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Consider pairing up with other local businesses to have a Pokemon Crawl type event with special promotions from surrounding businesses.
These are just a few ideas to get you started on your Pokemon Go Marketing way. Start by researching what other local businesses are doing and what has been successful in your area. Join your local Pokemon Go Facebook group to participate in the discussions and let your local Pokemon community know that your business is the go-to Pokemon destination.
Here are some additional resources on Pokemon Go Marketing: