Newsroom HomeBlogsStoriesSoundtrack ProjectNewsroom ArchivesChamber Home Page

More Than Just a Game: How Small Businesses Can Capitalize on the Pokémon Go Movement

Released only two weeks ago, on July 6, Pokémon GO has rapidly become a global mobile sensation. The free-to-play location-based app is available for iOS and Android devices and uses the phone’s GPS and camera to create an augmented reality for users to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures.
So what does Pokémon GO fever mean for small businesses? Well, a lot actually. It presents a major driver for business, as well as an opportunity to target a new demographic. Here are three ways that local businesses can capitalize on this movement:
1. Take advantage of nearby PokéStops and Gyms
PokéStops and Gyms generate foot-traffic with virtually no effort (no pun intended). People are going to flock to these locations to replenish items, battle other teams, and train their Pokémon. If your business is fortunate enough to be a registered PokéStop or Gym, be sure to let customers and passersby know, if they don’t already. Put a sandwich board in front of your store or a sign in the window advertising your status and inviting people in to “catch em’ all.”
If your business isn’t a Pokéstop, but you’re in an area with more than one in close proximity, then you’re going to have to get creative…which brings us to our next point. 
2. Sit back, drop a lure, and enjoy the show
Here’s where this whole thing gets interesting. Pokémon GO players are essentially on a virtual scavenger hunt trying to find and capture these characters. The app allows businesses to purchase things called lure modules, which attach to the nearest Pokéstop and increase the rate at which wild Pokémon will appear in the area. So, a local business – such as a restaurant, bar, or retail store – can actually draw Pokémon GO users to their location by placing these lures. Because the lures only last for 30 minutes at a time, you’ll need to buy a few if you want to attract people throughout the day. One lure module costs approximately $.99, a small price to pay for an influx in traffic (and potentially sales).
3. Promote your Pokémon on social media
Even if your business isn’t near a PokéStop or Gym, you’re still going to have Pokémon. Promoting these treasured creatures on social media and letting people know that they’ve been seen popping up in the area is not only easy, but also it’s free.
If you don’t have a large social media following or if you want to drive even more traffic to your channels, perhaps you should consider investing in paid social media advertising. This will allow you to create ads which are targeted to a specific demographic and geographic radius of your choice, thereby increasing the chances of reaching people who are more likely to stop by your place of business. 
It’s important to understand the potential rewards Pokémon GO can have for your business, while also keeping in mind the risks involved. Because of the nature of the app, the player’s view of reality is modified, so it’s quite easy to get wrapped up in the game and forget about real-life things going on around you. When searching for Pokémon, always be aware of your surroundings and use your best judgement.
Love it or hate it, it has become clear to everyone, local businesses included, that Pokémon GO is more of a social phenomenon than a game. It presents a wide range of opportunities for local businesses to attract consumers and have fun while doing it. So what are you waiting for?
inferno is an award-winning brand development, advertising, public relations, design and digital marketing firm based in Memphis, Tennessee. Visit for more information. You can also follow inferno on Twitter (@creativeinferno) and Facebook (

Examples of Local Businesses Taking Advantage of  Pokémon GO:
  • The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is one example of a local organization that is already embracing the craze by advertising Pokémon, through their social media channels and blog, in order to attract people to the museum.
  • BellyAcres on Overton Square is providing free "extras" (with the purchase of a meal) for Pokémon trainers based on their level of experience. All you have to do is show your avatar's evel when you check out.
Are you doing a special promotion for Pokémon GO? Let us know and we'll include it in this blog post!


Posted: 7/20/2016 10:04:14 AM | with 0 comments

Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.
Leave comment Subscribe

= two - six

Your business may be small, but that doesn't mean that your impact can't be huge! The Greater Memphis Chamber's Small Business Council serves to encourage, support, recognize and be a resource to small- and medium-sized businesses in the Memphis area. Here, our talented panel of contributors will present big ideas that could make a huge difference to your small business. And don't be afraid to ask questions ... no matter how small.

Sales & Small Business Ownership
Voss W. Graham is CEO and Senior Business Advisor for InnerActive Consulting Group Inc. He is known by his clients as "a knowledgeable partner who helps our team achieve business growth." He provides practical experience as a small business owner for over 29 years, yet is often engaged with Fortune 500 companies in the development of their people and business strategies.

Public Relations
Several professionals and strategists from the local Obsidian Public Relations firm provide excellent advice on everything from research to media relations to event planning. They believe that all companies, no matter how big or small the company or its budget, should have a public relations plan driving how they manage their relationships with key stakeholders. Public relations is an integral part of doing business the right way.

Human Resources
Joel Myers is a career Human Resources professional, with over 40 years in the field including 26 years in consulting.

Small Business Advice
Tom Pease is a small business owner of an office equipment dealership called e/Doc Systems, Inc. He has also owned a full-line Kawasaki dealership as well as a document shop. He used 30+ years of experience in owning a business to author two books, including: Going Out of Business by Design: Why 70% of Small Businesses Fail and Small Business Survival 101. He also has published 85 columns in The Memphis Daily News as the Small Business Advisor.

Marketing & Public Relations
Lori Turner-Wilson is CEO and Founder of RedRover Company, a sales development, marketing and PR consulting firm. Lori works with companies large and small, from start-ups to mature organizations, to help them improve the productivity of their sales force and the return on their marketing investment. Lori writes a weekly syndicated column for the Daily News, Memphis News, Nashville Ledger, and Desoto Times, among others, titled “Guerrilla Sales & Marketing,” for which she won a 2011 Summit International Award and 2012 International Communicator Award.

Design and Digital Strategy
Founded in 1999, inferno provides brand development, advertising, public relations, design and digital marketing services to clients across a broad spectrum of industries. Headquartered in Memphis with a satellite office in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the award-winning firm produces results-driven work by passionately combining strategic thinking, creativity and culture to ensure the success of its clients. For more information, visit

Labor & Employment Law
Fisher Phillips attorneys are ready to help you take a stand: in court, with employees and unions, or with competitors. Fisher Phillips has the experience and resolve to back you up. That's why some of the savviest employers come to the firm to handle their toughest labor and employment cases. The firm has 350 attorneys in 32 offices, including Memphis. For more information, visit

Since its founding in 2005, Paragon Bank has maintained a solid focus on the community and customer service. For more than 10 years, Paragon has delivered innovative products and financial expertise, convenience, and a deep understanding of what both businesses and individuals need from a ban, in order to provide solutions that make a difference. In the areas of business or personal banking, lending options or wealth management, Paragon delivers cutting edge technology, an experienced team and the most service-oriented staff of any community bank.