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Think strategically, think Pokémon Go

NSBIA offers tips to members who may want to capitalize on craze
August 24, 2016 1:32 P.M.

Go North, young Pokémon players.

To the North Shore, hopefully, to shop and dine.

Cashing in on the current craze, North Shore Business Improvement Association is inviting members to increase their business by using the free, location-based game.

On the north side of the Overlanders Bridge, apparently, there are all kinds of Pokémon, Pokéstops and Pokémon gyms to attract players. 

It’s more than fun, augmented reality games and the occasional disgruntled property owner, though.

As with so many others, the NSBIA sees opportunity where some see only a public nuisance and heights of distraction. A New York pizzeria, L'inizio Pizza Bar saw sales skyrocket 75 percent after spending only $10 to lure Pokémon players to their restaurant location. Food trucks next to a Pokémon gym reported a 7,000 percent increase in sales.

In its regular newsletter, the NSBIA offers members a how-to manual to tap into the opportunity — how to buy and set lures, how to post to social media and what to do if your business is a Pokéstop, together with a list of marketing ideas.

"It hasn't had any response yet," said Kelsey Ablett, administrative assistant. "It just went out."

The association set lures in McDonald Park during Saturday's Overlander Day festivities and observed more people playing the game in the park as a result.

"I think it's a different avenue with which businesses can reach out to customers," Ablett said.

One of two summer students working for the association put together the manual.

“Now, as they say in Pokémon,” goes the NSBIA pitch, “ ‘Gotta catch 'em all!’ ”

When the handheld device game burst on the scene earlier this summer, Riverside Park suddenly became a hot spot with as many as 40-50 players roaming about in late afternoon. Now they may be roaming over to Tranquille Market and McArthur Island.

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