Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Pokemon GO - Awesome For Small Businesses

The game is here and it's having a much stronger effect than I had ever imagined. People are going outside, they're walking and exploring their neighborhoods, they're meeting new people, and small businesses are getting more foot traffic and sales thanks to being gyms and Pokestops. This is just...all around awesome. Sure there are a few naysayers and killjoys sprinkled in the mix with their negative articles, but overall, I think the positive benefits outweigh the few negative click-bait headlines.

I've only played up until Silver and Gold on the GameBoy Color (Silver was my last "new" Pokemon game), but my younger sister still plays and she keeps me hip to all the new Poke-happenings out there in the world. I know a lot of online shop owners JUMPED at the opportunity to make a buck off the trend, but with the market being so saturated...I figured I'd skip this one...but then the custom requests started rolling in....

200 total, 50 of each design.

My first request was a friend who needed 200 pinback buttons to hand out at his church event. Since all churches are Pokestops, his church wanted to give out pins to all the Sunday school kids and set up lures for them to catch Pokemon after class. Which, even though I am not religious, sounded like a really nice and thoughtful event, so I went into Adobe Illustrator, whipped up some logos, made some sky-inspired backgrounds to match the space-y BG of the pokeball pin, and made him 200 buttons. 
This time they wanted a more graphic design, it's my same vectors, just against a black BG.
Then I got another order for 300 more pins from an awesome guy looking to hand pins out to people he meets while he and his s/o are out Poke-hunting. 

That's 500 BUTTONS in the past 7 DAYS!

This craze isn't just getting people outside socializing, it's helping small businesses, like myself, make connections to people, get some orders, and reach new audiences. 

The funniest thing is...I'm not even playing the game (yet)

All this positivity created by this game is wonderful, so much so that me, a current non-player, is thinking about signing up to play too. 

I went out to dinner this weekend with my b/f, his teenage daughter, and a bunch of his work friends (age range from late 20's-60's). After dinner we went outside and half the group whipped out their phones and we went for an after dinner poke-hunting walk! It was so much fun and there were TONS of people outside even though it was nearly 10 at night. 

It was so fun that I am about to make my account and join in the game...

So long story short, Pokemon Go is awesome, and if you're a small business owner, you should find a way to make it work for you. 

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