When Pokémon Go was launched this July, it immediately became a global phenomenon. Within 48 hours, the augmented reality game had taken over—one headline declared: "Pokémon Go is Eating the World." 

From a local ice cream parlor posting signs welcoming Pokémon Go hunters to cellular service giant T-Mobile announcing it will exempt the game from data charges for a year, businesses—small and large—are looking to capitalize on the app that has people of all ages out and searching for Pokémon. 

One of my favorites examples of a big brand capturing some Pokémon magic showed up in my Facebook feed with the photo of a friend's very happy, Pokémon Go-obsessed son sitting atop a large Target red ball painted to look like a giant Poké Ball. I had to find out what Target was up to. Turns out, the company had just painted the "bollards" (those big red balls outside store entrances) at more than 400 Target locations across the United States. 

Rick Gomez, Target's senior vice president of marketing, explains, “We wanted to create an extra special experience for our biggest Pokémon fans, and landed on this idea that we think they’ll love. We hope our guests have as much fun with them as we do.”

Click here to read more about Target's Brilliant Idea and other ways this major brand is creating a great experience for its Pokémon-loving fans of all ages.

Easy ways Your Business can Go for Pokémon Go

Trends come and go quickly, so successfully jumping on the Pokémon Go bandwagon requires timely and quick action. Some might say it's already peaked, especially with younger fans back in school. But, if you're willing to try something new—especially if you have a retail business that needs to draw people in the door—it could be just the thing to attract new customers and add something special to their customer experience!

Here are our top five tips for using Pokémon Go with your business:  

1. Charging stations 

Welcome players to take a break and charge their phones. 

2. Encourage Check-ins

Increase engagement on your social media pages by asking players to check in when they stop at your location.

3. Perks 

Give fans a discount for cooling off with an ice cream or relaxing with a cup of coffee.

4. Share and tag 

Invite players to post their photos and tag your business.

5. Show off your Pokémon items 

Have any Pokémon branded items on your shelves? Make sure they are prominently featured in store windows.

Give it a Go!

Whatever your business ... restaurant, coffee shop, bank, non-profit, fitness center, clothing store, bookstore ...  put your imagination to work and give Pokémon Go a go. 

(Note: as 8/26/16 Pokémon Go was no longer accepting submissions to set up PokeStops of Gyms, but you can still use our tips even if don't have a Pokémon on site!)  

Photo: Target Brands, Inc.

Photo: Target Brands, Inc.

“We wanted to create an extra special experience for our biggest Pokémon fans, and landed on this idea that we think they’ll love.
— Rick Gomez, senior vice president, marketing, Target