An Edinburgh businesswoman has chosen her home city as the ideal location in which to launch a completely new concept in immediate mobile phone messaging.
Her firm Silver IMP (short for Innovative Marketing Products) has developed exclusive software to bring a new app, aptly called called an IMP – an Instant Media Promotion – to the marketplace.
Silver IMP will partner shops, boutiques, cafes, restaurants and other businesses keen to attract passing trade who will be able to pass on their own personalised audio and visual messages regarding promotional items and information.
Unlike email or text messages, which can be perceived as nuisance and have to be deleted off the recipients phone, the IMP, which will be free to download from the website with a special QR code, leaves no trace or residue on the phone once it has passed on its message. Working through signal detection, the passive app is awakened when it comes into range of a WIFI unit positioned within the partner business. Silver IMP will programme the unit to pass on the special offers to potential customers passing by – and will then disappear from their phone when they pass out of range. It is completely confidential and will not pass on any phone numbers , either back to the partner business or to a third party.
With several businesses already signed up to trial out the new IMP software over the summer, the developer, Bonnie Lawson Brown, is confident that both retailers and consumers will quickly want to get a piece of the action.
“Today’s consumers are very money conscious,” said Bonnie, who has studied Retail Communications through the Open University, leading her to fully research the technology needed to bring this product to market. “Likewise shops, cafes, restaurants and so on are keen to reach potential new customers in a very direct way – or reward loyal customers with new deals. As mobile phones have become the way to keep in touch; to shop; to browse; to gather all sorts of information what better way than targeting them directly through their phones when they are close by the premises of our partner businesses – it’s a real call to action to actually go in, so much more direct and effective than emailing or texting customers who may not even read the messages?”
Bonnie, who is also a military wife with a strong track record in retailing, has always been fascinated with the potential for passing on consumer led information to the general public. Her recent studies, supplemented with a “eureka” moment in Edinburgh’s George Street, when her attention was caught by a bus stop billboard, gave her the idea for the “imp”.
“I suddenly thought how many more messages consumers could be receiving when they walk down a busy shopping street,” she said. “But unlike ads and billboards which are static and may have been there for a few weeks, my IMP messages are fresh, instant and up to date.”
“There is so much potential with this product,” added Bonnie.”At the moment it’s a purely visual IMP but I have plans for an audio version; versions could be specifically developed for the Edinburgh Tourist market for example; for students, even a Treasure Hunt type approach for parents with children.”
Bonnie has used another Edinburgh based firm – xdesign365 – to develop the software, which has now been patented.
“The guys there – Euan Andrews and Martin Alderson – have been great, making my idea and research into a reality. We will continue to work together to develop new versions.”
Bonnie has also networked through the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, raising awareness of the product and carrying out further research as to firms in the Capital who might want to be involved.
David Chisholm, a High Growth Business Advisor with the Chamber said:-
“I have worked with Bonnie on this exciting application for the last few months and it is a prime example of the buoyant Scottish innovation sector. I believe that entrepreneurship, and specifically high-tech entrepreneurship and innovation, will drive the next stage of economic growth across Europe and this type of development is not only innovative but can encourage growth in our sluggish retail market.”
“Furthermore, I believe that Silver Imp has the potential to bring in a new age of retail promotion and gives the customer what they want from who they want, which is much more attractive to both the retailer and the consumer.”
The screen shot below which shows a map of Glasgow is only a mock-up, and the app will be live in Edinburgh first in a few weeks’ time. If you are interested in finding out more please call Bonnie on 07788253158