A local marketing and advertising company known for its embrace of technologically innovative approaches to getting the word out is developing a product that aims to build customer loyalty for many retailers.
Employees of Nashville-based redpepper originated the idea for "Facedeals" — that's still a working title — during a brainstorming session. The system places in stores cameras that can recognize customers who have opted into the program and instantly offer them personalized deals. Special offers, discounts and the like would appear — virtually instantly — on the consumer’s cell phone.
“The inspiration was simply the lack of consumer loyalty and the opportunity to provide incentives for folks to 'check in,'” said Samara Anderson, redpepper’s director of business development.
For those not sufficiently tech-minded, Anderson is referring to geolocation applications such as the popular foursquare. The idea behind Facedeals — the name will soon be changed at the behest of Facebook officials — is that cameras can identify faces and automatically check them in at their favorites coffee shops, book sellers or other stores.
“What we’ve done is take the check-in process to the next level,” Anderson said. “Checking in, physically, is no longer needed as face recognition cameras check in for you.”
According to redpepper’s website, consumers will be able to approve the use of the Facedeals technology through their Facebook account. Anderson said that, in addition to renaming Facedeals, more important matters such as funding need addressing. The company also plans to begin working with Nashville-area companies at some point.
“We haven’t gotten to the point of testing the idea locally,” Anderson said. “We’re just getting off the ground.”