First and foremost I make no apology for writing this post – kinda my little corner of the internet to write as I please
So with that said…….
I happen to belong to a mobile phone network that believes we’re “Better connected” . You know the one – all blue and bubbly and full of voiceovers from Sean Bean. Anyway, a while back now I downloaded one of their apps which highlights local outlets offering discounts if you bring your phone in to one of these establishments and wave it about in front of the shop assistant – or something.
There was, for me, always a problem with this app though. Whilst the offers in question may have been just round the corner and in that sense very local, they were only ever the large chains or multinationals. Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I belong to that group of people who badger on about shopping locally and chirp about only ever using independent businesses. Certainly when I’m out and about I do prefer to wander from shop to shop, particularly for food. However this probably has more to do with the fact that once I get at the control end of a supermarket trolley I become something akin to a road rage sufferer.
The upshot of the app in its original format? It wouldn’t necessarily matter what city you were in, the same offers from the same places would come filtering through. Personally speaking, when I go visiting another part of the UK I like to try to root out the hidden gems; not go and have the same coffee/cake/meal that I can get from the same chain in my hometown.
Finally The Network have understood this and they are providing an opportunity for local independent businesses to get involved with the app. Personally I think it is a great idea. I’d love to be able to go to another part of the country and find wine merchants like Reserve Wines in Didsbury or Barrica Wines up near Preston; restaurants like Solita or Italia; or little gems in the area like the Sweet Tooth Cupcakery in Chorlton or Pancake Corner in Urmston. Or perhaps to locate those small businesses that don’t have a fixed presence like Levanter Foods and FatJax Chutneys.
Finding them would be enough – but discounts? Who doesn’t like a special offer?
If you haven’t already guessed I’m talking about O2 and their Priority Moments App which if it’s done right could be a great way to discover those little gems that only the locals ever seem to know about. If you want to see some of the independents who are already participating in the scheme in Manchester get yourself along to Exchange Square this weekend (27th & 28th October).