Location Trends: Checkpoints

“When was the last time you got a reward for just showing up? When did you get a prize for something you do every day? Now you can, with Checkpoints” is the catch-phrase of a new mobile app called Checkpoints.

Founded by brothers/ entrepreneurs Mark and Todd DiPaola, who put $1 million of their own money into forming a company in April 2010, the new product was launched about 3 months ago.

What Checkpoints offers is product integration, a way to introduce new clients to products in a fun and interactive way.

An example will illustrate it the best: You are about to go shopping for groceries. Opening the app on your cellular phone will show you which markets in your area are participating in the program. By going in and checking in there –pointing your cell phone camera at a bar code and taking a picture – you get some points.

The app will also show you which products in the store they are recommending. By picking a product up and scanning it (again with the camera) you will also get points. You can do the same with any other establishment, and Checkpoints is a universal currency, meaning it is not tied to a brand or to a currency. The points you accumulate can be redeemed for products; from gift cards to new electronic gadgets and airline miles.

For shoppers this app, available for all camera-equipped cell phones, is a fun way to interact with new products and get something in return.

For manufacturers and advertisers, which have been tied to a specific location in their advertisements, Checkpoints offers the ability to expend to the product level and drive customers to pick it up and really look at it, in an interactively engaging way.

Several brands have joined the program immediately; Belkin, Energizer, Seventh Generation, Tyson foods, 24/7 fitness center, and more. Just recently, Lionsgate, the movie production and distribution company has added Checkpoints to all their DVDs and Blu-rays. Customers are able to watch trailers and receive checkpoints for interaction with new movies. They will also have access to movie reviews and exclusive offers. “We know this technology increases the likelihood of purchase and we’re also excited by the sheer power of the experience and the brand engagement it creates” says Anne Parducci, Lionsgate Executive Vice President of Marketing and Family Entertainment.

Checkpoints hit the million check-ins and 600,000 bar code scans in January 2011, about 2 and half months after its launch. The brothers are now contemplating whether to continue in their boot-strapping operation with 13 employees or start a round of financing.



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