At this point, many companies are starting to recognize that developing a branded mobile application can be a key value to the company’s portfolio. Unfortunately, few understand how creating an app should be approached and what it should concern. A study published by Harris Interactive on November 10, 2010 shows some remarkable insight in what is expected from branded apps. For the research 781 adults, form the age 18 and up, who download apps for their mobile devices on a regular base where interviewed via an online questionnaire.
The survey reveals that 76% of mobile app users agree that brands and organizations should have mobile apps to make shopping or interacting with them easier. Most of the companies, large and small, are expected to have an app in some way. This is due to the fact that the mobile phone has become an important piece of the overall customer experience. What needs to be better understood is that apps are extensions of brands and are able to create a better overall experience.
As already expected, there is dissatisfaction under app users as for this moment, 38% of the users are not satisfied with most branded apps. This is thanks to the fact that a lot of brand at the moment misunderstand the opportunity and create apps that do not add true value for the consumer. With 73% it one of key factors is that apps are mistaken and given the same functionality as a company’s website. The consumer should not be overwhelmed with functions; an app should be easy in use and be specifically designed to ease the costumer with a specific task, this article of Mashable gives 7 tips for building better brands. Another key factor is that the app is seen as a utility, 75% responded to the survey that the app should do as they require. In other words the costumer wants to be provided with an app to get something done in a convenient way.
All these problems exist due to the fact that companies use the medium in the wrong way and do not give what the consumer is expecting. In the meantime this is creating damage to companies, 69% of the surveyed got a more negative perception of a brand when the app of that brand was not useful, for filing their expected needs or where not easy to use. Too continue 32% told others about this bad experience and 13% concluded that from now on they will avoid apps by that specific company.
To continue, the majority in the survey pointed out that other user experiences and recommendations drove them to get an app. Only 18% of the users concluded that a brand name was considered when downloading an app from the app-store. So when making an application you should keep in mind that brand name does not automatically make your app popular under your loyalists but good functionality will.
An Aplication should be seen as an ongoing communication window to create a better overall brand experience for your consumers and enhance the product or service used use. There are three main strategies that seem to work for branded apps:
– Useful applications: Apps that offer the user with additional useful information linked to the preferences of the companies or its consumes key values
– Entertaining applications: Offer an entertaining ‘game’ like experience
– Product enhancing apps: These offer the consumer with extra content which will give them a better product experience
Some great Examples op Branded Apps
A good example of this is Nike who has launched applications like Nike+ and Nike boom. Nike has adopted the strategy to offer applications which offers the user extra value in combination with their products and athletic performance. Applications have the ability to be adaptive overtime to offer more then they initially did and should therefore be seen as an evolving portal to your costumers.
Another great example of this in actions is the application build by the Dutch supermarket chain of Albert Heijn; Appie. By now they have created an application which gives you the ability to see their promotions, make a shopping list, give feedback and check prices. This is only the beginning from the application as it is sure to be that in the future you will be able to order your groceries, plan your route true the supermarket and give product feedback true the application.
Let’s say we want to take a brand into the application world who is working on product for babies like diapers or baby food. It would be nice to create an application concerning your child and his or her development. For Papers there is already an application on in the Ipad called ‘Hello baby’. Another approach for this could be that you develop an application where you can read little booklets to your child. Good examples of content which can be made available are the baby sees books. In these books an infant senses are triggered by showing patterns. Make such an app available for free in the store with one book and then by purchasing more product new books will be made available to you.
There is an app made for Nivea who gives you inside by giving your position, time, sun strength and skin type what factor of sun cream you should use called Nivea sun. This is a good example of extra value given on the spot when you need it. At the moment the app is still rusty but it has a lot of potential to grow into something of use. For now, even though it’s rusty, it creates allot of positive hype around Nivea’s sun cream products. With the concept being launched this year it can be assumed that in following years, when handled correctly, this app will become of great importance to Nivea.
For the car industry it has been difficult to offer consumer value added branded application, until now the application experimentation in the car industry included mainly uninspiring digital folders like for instance the app by Rolls Royce. This app makes impressive use of the new technologies, you can for instance change the car’s color, add different types of rims etcetera, but it forgets to add personal value for the consumer. You can argue that creating your own personal Rolls Royce is creating value but it does not use this new media to its full, and true, extent.
Volvo on the other hand did with their toxic admission application. By using the App, the driver can search for their specific model of car and a Best-In-Class button immediately identifies the car with the lowest toxic emissions in that sector. The app was made in cooperation with www.cleangreencars.co.uk and also has its own Facebook page where you can sign a petition to lower the emission new cars produce. So besides giving consumer a nifty app which helps them select a low emission car it also creates a social discussion about toxic emission.
There is a list at mashable.com of 13 branded mobile apps that got it right to their opinion. This gives a good overview of what is out at the moment and what the possibilities are. The full article can be found at: http://mashable.com/2010/10/06/branded-mobile-apps/
Included in this list are:
Useful Branded Apps1. ifood Assistant by Kraft
2. Oakley Surf Report
3. Snow and Ski Report by REI
4. Trailhead by The North Face
Entertaining Branded Apps5. Zippo
6. Audi A4 Driving Challenge
7. The Karate Kid
8. Barclaycard Waterslide Extreme
Branded Apps that Enhance a Product9. DirecTV
10. MLB.com At Bat 2010
12. Chipotle Ordering
13. OasisPlaces by Thermos This is an artical I wrote before I started my internship. It’s been edited to fit into wordpress and should give an insight on some branded apps that got it right.