By Perks |
When the iPhone was introduced in 2007, the idea of a branded mobile application on a high-quality Apple product quickly caught the intrigue of marketers across the world. Although the iPhone wasn’t the first smartphone to allow branded applications, it sparked the rush for every company to out-do the competition with the most engaging and unique application to appeal to an audience constantly seeking stimulation and entertainment.
Since the original iPhone made its début, the number of mobile apps in the iTunes store has increased by leaps and bounds. An InformationWeek article from April 6 stated that 2010 would see the number of mobile application downloads increase to almost 6 billion applications, up from 2.4 billion downloads in 2009.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t just include applications designed for the iPhone – there are now thousands of apps available for every type of smartphone on the market. And with the introduction of the iPad and competing tablets, this marketing medium will only continue to thrive, especially as technology allows for more and more advanced features.
Have you considered creating a mobile application for your brand? The positive brand equity that comes with a properly executed application could definitely make it worth your while. But there are a number of considerations to review before pushing ahead blindly to create a mobile application just because it’s what the competition is doing. It’s important to take a strategic look at what you can do to make your application as relevant as possible to your audience.
A CNN source was quoted saying “At the heart of apps that have been successful and that will continue to be successful are apps that are practical and allow people to do something that they weren’t able to do before.” In addition, you want your application to be one that properly resonates with your brand and keeps the user engaged.
When thinking about building an application for your brand, consider:
Many brands have been successful in creating mobile applications to enhance customer experience in a way that can’t be achieved through static webpages. Restaurants and amusement parks, such as Disney World, have created apps that allow visitors to upload line wait times in real-time. Yahoo! created a fully functional application for Fantasy Football season, which let customers trade players and make adjustments to their fantasy teams up until kick-off.
Consider how to translate the services that your business provides into a value that consumers can benefit from when they’re on the go. Given the huge number of applications in the iTunes store today, how will you stand out from the competition? Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and challenge your vision of what might be involved in the best application that you can possibly create.
And if you want to take a peek into the future, check out these predictions of the Top Consumer Mobile Applications for 2012.