7 commandments of branded apps

7 commandments of branded apps

The age of connectivity is here!

Our smart phones have become almost an extended body part. I was once at a digital conference where 90% of the audience said that they would choose to lose their “pinky” from their weaker hand, rather than be without their mobile phones for a year (definitely a very special bond). It’s understandable with how much daily use we get out of our device, from working, keeping track of fitness, sending photos, playing games, connecting to our loved ones and even scanning social media for funny photos of dogs the uses are unlimited.

One of the reasons, we love our mobile devices is because of apps. However the number of downloaded apps on our device tends to be higher than the small number of frequently used apps. Although there are some successful apps on the market (Instagram, Vine and Snapchat) the vast majority are failures (this is particularly true for branded apps).

90% of branded apps have less 10,000 downloads (most of which have less than 1000 downloads).  So how have brands got it so wrong?   

Here are 7 commandments of branded apps.

1. Understand the market
Looking at similar apps before creating yours is important. Ensure you review all the competition and understand where the gap in the market is. You want to have the best app, how can you do that if you haven’t explored the market properly?

2. Ask why?
The most important word in any branded app development is “why?”  Sometimes it feels like a brand creates an app as a kind of tick-box exercise rather than it being something a customer genuinely wants or needs.  

3. Use a trusted expert
Use an individual or agency that has a proven track record of creating successful apps.  It’s counterproductive to just use the cheapest option available, if the app ends up being a total failure. You have to invest in a good product to have a good ROI.

4. Test, test and test again!
Half the fun of creating an app is testing it! One key to making a fantastic app is testing it at every level of creation. When you think you’ve tested enough…. Maybe run a couple more just to be sure.

5. Have high design standards
If you put your name on something shouldn’t it be the best quality possible?
Having your standards high when it comes to the design, layout and all round feel of the app is important. No, it isn’t being too involved, this is your app make it the best it can possibly be.

6. App optimisation
Once your app is available it’s just the beginning of your journey. Keeping it updated and optimised is the best way to keep user engagement growing. Refreshing content, adding new features, fixing bugs should always be top priority.

7. Website promotion
Remember why you made your app, it should serve a dual purpose of entertaining and educating about your brand. Balancing promotion and function is a tricky subject some brands excel at just don’t lose sight of why you created it in the first place.  

Read more from Sean Singleton here.