Four brand apps that have a purpose

As I have discussed before, apps, if done well can be a major asset for brand communications as a way of connecting to a potential or existing customer 24/7.

There are a few main points to follow when making a successful brand app. The most important being to give the app a purpose, don’t mirror your website, make an extension of it.

I was surprised that many apps didn’t seem to have a purpose, and are therefore failing to engage with people. After scanning through iTunes (their list of 900,000 apps was too much to sift through), I found the four apps I felt provided a little something extra for the consumer.

Google Search

Google apps are, in the main, successful and well used apps. They feature regularly on the top ten lists and rarely get a bad review. This particular app sold itself very quickly.


The regular desktop Google search engine is obviously the most used search engine around the world and has grown extensively with its brand. However this app, made predominately for searching, offers some really useful and novel services that aren’t offered with the regular Google search (it has a purpose!).

The app automatically gives you weather and traffic updates at the beginning of the day, as well as receiving updates on breaking news stories (keeps it personal to the user).

It provides a voice search option, including a voice reply, and it is easy to return to previous searches. But, the most impressive feature is Google Goggles. This allows you to take a photo of something and find out information regarding the image you’ve snapped, such as a historic landmark or a piece of art.  
RAC Traffic+ rac

RAC are known as being a breakdown rescue service and by using an app they have extended their brand, using the same basic target consumer, and included a service different to what they are known for.

RAC Traffic+ uses your phones location and alerts you to any traffic problems that are near you with an interactive map. It also tells you if there are any road works nearby or incidents and rates the severity level as well. Although it isn’t a completely new service and there are other apps that do this, RAC have ensured that what they are offering is different and new to their brand in particular.

The app does also have some of the same features from the website, such as route planner and step-by-step itinerary’s.

British Airways Inspiration

This app has managed to find a novel way to extend their brand and keep it interesting. British Airways, the flag carrier airline for the UK, has made an app that picks, sorts and plans your holiday.


If you are struggling to pick your next holiday destination you can go on the app, pick a time of the year, the climate you like and what type of holiday you are interested in and the app will provide you with suggestions on location, recommendations, activities to do when you get there and the cheapest flights.

It also cleverly links the unusual app service to their brands original service, perhaps aiding in new custom. 

Although this form of app isn’t something a mobile user would open frequently it is still a fresh idea that a regular traveller would like as well as an inexperienced traveller.

They have also launched a 'Perfect Day' app, which has a similar service but only plans day trips in various cities.  

Nike+ Running

Nike is a well-known and popular brand that has extended its services exponentially. This particular app encapsulates a number of great features that are crucial to making a successful app.

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The main purpose is to aid your running experience. The Nike+ Running app tracks distance, pace, time and calories burned with GPS, giving you audio feedback as you run. This ensures the app is personal to the user. It also automatically uploads to the website which links their brand arms.

It features social media links so you can post when you begin your run and with every like or comment you receive the app will play a cheer to you through your headphones. This markets the app and Nike through social links and potentially aids in new app users.

You can also set up power songs to help motivate you and there is automatic quotes from well-known athletes that are played throughout the run. The app constantly pushes you to challenge yourself as well, which could also push you to continue using the app.

A very clever app!