Give your apps a purpose

The average mobile user is quite fickle when it comes to apps. Apps are downloaded, deleted, scanned over, and occasionally, very occasionally, they are actually used for more than a minute at a time. So, if you want a successful app you have to give it a purpose and a reason to be used. There are many brand apps on the market that are there probably for the sake of having an app, which is why many brand apps are not successful with their customers. With this mobile evolution, and the very evident market, this lack of customer understanding in app development surprises me. I did some research into how to make a winning app, and there is no exact formula. However, one recurring and rather obvious tip is, give your app a purpose! The point is to make the app not a replica of your website, or a carbon copy of your existing product or service, but to become an extension of your brand, and a useful service to the consumer. If a brand fails to make, at the very least, an average app this can have further repercussions aside from the failure of the app. Mobile users could swap to your better and more developed competitors app, and it could even deter them from downloading a future app because of a first bad experience. So, a rule of thumb, it is better to have no app at all than a really bad one. But, if the brand can make a successful, long running application that their consumers regularly use, then it can be a great asset. The top tips for a successful App:

  • Bring something fresh to the brand ie a new service
  • Ensure you know your target audience (sounds obvious), but you need to know when they will be using the app, on what device, tablet or IPhone, what features would interest them etc
  • Aim for longevity in the app. You can do this simply by adding regular exciting features that are new to the brand, and if possible, new to the app market
  • Listen to the consumer! Many app users will read reviews if they are looking for a specific product/service/game so the last thing the brand needs is bad reviews
  • Make it easy to download, time is of the essence
  • Make it social. So important to an app user. If you can connect with friends or make it possible to invite friends to join the app, it will add value to the app and will also be a form of free marketing
  • Keep it simple, leave the detail for the website
  • Finally, if you can, make the app free. The difference between a 60p app and a free one can mean the difference between a success and a failure.