With most customers attached to their mobile devices 24/7, apps present an incredible opportunity for brands to connect with customers. They can boost brand recognition, build customer loyalty, drive sales, and encourage engagement with the app. Apps are powerful marketing and engagement channels, and the more users engage with them, the more they engage with the brand. Yet, engagement often proves elusive and hard to keep. Users need a reason to come back to the app, to interact with it over time, and to carry out other actions like in-app purchases or social sharing.
So how do you get users engage with your app? One way to do it is to keep a constant stream of new content flowing – be it user-generated, aggregated, or original. Think Facebook, for example, or Flipboard. Another route for engagement is that of everyday functionality. How can you make your customers’ lives easier and more convenient? What are the daily challenges they are facing? What processes or routines do they find clumsy, time consuming, and inefficient? Help them solve, or at least somewhat optimize, these little life-annoyances and your brand will win loyal and engaged customers. A third way to engage your customers is via gamification (i.e. implementing captivating elements of game playing). Create an attractive gaming app for your audience and let users interact with your brand in creative and fun ways. The better and more compelling the game is, the higher engagement and retention will likely be.
Have a look at the examples below of brilliant branded apps that work:
Content based branded apps:
The Nike SB App
Nike created an app to help skaters learn new tricks in unprecedented ways, and connected them with peers and pro skaters. The idea was to create a tool that was fun, useful, and authentic enough to earn the respect of skateboarders — a notoriously hard-to-reach culture. In making the app Nike held The Berrics Lock-In Event, where 28 of the world’s best skaters came together for 24 hours. They performed 616 tricks and created a Trick Tree — the first ever taxonomy of almost every skateboarding trick ever attempted. Each trick was shot with multiple cameras fitted to a specifically designed dolly, allowing users to watch each trick from several angles.
The campaign has been a huge success. In the app’s first four months, skaters uploaded more than 60,000 videos and played more than 10,000 games of S.K.A.T.E. on the tool. During the launch event, 17,000 tweets were generated and 178,000 skaters watched the YouTube live broadcast.
Rexona – Who Does More?
Rexona, antiperspirant and deodorant manufacturer, developed a mobile app for the TV show Survivor. The app created a second-screen experience for millions of Turkish Survivor fans, allowing users to follow the contestants’ calories, movements, and daily and monthly performance data. Through the app, users could compete with celebrities and share their workout details on social media.
- Rexona’s year-to-date turnover growth was 24.1 percent versus the 20 percent target.
- Rexona’s value market share growth was 0.8 percent against the 0.3 percent target.
- Rexona’s aerosol value market growth was 2 percent against the 1 percent target, and it became the No. 1 brand in the aerosol value market, reaching an 18 percent share.
Everyday functionality based branded apps:
Coca Cola – Get Happy
Coca Cola’s Get Happy app is designed to make takeout and delivery ordering easier for customers, as well as discovering new dining experiences. Restaurants can post menus online by keying in their information and prices or sending them to Coca-Cola to have them digitized for a fee. Customers can then use the app to order food with ease, or use the app to explore local takeout/delivery opportunities.
Club Social — Possibiliândia App
Club Social’s app “Possibiliândia” allows customers to locate the best events happening around them. The app categorizes local events by time and location as selected by local professional curators, and serves as “a dating app for cultural activities”.
Target – Wish List App
Target wanted to enhance its holiday kids gifting print catalog and upgrade the tradition of making “wish lists” to create a multichannel wish-list experience for moms and kids. The brand developed an app with a 3D animated game-like experience in which kids could build wish lists and send completed lists to Santa. Meanwhile, moms could access the wish lists and share them with relatives, and the list would automatically adjust when relatives bought toys, much like a wedding or baby shower registry. The app also had an augmented reality function for in-store wish-list making. This was the first time Target launched an app for the holidays, and the limited initial launch generated nearly 75,000 downloads.
Gaming based branded apps:
Red Stick StareDown
To promote its new limited-time Red Stick Chicken product, Popeyes developed a face-recognition-based gaming app which lets users play a game of chicken with, well, a chicken. The users need to stare at a virtual chicken without blinking, turning their heads or scratching their faces. If they outlast the virtual chicken, they win.
Lexus’ Virtual Test Drive
Lexus teamed with Electronic Arts to create a branded in-game experience in EA’s Real Racing 3 mobile app to raise awareness for its new IS model launch. The app offered immersive, in-game test drive experience and access to a custom Lexus-branded track. Users who employed the branded cars progressed faster through gameplay and kept the free car in their fleet even after the campaign ended, bringing value to players and perpetual brand visibility for Lexus.
Want to learn more about building winning branded apps? Contact our Brands Marketing Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Blog post originally written for MobCo Media.