Marketers increasingly see mobile as an integral part of the marketing mix and have invested significantly in mobile apps. 92 of the world’s top 100 brands have at least one app on Apple’s app store.
Yet most apps are completely lost in the clutter. There are over a million active apps for both iPhone and Android and 90% of people who downloaded an app are gone within 6 months. There currently isn’t a single CPG app on the Apple Store’s Top 200 list.
Many branded apps completely miss the importance of utility. As Adweek writes, CPG apps typically (and unimaginatively) focus on delivering coupons, not on the utility that a brand can bring consumers through their mobile devices.
The classic brand app case study is Nike+ Fuelband. I also like Charmin’s 5-year old SitOrSquat, a public restroom finder. It lets people search and rate public restrooms, which links nicely to Charmin’s brand positioning far more usefully than coupons.
I’ve been consulting with a mobile-only challenger brand called HotelTonight that has taught me a lot about the potential of connecting with consumers through mobile. HotelTonight is a travel app that lets you book last last minute hotel rooms. As a mobile-only business, they don’t have the legacy issues of hotel reservations, so their experience is designed entirely for what makes sense for mobile. Rather than the 40-50 taps and 100-110 seconds that Priceline and Hotels.com take to book a room with mobile, HotelTonight takes only 4 taps and 8 seconds. They’ve successfully challenged Goliath by taking a fresh eyes approach to mobile.
I think there’s value for any brand to look at their mobile strategy with fresh eyes. I’d love to hear your favorite case studies of bringing a brand to life for mobile.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)
Here’s a related cartoon from 2011.