Many businesses suffer a kind of modesty when it comes to the idea of creating a mobile app. Why should they make an app, and why would anyone be interested in using it? For example, Dunder Mifflin, Inc. might not see what good would come of creating a portal into their paper supply distribution world (although, considering the types of people running the company on “The Office,” it seems more likely that they’d embrace the concept fully – and with hilarious results).
However, recent studies have shown that whether your business type complies with the norm for obvious mobile applications – such as social media and entertainment industries – you can still benefit by having a presence in this arena. Branded apps boost not only brand awareness, but also brand favorability and purchasing intent among those who interact with them.
That doesn’t mean that you need to be hawking wares or soliciting sign-up information via the app; nor do you need to earn money by each download (free apps are much more popular to use and share). The benefit of it existing with your logo on it while engaging the user and giving them valuable face-time with your brand increases how they see and like it – and how willing they are to use you in the future. Plus, just by having an app in existence that you can advertise on your website and promotional materials, you may come across as more modern and tech-savvy, which is practically never a bad thing (unless you’re, for example, hawking Amish wares).
A 2011 study from America and Australia also found that informational mobile apps are better for brand engagement than apps for fun and games. For example, an app that offers tips and price comparisons about what services or items you’re selling would be more popular than making your own Mario Brothers world where battling anti-Dunder Mifflin bad guys saves kidnapped reels of parchment and helps them find a good home. That’s because people tend to become more internally invested in informational apps, which gives them more personalized connotations. Games, music and videos tend to bank on external and impersonalized engagement.
Take a few minutes at your next team meeting to brainstorm some ideas about what your app might look like and how you would promote it – and then maybe it’s time to strategize how you can make your very own branded mobile app into a highly rewarding reality.