You have developed an app that solves a problem, it is nice and easy to use. Do you need branding for it? Is it enough to have it on the app store? What does branding an app even mean?
We all use apps on a daily basis. But to which apps do we constantly return? Likely to those apps that are of most use to us, that solve a problem or bring some value to our lives. Another factor is definitely how user-friendly the app is. With such an abundance of choice, most people are short on patience with apps that are not intuitive to use.
So say you got that part right. You have developed an app that solves a problem, it is nice and easy to use. Do you need branding for it? Is it enough to have it on the app store? What does branding an app even mean?
A mobile app brand is essentially a complex combination of a variety of crucial factors that include the name of the app, the app logo, your products or services that you’d be offering through your app, the app itself, and the website if any.” Now, it’s important to emphasize the difference between the branded app with a long-term strategy and an app that’s made to gain some revenue quickly and is not aimed at a lasting future.
Installing an app and actually using it is a decision based on multiple touchpoints with your brand over a longer period of time.
Applift wrote a great article about the difference between branding with funnels vs. marketing based on performance metrics. They are basically stating a difference that you can make for your business if you pay attention to customers’ needs by using funnels strategy. This strategy is letting you see how people are using your app, where they stay longer, which parts are they skipping, what might be their problems when using the app, etc.
By gathering this information you get insights into possible improvements for your app so you can build a marketing strategy accordingly. Better metrics provided with this approach will result in long-term branding and an increase in revenue.
“Consider branding activities as a hook. They can attract potential customers to your brand, giving you control over the data for improved targeting. Without branding, there is a lack of control over data in the upper parts of the funnel. While your future customers might be aware of your brand, they may not consider it, resulting in a loss of a potential lead.”
If you think that being on the app store is enough take a look at the example of what happened to Hey.com with Apple. Apple decided to change terms of selling for Hey.com, raised its fees, and gave them an ultimatum. That’s a risk to consider by anyone selling on third platforms. You can’t avoid the rules and conditions of the platform you’re selling on. A solution can be to have your own website in parallel to your efforts on other platforms. But in order for people to search for your website and even think that they need your app, you need to have a strong brand. This is why branding an app is so important. Once people need your app and they don’t want a competitor’s app to replace yours, you can forward them to your website. As long as you’re just another app on the app store you will disappear if a third party decides so. To prevent this, try investing in branding, not just into performance strategies. It might seem like that investment is not bringing many instant sales, but it builds community around your app and that will pay off in the long term.
Another thing to consider with building a business on a third-party platform is that people return to the platform, not to your brand. This is a big difference. While you pour your money into advertising on a third-party platform, you bring traffic and followers to them, not to your own brand. To continue with the Hey.com example – they have a strong brand so, as problematic as it may have been taking them down from the apple store, they are still going strong on their own domain.
When you build a brand for your app, you invest in your future and independence. You are becoming irreplaceable. People want your app for what it is, what it stands for, the story it tells, beyond just the services you offer. Also, you are less dependent on third party’s rules. You can still sell on those platforms but you’re not depending on them. If something happens you still have your brand, your domain, and your rules.
Now, look at your app, how strong is your brand?
We hope the above information will help you in making informed decisions about your brand. If you want to say hi or have any questions about naming, branding, and domain names get in touch, we’re always happy to hear from you.