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What Is A Brand App And Why A Business Needs It?

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In today‘s mobile-first world, branded apps have become a critical channel for companies to boost awareness, drive engagement, and increase sales. This comprehensive guide will demystify brand apps and showcase exactly why they provide an invaluable competitive edge.

Brand App Definition and Key Attributes

A brand app exclusively promotes a company‘s identity, products, services and initiatives via a customized mobile experience. Brand apps can be downloaded by customers across iOS and Android devices. Let‘s examine some typical characteristics:

  • Seamlessly reflects company’s visual identity via logos, colors, fonts etc.
  • Showcases brand story, vision, achievements, leadership team
  • Highlights new product launches, promotions, contests, events
  • Offers native shopping cart for purchases and order tracking
  • Provides multiple customer support touchpoints via chat, tickets
  • Lets users access user accounts, engagement features like reviews, forums
  • Hyper-personalized push notification messages to users

In short, brand apps provide immersive and customized branded environments centered around engaging users and driving conversions.

How Brand Apps Differ from Regular Apps

Unlike multipurpose apps solving generic needs, brand apps have unique value propositions:

Comparison table showing distinction between brand apps and generic apps

Let‘s analyze the vital differences in some more detail:

Promotional Platform

The primary focus of brand apps is to promote the company, its culture, products and services. They showcase the brand story and vision to forge emotional connections.

Custom-Built Features

Every aspect of a brand app is customized for the company’s offerings, priorities and target user base through tailored content and functionalities.

Brand Immersion

These apps provide interactive branded environments for deeper user engagement via videos, quizzes, forums etc. centered around the brand.

Personalization

From UI to content and notifications, brand apps provide a hyper-personalized experience using user data and preferences.

Sales Enablement

While some brand apps focus solely on engagement, many optimize every aspect for driving conversions. This translates to higher ROI.

So in summary, brand apps provide specially crafted mobile environments for personalized engagement between users and brands – anytime, anywhere.

Business Benefits of Investing in Brand Apps

Here are the manifold strategic opportunities and measurable gains via brand apps:

1. Exponentially Wider Reach

Brand apps significantly expand the target audience a company can access and interact with. Apps transcend geography, catering to global and multi-channel markets.

2. 24/7 Brand Exposure

Every user session offers an opportunity to expose more people to the brand by showcasing key identities, stories and offerings within an immersive environment.

3. Outsized Returns on Investment

Companies stand to gain very high ROI from apps. An investment of around $100,000 could bring over $1 Million in sales from a stellar brand app.

4. Deeper Customer Insights

Apps provide a conduit to gather more user data like demographics, behavior and product preferences for better targeting and experiences.

5. Augmented Brand Loyalty and Advocacy

Consistent high-value engagement via apps fosters greater brand affinity and lasting user relationships driving recommendations.

6. Direct and Personalized Marketing

Companies can use apps to instantly promote new offerings via tailored notifications and messages to user segments most likely to convert.

7. Lead Generation and Sales Boost

Specially designed calls-to-action and frictionless buying processes within apps significantly accelerate lead conversion rates and revenue.

8. Enhanced Customer Support

Apps enable omnichannel customer service via self-help features like FAQs, account management and executive contact options minimizing complaints.

9. Competitive Differentiation

A well-designed brand app signals that your company is innovating digitally and providing greater context and utility to users vs. the competition.

10. Media and PR Leverage

Apps can help drive press coverage and social media buzz as influential platforms, especially if gaining rapid adoption.

As is evident, mobile brand apps deliver multifaceted business benefits ranging from customer acquisition to market leadership. They are a vital investment for forward-thinking brands.

Case Studies – Successful Brand App Examples

Let’s analyze 4 shining examples of brand apps driving measurable impact:

1. Starbucks

With over 21 million users, Starbucks has the most used food and beverage app globally. It processes over 8 million transactions per week! The app effectively promotes loyalty and conversions via:

  • Mobile ordering for grab-and-go pickups
  • Easy contactless payments, saving time and hassle
  • Exclusive deals and offers only for app users
  • Personalized product recommendations using AI
  • Send gift cards to friends from within the app
  • Music, podcast and video content streaming

By providing a frictionless experience and incentivizing usage, it has become a big sales engine for Starbucks. In Q2 FY2022 alone, over 26% of transactions occurred via the app.

2. Nike

The sports goods giant has attained runaway success via its portfolio of apps tightly integrated into its ecosystem.

Some stats regarding Nike’s apps:

  • Total installs across apps: Over 300 million
  • Monthly Active Users: Over 150 million
  • Time spent per month on apps: 500+ million hours

Some popular examples from its suite of 30+ apps are:

  • Nike Run Club and Training Club for guided workouts
  • SNKRS for limited sneaker launches
  • Nike Fitness Challenge for activity gamification
  • Nike Athlete Studio to showcase influencer collabs

The apps promote Nike’s mantra of performance enhancement while building affinity to the Swoosh badge.

3. McDonald’s

With 20 million lifetime downloads, McDonald’s app is a big driver of sales in the US. Key features powering its adoption are:

  • Intuitive mobile ordering and contactless payment for speed
  • Scheduled mealtime pickups with dining-in flexibility
  • Personalized deals and exclusive weekly coupons
  • Recommendations for combo meals from order history

In 2021, over $2 billion in sales occurred via McDelivery and in-store mobile orders from the app in top six markets. This translates to nearly 20% of systemwide sales, making McDonald‘s one of the biggest mobile commerce brands.

4. Ainfluencer

Ainfluencer is a leading influencer marketing platform, with over 12 million influencers and 780K brands using its mobile app. For influencers, the app lets them:

  • Connect social profiles to access brand deals
  • Discover relevant brand partnerships
  • Manage communications and collaborations
  • Track payments and create media kits

For brands, benefits include:

  • Search vast influencer database by demographics
  • Activate campaigns with ease to content creators
  • Manage partnerships from end-to-end
  • Access campaign performance analytics

Ainfluencer‘s user-centric app design and win-win value proposition has fueled phenomenal organic adoption since launch.

So whether it is food and beverage leaders like Starbucks or sports giants like Nike, brand apps have unlocked immense business upside.

Getting Set for Brand App Launch – An Action Plan

Designing and launching an effective brand app takes coordinated strategic planning and flawless execution across these key steps:

1. Set Goals and Identify Buyer Personas

Start by defining your purpose for the app – is it driving conversions, engagement or something else? Next, analyze your target B2B or B2C persona – who are the most likely customers?

2. Map out Key Features and Functionality

Based on the objectives and audience expectations, devise an app blueprint outlining characteristics like content format, notifications, promotions, ecommerce etc.

3. Conceptualize Intuitive UI/UX Design

The app‘s visual interface and user journey should offer seamless navigation and align with brand identity via logos, colors etc.

4. Choose Development Platform and Tools

Decide whether native development for iOS and Android or cross-platform solutions suit budget and requirements. Accordingly, pick optimal tech stack.

5. Build, Iteratively Test and Validate MVP

In agile sprints, get a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) app developed with core features, conduct user testing to refine.

6. App Store Submission and Launch

For public release, submit the stabilized app to Google Play and Apple app stores supporting it with promotional pages and videos.

7. Drive Adoption with App Store Optimization (ASO)

Improve discoverability via search/browse optimization and user acquisition campaigns through paid/organic channels.

8. Analyze Performance Metrics for Optimization

Lastly, track KPIs around activations, engagement, conversions etc. to incrementally enhance and market the app.

The Way Forward

In closing, branded mobile apps are rapidly becoming the next frontier for customizable digital experiences between brands and their consumers. They provide unmatched opportunities to influence buyer journeys while accelerating growth.

Now armed with a complete guide on “what, why and how” of brand apps, it is time to capitalize on their full potential as part of your marketing stack! Let your app usher in the future.

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