Firms maximize apps for product pitches
As the number of people with smartphones rapidly expands, businesses are devising more ways to use the handsets for marketing purposes. Launching a brand application is regarded as the first step into smart marketing.
Brand applications are apps aiming to promote and increase sales. Businesses can engage users in diverse activities irrelevant of place or time. Consequently, 91 percent of the world’s top 100 brands have launched brand apps with each of these firms operating 15 of them on average.
Amid the over 2,000 new apps launched daily, brand apps must make special efforts to be in the spotlight or receive proper attention. Yang Su-jin, a researcher at Samsung Economic Research Institute, advises that they should focus on providing a unique brand experience, citing Kraft’s “iFood Assistant” as an example.
It provides users with around 7,000 recipes using Kraft products. Coupons for ingredients used in the recipes are also included. As a paid app, Kraft earned over $1 million through it and 90 percent of the users subscribed to the company’s official website as well. A considerable number of them were male, meaning Kraft succeeded in penetrating a new market sector.
The researcher adds that apps should be linked with the brand and be useful, fun or emotionally touching. The app launched by Zippo presents the action and sound of opening the lid and igniting one of its lighters. When moving the smartphone with the app running, the flame on the screen moves accordingly. It became popular during concerts as people waved their phones to demand an encore.
Yang points out that business apps should try to provide tailored services for consumers to induce them to participate and become immersed in them. People should be able to actively experience the products so that they end up buying them.
An app from IKEA allows users to “install” the Swedish furniture and home product company’s items at home using augmented reality, while one from Pizza Hut enables users to create their own pizza.
Location based services can boost the competitiveness of an app. “Location based services immediately offer a tailored service according to where the user is through the portability of the smartphone. It makes the service very satisfying and attractive,” Yang said.
Brand apps can also take advantage of a synergetic effect by connecting to other channels. An app from movie theater chain CGV can save waiting times at cinemas as it offers real-time reservations for the nearest theater. Users then simply show the mobile ticket on their smartphone and enter immediately.
Linking apps with social networking services so users can share content with their friends is another benefit.
“Brand apps that have evolved into a channel through which businesses can communicate with their consumers through mobile devices will be an important means of enhancing marketing effectiveness,” said Park Hae-jeong, CEO of Oponiti, a brand application marketing company.
“Businesses should take into account the diverse factors when developing brand apps for marketing purposes, including downloads, the ratio of continual users and association with the brand,” he said.