Have you ever heard the phrase, “There’s an app for that”? It’s becoming more and more common in this digital era. There’s a wide array of apps available for all kinds of different purposes. Most apps are built by independent developers who want to add value to the app market. However, a new and interesting trend may soon develop involving app implementation: corporate-branded apps.

Companies are just starting to recognize the value of branded apps for their businesses. Brands can create apps to provide an extra service and these apps aren’t necessarily directly related to a brand’s product, but are rather used to assist consumers in different activities. These activities can be connected to a brand’s services. Offering a quality user experiences is a priority here and brands need to focus on that rather than on pushing sales via the app. No one is going to download an app that is obviously another way to advertise your brand.

For example, the W Hotel has developed an app that allows users to order room service via the app. They have succeeded in building an app that hotel guests actually use from the comfort of their hotel room. It provides an extra service and an extra experience, without the aggressive attempt to convert sales.

Another example is Trailhead, created by The North Face. This app enables hikers to find trips by activity and location. Furthermore, users can post photos and share them on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Although you can access The North Face’s store locator and news feed, the app will not feel like an ad because these features are subtly hidden. This proves that The North Face understands the concept of corporate-branded apps.

The primary goal of corporate-branded apps is to create brand advocates and build relationships. Users should have positive associations with your brand and an app can help you reach this goal. It also gives you a competitive advantage. If you do it right, you will have an immediate advantage as not many businesses (especially small businesses) have succeeded in effective app launches. Many brands are aware of the fact that the majority of brand-developed apps fail. This attitude is keeping businesses from developing a corporate-branded app. By developing a successful app you can stay ahead of your competitors. Additionally, apps can boost your image as an innovative and modern brand.

If you’re convinced to start creating a helpful app, these are some points you have to consider:

–          Define target group: This is very important because you simply can’t target everyone. If you know who you’re targeting, you can adjust promotional tools. Moreover, a useful app for a specified group is more likely to become successful.

–          App marketing: One of the biggest reasons that corporate-branded apps fail is a lack of mobile app marketing strategy knowledge. Don’t make this mistake and invest in app marketing methods. Don’t think of the costs as a loss, but as an investment.

–          Optimize user experience: Apps should serve your clients, so guarantee its usefulness and also make sure the app is fun and easy to understand.

–          Offer solutions or tips: You can offer customers solutions for industry-related problems or answer their questions. You’re an expert and this is a great way to express this.

–          Free of charge: If you want to compete, don’t charge your customers for the app download. People are more interested in useful free apps than apps they have to pay for before knowing its capabilities and value.

–          Frequent updates: To prevent the app from becoming outdated, it’s important to frequently update the app. This way you’ll enhance the app’s efficiency and reliability with regard to the consumer.

–          Consistent brand message: Your brand message should be clear within the app as brand consistency creates a stable marketing position.

–          Monitoring activity: Integrating a monitoring tool is useful for future projects. For example, if you know which features are more popular than others, this will benefit your market research.

Corporate-branded apps are likely to become more popular once brands fully comprehend the opportunities and possibilities.

Does your company use corporate-branded apps?