23 Apr 12
To brapp or not to brapp?
by Elaine Jervis, Group Account Director
That is the question that many brands will be asking just now as the rise and rise of branded apps looks set to continue. New figures released by Strategy Analytics this week show that brands are expected to spend £305.4m on mobile marketing in the UK during 2012 - more than doubling (108.2%) their in-app advertising spend. This growth is driven by increasing consumer demand with a projected 16.6% rise year-on-year in consumer spending on mobile media, particularly on apps. As consumers have increasing expectations that brands will engage with them on their terms, through the channels they want to use it would be foolish to simply dismiss the idea.
But there are a few crucial things that brands need to consider before dipping their toe in this particular pool. There are two main routes to success for branded apps. The first is harnessing the appetite for game apps by developing something that either genuinely entertains - such as Carling’s iPint or Barclaycard’s Waterslide Extreme (which were ranked 19th and 16th respectively in Apple’s most downloaded UK free apps). Carling are now linking this to sales by using the app to distribute offers and promotions to already engaged consumers.
The second, more ambitious -and more powerful - way to harness the power of a branded app is to make it a part of your consumers’ lives. It’s the apps that help people in everyday life that are proving most popular in terms of usage. You might think that smartphone and tablet users would be more inclined to use them to check their Facebook page or spend half an hour playing Angry Birds but it’s actually the more practical apps that are really appreciated. According to a study by Lightspeed Research it’s business, finance and entertainment apps which are used every day by around 60% of tablet owners, versus only 32% who check social networking sites.
Avoid either of these areas and you may yourself facing not just low download figures or wasted investment but the wrath of your consumers – check out http://crapbrapps.tumblr.com/ (which went out on a recent pop-bitch e-mail).