We’re receiving too much information. Every day, thousands of things happen around us; we get a lot of news on a variety of channels. Moreover, we receive tons of marketing messages through those same channels. The problem is that those marketing messages are often lost in all the noise. To get around consumers’ ad blindness, it’s important for brands to explore new channels for delivering their messages.
How marketing strategy was before
Let’s assume there’s a Cinderella brand of cosmetics. When Cinderella launches a new product, they take a beautiful and iconic model, shoot a promo, and run it on TV. They might also hang billboards and distribute leaflets.
All these ways of advertising work to some degree. After all, a potential consumer might watch a TV show that Cinderella’s ad bursts into, walk the streets and see a billboard, and check their mail.
But do these techniques work now?
How marketing strategy can be now
Of course, we can’t say that the usual ways of advertising don’t work at all. Potential consumers still watch TV shows and walk the streets, right? But during commercial breaks, they scroll their social network feeds, and they stare at messengers while walking the streets.
If your consumers are constantly on their phones, why not deliver your message to them right there?
We aren’t talking about mass texting and banners in apps. Instead, we’re talking about giving your consumers something of value that makes them return to your brand again and again.
Previously, we discussed the importance of using mobile platforms to develop a brand strategy. We revealed five benefits that applications provide to brands and five of the most common mistakes when creating a branded mobile app.
Now, we’re ready to reveal how brands can get into the mobile phones of their consumers and how to use this channel to grow brand loyalty, brand awareness, and sales.
Five ways brands can go mobile
There are five ways to market your brand through a mobile platform and deliver value to your consumers.
1. Mobile apps that solve routine tasks
SXSW (South by Southwest) Conference and Festivals launched an app that helps users to… avoid other people. Now, anyone with a smartphone can find a quiet place to rest. This idea belongs to the GSD&M digital agency. Avoid Humans was created for SXSW, but the idea was so successful (23,000 unique users in less than a week after launch) that GSD&M released the app to the public.
BMW offers their customers an app that can control their cars remotely. Users can lock and unlock their cars and even control the temperature inside. Also, with the “Vehicle Finder” feature, users can find their cars – the app shows a map with the car’s location.
[Image source: YouTube]
Nike’s apps have been around since 2006. The latest apps from Nike are Nike+ Run Club, which is a personal trainer app, and Nike+, which is a shopping app that connects all your Nike accounts, provides you with special offers, and gives professional advice. There are also some Nike apps for certain communities, like Nike SB that connects skaters and help them improve their skills.
IKEA offers its customers two apps. With the IKEA shopping app, users can make purchases, find out about discounts, find the nearest IKEA shop, and more. The IKEA catalog app is an extension of the physical catalog. This app uses augmented reality to allow users to place items from the catalog into their home to see how they look.
[Image source: Business Insider]
2. Loyalty apps
According to Urban Airship’s August 2016 survey, 82 percent of smartphone users are likely to join a loyalty program at the moment of purchase if there’s no need to fill out a physical form. We’ve described some great examples of loyalty apps, including Starbucks, Kohl’s, and Chick-fil-A, in one of our previous articles.
3. Entertaining mobile apps
Solving daily problems is not only about performing complicated functions. It’s also about entertaining your users and performing tasks related to their hobbies.
L’Oreal offers an augmented reality app that helps users test products before purchasing. The app uses facial mapping technology to scan a user’s face and virtually apply makeup. It registers 64 facial data points and 100 facial expressions. This allows it to identify different parts of a face and move makeup along with a user’s facial movements. L’Oreal encourages users to share their results on social media.
[Image source: South China Morning Post]
There are several Coca-Cola branded apps for smartphone users. The Coca-Cola Freestyle app is an extension of the Freestyle Machine campaign. With this app, you can create a custom mix of Coca-Cola drinks, find the nearest Freestyle machine, and taste your mixed drink. The Coke Drink app allows users to pretend they’re drinking Coca-Cola directly from their smartphones using the accelerometer. With Coca-Cola Ambassador, the company creates a community around their brand. Ambassador includes information about products, Coca-Cola stories, and nearby retails locations.
Red Bull TV
Red Bull TV has apps for a wide variety of devices across different platforms. With the help of Red Bull TV, users can watch sports events, music festivals, GoPro videos, films, and documentaries. Red Bull TV for Android won the Best TV Experience category at the 2017 Google Play Awards. There are 17 more apps by Red Bull on Google Play and 23 of them on App Store including games, VR apps, a personal trainer, a radio app, sticker packs, and more.
[Image source: PlayStation Store]
British Airways launched the Emoji Quiz bot for Facebook Messenger. It asks a user questions about their ideal holiday and offers a set of emojis to choose from. Then, the bot suggests a destination based on the answers. There’s also a link to the company’s web page offering tickets to this destination.
The R/GA digital agency created a chatbot for Unilever’s Signal Pepsodent toothpaste that challenges children to brush their teeth. At a time set by parents, a child receives a message that includes one of 21 short videos ending with a “brush your teeth for two minutes” challenge. When a child finishes brushing their teeth, they receive a badge.
5. Branded emoji keyboards and sticker packs
In 2015, more than 250 brands created their own emoji keyboards. In 2016, this number almost doubled. Emoji keyboards are another way to tap into your users’ smartphones and increase brand awareness. But a lot of experts find sticker packs more effective than emoji keyboards. According to eMarketer, the number of messenger users may reach two billion by 2018, and according to Swift Media, more than 6 billion stickers are sent every day.
Sticker packs are used by big brands, including Disney, Starbucks, Burger King, Garfield, and Sephora.
[Image source: press release jet]
It’s easy to see the importance of moving forward and following recent marketing trends. What’s more difficult is to understand what exactly will trend tomorrow and to grab that opportunity. Getting your brand into consumers’ mobile phones is a chance to change your marketing strategy to get better results.
What is the biggest reason to create an app for your brand? With a branded app, you give your consumers value not only in the form of your product itself. You give them additional value in the form of an app that helps them solve routine tasks. Thus, you increase brand loyalty and, as a result, increase your sales as well.