Consumer loyalty is a hot commodity these days with competition lurking in every corner. And where corporate brands once turned to mobile ads, SMS campaigns, check-in rewards, and other mobile initiatives to promote customer advocacy, many brands are turning to mobile app development to create loyalty amongst a new generation of consumers.
Non-promotional corporate-branded apps seem to be the way to go. These are not apps with heavy promotional messaging, but apps that are developed and designed to provide consumers with instructional content, tips and tricks, how tos, DIY suggestions, and other types of educational content. For example, Benjamin Moore offers an app that allows DIY painters to match the color of a photo on their mobile device to the company’s 3,300 paint colors.
By offering valuable content in lieu of heavy advertising, marketers score big by increasing brand loyalty and improving frequency of shared brand content through social media networks. Here are a few strategies incorporated into building brand loyalty with corporate-branded apps.
- Use Strategic Timing: It’s the old “right place at the right time” theory. For example, State Farm’s MoveTools app was specifically designed for consumers that are moving into a new home (and of course, they are also shopping for insurance). The mobile app provides a moving checklist, tips, and other helpful information, all without pushing State Farm’s insurance products.
- Be a Problem Solver: People want answers and want them quickly with an easy fix. Throughout the app development process, corporate-branded apps need to provide features that solve problems or address consumer concerns.
- Strengthen Core Brand Qualities: Although corporate-branded apps are not filled with the normal promotional content, the apps still need to feature consistent brand messaging, i.e. use colors and logo design that consumers are already familiar with. The educational content is great, but too many unfamiliar features will confuse the target audience thus losing the opportunity to create additional brand loyalty.
- Offer a Value Added Benefit in the Marketplace: In many cases, corporate-branded apps do a good job of simplifying complicated products or concepts, successfully differentiating the brand as a consumer-friendly alternative. This strengthens the core message of the brand without having to use a pushy advertising campaign.
- Incorporate Analytical Tools in the App Development Process: By incorporating analytical tools into the design process, brands gain insight into consumer behaviors, social media tracking, and find other valuable information that can be used to improve brand exposure and loyalty.
- Make It Free of Charge: For custom apps to be effective, they need to be free of charge to consumers. Again, this reinforces the value added benefit of the brand and promotes a positive perception amongst the desired target market.
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