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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : November 12, 2010

Poll: Branded apps aren't connecting with consumers

In the mobile space, many brands have jumped right in to branded applications. Whether for gaming purposes, for product information or to obtain paperwork/forms for a business, there are thousands of branded apps out there. The problem?

by Kristina Knight

According to a recent Harris Poll nearly 40% of consumers aren't happy with the branded apps they've downloaded and more than two-thirds say an underperforming app impacts how they feel overall about the brand.

"The results of our survey are quite telling, and further proof that organizations must invest more in the user experience of their mobile apps, rather than rely solely on the brand," said Rebecca Flavin, CEO of EffectiveUI. "Mobile applications are the sure fire way to extend a brand. It's time for organizations to understand how to fully leverage the mobile channel and optimize a user-centered approach to drive adoption, as well as reinforce and drive brand loyalty."

The poll also found:

• 32% of consumers tell friends about 'bad' mobile apps
• 13% say they've not downloaded an app after a single bad app experience
• 66% download friend-recommended apps
• 57% recommend useful apps to friends

What makes an app worthy of being downloaded, used time and again and even recommended? More than 70% of those polled said a mobile app needs to be simpler to use than a company website, that apps must do what the consumer needs/wants and that is needs a good design.

So, what should brands do to increase the usability, effectiveness and quality of mobile apps?

First, EffectiveUI suggests that brands look hard at why consumers will use the app. Is it to download insurance paperwork? To shop from a mobile device? To connect with co-workers, friends or family? By determining why consumers will want the app, developers can come up with more user friendly designs.

Second, design for the device that the majority of your client base uses. Rather than trying to create a one-size-fits-all app, developers need to design for the specific screens and hardware that customers are using so that the app responds.

Finally, don't include everything on your website. Determine what website sections or tools most of your client want to use in the mobile space and keep the app within those features so that it isn't top-heavy and hard to use from a smaller device.

The poll of more than 700 US adults was conducted by EffectiveUI on behalf of Harris Interactive.

Tags: appvertising, branded apps, EffectiveUI, Harris Poll, mobile apps, mobile marketing

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