Four Apps Designed To Add Brand Value
Apps are nothing new – we’ve been doomscrolling for over a decade. So considering our collective screentime, mobile apps are core touch points in the end-to-end brand experience, going beyond transactional, commercial functions to foster a sense of belonging. These apps aren't just tools; they're keys to a members-only club – spaces for like-minds to express value and taste.
The landscape of digital experiences is highly competitive, so luxury brands should be perceiving apps as more than mere utilities and instead as immersive extensions of their brand identity. While utility-focused apps serve a specific purpose, those that go further than functionality and offer additional value can establish a deeper connection with users. If an interface is savvy and sexy, that will translate into brand perception.
By incorporating features that resonate with the brand's ethos, personality, or lifestyle, the app becomes a holistic representation of the brand, fostering a stronger emotional bond with users. An approach that allows brands to create a unique and memorable experience, transforming the app from a purely transactional tool into a dynamic platform that users actively engage with, reinforcing brand loyalty and advocacy.
These apps can also serve as powerful brand storytelling mediums. Through interactive content, gamification, or multimedia elements, brands can convey their narrative in a compelling and engaging manner. Not only communicating the brand's values and mission but also captivating users, making the app a destination for both experiences punctuated with surprising and joyful content.
10 Ways Apps Can Increase Value For Brands
- Enhanced Visibility and Accessibility: Mobile apps provide brands with a dedicated space on users' devices, ensuring constant visibility. This accessibility increases brand awareness as users encounter the app icon regularly, reinforcing the brand's presence in their daily lives.
- Direct Communication Channel: Mobile apps establish a direct and instantaneous communication channel between the brand and the users. Push notifications allow brands to send targeted messages, promotions, and updates directly to users' devices, fostering engagement and keeping the brand top-of-mind.
- Personalised User Experience: Mobile apps enable brands to collect and analyze user data to personalize the user experience. By understanding user preferences and behaviours, brands can tailor content, offers, and recommendations, creating a more engaging and relevant experience for each individual user.
- Brand Loyalty and Retention: Offering exclusive deals, loyalty programs, and rewards through a mobile app encourages customer loyalty. Apps provide a convenient platform for users to access special promotions, discounts, and unique content, fostering a sense of exclusivity that can enhance customer retention.
- Convenience and Efficiency: Mobile apps streamline the user experience, allowing customers to interact with the brand more efficiently. Whether it's shopping, accessing information, or customer support, the convenience of a well-designed app can significantly enhance overall customer satisfaction and experience.
- Brand Differentiation: In a crowded market, having a mobile app can differentiate a brand from its competitors. A well-designed and functional app reflects positively on the brand's image, showcasing a commitment to innovation and customer-centricity.
- Data Collection and Analytics: Mobile apps provide valuable data and analytics regarding user behaviour, preferences, and interactions. Brands can leverage this data to make informed decisions, refine marketing strategies, and continually improve the app experience to meet user expectations.
- Increased Sales and Revenue: Mobile apps can serve as a direct sales channel, enabling users to make purchases with just a few taps. With features like in-app purchases and secure payment options, brands can capitalize on impulse buying behaviour, ultimately driving sales and increasing revenue.
- Brand Credibility and Modernity: Having a well-designed and functional mobile app contributes to a brand's overall credibility. In today's digital age, consumers often associate the presence of a mobile app with a modern and forward-thinking brand, adding to the overall positive perception.
- Social Integration and Virality: Mobile apps can easily integrate with social media platforms, allowing users to share their experiences, purchases, or achievements within the app. This social integration can contribute to word-of-mouth marketing, exposing the brand to new audiences and potentially going viral, thereby expanding its reach.
Four Apps Going Beyond Utility
In a world where attention is a luxury, these apps are designed to captivate and charm. Push notifications aren't just reminders; they're whispers of community, beckoning users to immerse themselves in a world where every pixel is curated to add to their experience. Let’s look at how some of our favourites are doing it.
Designed to gather the world’s creatives, Soho House is a global hotel chain and collection of private members' clubs that sprung from London’s Greek Street. Originally aimed at those in the arts and media, their community has expanded to include those who consider themselves innovators, artisans or visionaries.
To help patrons make the most of their membership, the House’s app acts as the ultimate platform for members to engage and connect with the entire SH community, at any given time. It adds a functional and aesthetic consistency to the House’s vast property scope, with extensive booking capabilities, personalised recommendations and a self-built integrated payments service, House Pay.
A community feed allows users to broadcast messages to members internationally, empowering online and in-person connection in the face of a loneliness pandemic by leveraging their global scale.
In the same breath, smaller brands can often be cooler… with an attention to detail our studio goes nuts for.
Unsurprisingly a designer’s suggestion, Open is a mindfulness studio and the definition of a sleek, sexy interface. Considering the continual growth of the mental health app market (valued at USD 5.2 billion in 2022 with a CAGR of 15.9% from 2023 to 2030), it’s not a bad place to be making money from a profit point of view. From an ethical one, efficacy is everything.
Launched in 2018 and based in Los Angeles, Open’s digital platform offers live and on-demand courses in breath work, meditation, and movement as well as intimate, in-person classes at their Venice Beach studio.
Speaking to FORTUNE, Open’s CEO & co-founder commented on the app’s design and features:
“We invested a lot of resources to ensure we delivered the most immersive audiovisual experience for livestreams. With the production value in place, we developed ways you could engage with your instructor and community. People love that you can turn your camera on to get live feedback from teachers, chat with others in the class, and even connect around moments from birthdays to world events. It is really special to see otherwise strangers come together and create community around the practice. We set out to create the feeling you get when you practice with your friends and community at your local studio—a feeling many of us really missed [during the pandemic]”. – Raed Khawaja
We’ve been buying for convenience for years. The uberisation of the world has led to on-demand everything.
Advancements in AI tech and interfaces have seen intoxicating developments for the likes of concierge services for the digital age. Velocity Black, a reimagined members club boasting Gigi Hadid and Poppy Delavingne as part of their founding chapter, sells itself as “engineered for those looking to lead a limitless life.”
Built on breakthrough technologies and a unique conversational interface, their services are available 24/7, 365 days a year with an average response time of 50 seconds from their in-app concierge.
Paired with a powerful personalisation algorithm that recommends signature experiences to each member based on their preferences, that universal want for on-demand everything five seconds ago, just became ten.
Clean, sharp and aesthetic, GQ says this is ‘the coolest app we’ve ever seen’.
Nike Run Club
Ranked as the world’s most valuable apparel brand for the ninth consecutive year, Nike has a rich history of utilising innovation to help people reach their full potential and their apps are no exception.
Launched in 2016, the Nike Run Club (NRC) app has since evolved beyond a cutting-edge tool for intensely personalised training into a space for personal growth, a community of support, and an invaluable resource for runners ranging from beginner to pro.
Key features are training plans and audio-guided runs, the latter of which is unique to NRC and visualised in colourful designs that delight agnostic to device (smartphones, smartwatches, etc) and highlight the vast scope of content the app houses.
Apps are such an integral part of our daily lives – not a novelty to brands or consumers, they're often seen as a 'nice-to-have' yet rarely considered meaningful moments of interaction. By ensuring sustained usage beyond mere necessity, brands create a continuous channel to communicate, delight, and evolve with their audience. In essence, building an app that transcends utility transforms it into a brand ambassador, capable of leaving a lasting impression and fostering a deeper connection between the brand and its audience.
Specialists in digital experience design, MOF's practitioners are well-versed in the power of engaging app interfaces and various ways to leverage brand community within design systems. If you're interested in adding a valuable touch point in your brand's end-to-end CX, drop us a line via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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