It takes 10 seconds for consumers to form an opinion about your logo, according to crowdspring, which means that having a solid brand for your app is crucial to building a reputation. Today, with consumers exposed to new brands everywhere they look, branding extends far beyond how the app looks and feels and has more to do with what’s underneath - the personality of the company.
Here are 3 tips from Lea Phillips, Business Growth Team Lead at ironSource, for how you can be proactive about building a brand that stands strong and ensures your user acquisition activity leaves a positive impression, no matter how big or small your business is.
1. Don’t just copy competitors. Dig deep into user motivation
Our beliefs, perceptions, and emotions are at the heart of our decisions - 84% of consumers are more loyal to a brand that aligns with their values according to Business News Daily. Being aware of why your audience acts the way they do will prepare you to meet expectations, address problems accordingly and market your app more effectively, strengthening users’ recognition of your brand.
Often, we see that mobile app brands may exactly copy what others in the same app category are already doing - both in terms of product and marketing. The issue here, however, is that your app won’t have a unique selling proposition to compel users to choose you over competitors.
Understanding user motivation can help you find unique ways to diversify your app from others. Knowing your audience on an intimate level increases your number of meaningful interactions with users, especially during the user acquisition stage. While it’s tempting to send an email newsletter to prospects for every product update, taking a breath to think carefully about what your users need and want, you’ll position your brand as more authentic and trustworthy. For example, let’s say a grocery delivery app knows its users work a lot and are often worried about time which is why they get their groceries delivered. That said, they know their users like to cook. To appeal to user motivation, this app could send prospects ten minute recipes once a week or invest in working with an influencer who specializes in quick meals. Such communications strengthen the user’s perception of your brand and solidifies the relationship.
Building a brand begins with digging deep into your audience. Knowing what your users need and want, you can ensure your app is prepared to meet expectations and solve problems, strengthening your brand recognition. Ensuring users remain excited about your brand, enough to become brand evangelists, is equally as important, which is where communities come in.
2. Build a strong community around your app
Following the pandemic, 36% of all Americans feel “serious loneliness” according to a Harvard study. Today, more than ever, people crave communities and building one is critical to your brand’s success. Maintaining a community serves two purposes: first, keeping current users engaged and, second, encouraging these users to serve as brand evangelists bringing new users to your app organically.
For some apps, the community exists directly in the app. For apps where it’s difficult to build a community in the actual product, the community can be active on third party platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Discord, etc. It’s important to take your understanding of user motivation and determine where your customers really are. It may be better to have an active dialogue in one place rather than cross platform. It’s also critical to moderate your community - ask a loyal, long term customer to help others with their questions or go into the community yourself to show that you’re accessible.
Some apps have ambassador programs to encourage brand engagement and evangelism. For example, Bumble, an online dating and networking app created a program where loyal users market the app in their respective communities. “Bumble Honeys” are given Bumble swag and host mingling events in their areas. Bumble encourages current as well as new users to spread the brand’s core mission to foster equitable relationships. It’s a meaningful experience, creating an emotional brand-user relationship.
Your brand has more to offer than just your products and services - you have unique expertise, experience, thought leadership, etc. There’s no better way to share this knowledge and spark a conversation than through a community. It’s vital to ensure your community is sharing the same message as your other points of contact, which brings up the importance of consistency.
3. Maintain consistency with your creatives
A user will see multiple impressions of your brand before choosing to engage - the marketing rule of 7 states that it takes an average of 7 interactions with your brand before a purchase will take place, according to B2B Marketing. With each interaction, the user is building a mental image of what your brand is and how it can be beneficial to them. This is where consistency comes in.
According to Demand Metric, maintaining consistency with each interaction leads to 3-4x more brand visibility - if your creatives aren’t consistent, users are less likely to recognize and relate to your brand from one interaction to the next, delaying or preventing them from eventually engaging.
A surefire way to ensure creative consistency is by improving communication across teams. Your creative team doesn’t necessarily have the same first hand knowledge about user motivation, which means your creatives may be selling different value propositions across multiple channels. Holding regular check-ins to discuss your users and overall marketing goals leads to more alignment and, ultimately, consistency. This doesn’t mean every creative across all 7 interactions needs to be exactly the same - your creatives should have the same theme but should ultimately be different. For example, you could develop a story line that continues to play as you watch more videos.
It’s also important to monitor ad content shown to users in your app. To preserve brand integrity, you want to position your brand next to ads that won’t jeopardize your mission. For example, using a tool like Ad Quality can help you keep track of the content shown in your app and flag inappropriate ads.
Consistency is key. For your brand to be remembered time after time, it’s important to speak the same language in all of your communications. Doing so will also promote openness between teams about wins and failures, ensuring everyone is invested in your creative success and how well they represent the brand. Ultimately, no matter who at your business is talking or writing about your brand, your audience shouldn’t know the difference.
Whether you’re a well known app or just getting started, building a strong brand is critical. Considering users will form an opinion about your company whether you like it or not, it’s best to be proactive about creating a brand that stands on solid ground. Understanding user motivation, building a community, and maintaining consistency are great places to start.