Is a Mobile App Right for Your Brand?

Launching new products is becoming more accessible—but that doesn't mean it's the only solution.

As big tech makes it easier and cheaper to launch more products and apps, accessibility for brands to get apps out into the world is growing (hooray!). This can open major doors for brands entering this space—increasing their digital landscapes can help them leverage all native functions of their devices and create new intersections with other apps. 

But just because it may be getting more accessible to launch a product doesn’t mean that a mobile app is the best direction for every brand. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when determining if investing in an app is right for you:

What specific value-add are you looking for?

Don’t pump out mobile apps just because you can. If you’re going to invest in the development, strategy, launch, and long-term upkeep of a new product, you should be getting very specific and intentional about your goals before making that leap. Is your current business structure suited for a mobile-first structure (for example, an app makes a lot of sense for brands like Uber)? If not, are you committed to pursuing a long-term strategy for a future state that centers on mobile-first? If that answer is no, it doesn’t mean that you should rule an app out—but you should definitely explore other possible solutions.

What alternatives could make more sense?

Instead of starting with the solution and working backwards to make it fit your problem, it makes a lot more sense to start with the problem—because an app isn’t always going to be the best solve. Rather than asking your team “how could we turn this into an app,” you should be challenging them to ideate a list of alternatives. This allows for easier innovation (as it will be more tailored to your problem), more creativity, and a better value connection to users.

You made an app—now what?

So, you did your homework, dove deep into the pros and cons of app creation, and ultimately decided to go for it...exciting! Just remember: the work doesn’t end after developing and launching an app. You need to prioritize creating an environment of digital products that you can realistically keep up with. There’s an entire element of maintenance required to see a positive ROI on your app. Consider what experience and engagement elements your app is creating for your users, and use that as a roadmap to guide you to nurture them in a sustainable way.

How are you connecting all the dots?

Most importantly, keep the big picture in sight at all times throughout the process. Make sure that every aspect of your app—from UX to CX to customer service—reflects the brand you want to convey. Be mindful about what you publish, but leverage everything that exists to give you more of a leg up.

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