November 2010 Issue #9

The world is going apps

The skyrocketing app revolution symbolises an ingenious utilisation of the mobile platform. And it's a bandwagon organisations should really consider jumping on if they want to improve user relationships.

Apps: WOW ME!

It rarely happens that a new medium comes along with the ability to fundamentally alter your relationship with your customers. Apps are such a medium, such a means of communication. We are currently witnessing the first stages of a very substantial change brought about by the emergence of apps. Yet, alongside their huge potential, apps also constitute a huge challenge for companies venturing into this unknown territory. To avoid the big mistakes - let’s not worry about the minor ones - there are valuable lessons to learn.

Apps as a business model

Henrik Hedegaard, Information Architect at Designit

There are two main business models to stick to when it comes to apps. Some charge for the app while others give it away for free in a freemium (free + premium) business model. Think of freemium as giving a piece of cake away. But it’s without the always desired frosting. Some of your users will be willing to pay a premium price for that frosting.

If you want to apply a freemium business model it is essential that you generate a need for the extra services. You must let the users know what they will be able to do if they purchase the premium version of your application. Don’t hide the frosting. Show what’s there to get!

New frontiers, new opportunities

Mikal Hallstrup, CVO, Cofounding Partner at Designit

Apps indicate a quite substantial change in the interaction between products and services. Think of Nokia. Thousands of products and just one service. And then compare Nokia to Apple. Just one handset and thousands of services!

Apple is a good example of how much benefit lies within the concept of melting products and services. Creating a radically different user experience is one of the many advantages. Another one is that you gain ‘copy immunity’.

At the end of the day it’s about rethinking how products and services are developed and understanding them as closely related, melting together while lots of synergies emerge.

Apps as a marketing tool

Rasmus Møller Sørensen, Senior Consultant at Designit

The marketing potential for apps is huge. They may well be the natural next step in the process of building and maintaining deep, meaningful relations with your customers. The combination of a smartphone and the apps will enable people to interact with companies at their convenience. Always and everywhere.

It’s simply a new platform. And that’s why customers will anticipate a different user experience. Focus should be on providing core services and brand messages which can be delivered in these highly context specific opportune moments.

A client conversion springboard

David Fellah, CEO at Designit

Three design aspects are key in order to succeed when designing apps like the one Designit has interfaced for Denmark’s biggest bank, Danske Bank.

First and foremost the app presents a supreme experience for all users. Secondly, the iconic look and feel of the app’s interface is highly recognisable and has an all-time important function as a powerful marketing tool. Thirdly, the app is a client conversion springboard in the sense that it succeeds in providing non-client users with a taste of the great features only accessible if joining the bank.

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