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Most branded apps are a flop

14 Jul 2011 9:32 BST Back
Most branded apps are a flop

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A new Deloitte global survey has found that 80% of branded apps struggle to get 1,000 downloads. 

However, steering clear of apps isn’t an option for brands. Deloitte’s ‘Killer Apps’ research into mobile consumption reveals that more than three-quarters of mobile app users expect all brands to have one. Many of them also expect this app to be easier to use than the company’s website. 

The research also found that 45% of consumers who own a smartphone download an app at least once a week. 

The returns for success are potentially huge, which makes an app a particularly attractive option for brands. For example, Volkswagen’s Touareg game was downloaded over a million times, with an average playing time of eight minutes and 3,500 test drive requests. 

However, at the time of its release, such simulation games were relatively rare – this is no longer the case. This is heating up competition and driving up the cost of producing a hit. Firemint’s Real Racing 2 cost $2m to develop compared to early 2010 when the estimated cost of an advanced app was around $100,000. And the returns are harder to come by – according to the study only 1% of branded apps are downloaded more than a million times. 

Achieving standout will become even harder, as more apps come on to the market. Successful brands fall into two broad categories – time killers and utilities. 

Games are not such a realistic option for brands any more due to an overcrowded market place and the high costs of developing app. Utility apps are a more realistic alternative for brands. 

Kraft’s iFood Assistant is a good example, according to the report. It has recipes indexed by ingredients, meal type and preparation time as well as a shopping list feature. It also allows users to share recipes and ideas, so harnessing the power of social networking. 

According to the Deloitte report, other factors that help brands succeed include understanding how to manipulate app store ratings to gain prominence and targeting apps at the platforms that are most likely to be used by their audience.

Posted by 

Neil Turner

Comments

Will the increase of mobile friendly websites become a suitable substitute for certain brands and is there such a definite need for every brand to design an app?

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