How to get more people to use your brand app

It’s about balancing function with feeling.


It is commonplace for brands to have their own apps.  But apps with success in driving mass adoption and business value are not as common.


We may have spent a small fortune getting the function of our apps right, but we might find that usage still seems lower than expected.


Why is this the case?


The average person has 60-90 apps on their phone. Only 25 of those apps get used per month.  And 77% of their mobile time is spent on just three apps*. 


Most concerning of all: about 75% of apps are used just once – and never used again*. 


How can any brand’s app break through, to become more than a “one-use-wonder”?


The answer may lie in thinking about consumers’ wants, not just needs.


Sure, people will download and use your app for function at a moment of need.  What comes to mind is a real-life scenario where I’ve downloaded an app to get those coveted loyalty points when making a big purchase. 


But in this scenario, I haven’t used the app since that big purchase.  I didn’t even open the app to see what other content or functions were available.  I simply didn’t want to do the work. 


What if there was a bit more fun mixed in with the app?  What if there were moments of playfulness, such as a chance to win prizes or deals?


Think about the games hidden within Google Maps and Google Earth – and even the Google homepage.  Or the games embedded within the screen interface of every Tesla vehicle.  These are examples of brands going beyond function to create excitement, loyalty, and engagement.


There’s also a growing number of people playing Snapchat games*^ like Bitmoji Tennis or Zombie Rescue Squad.  And Tik Tok’s had a recent success with a Submarine AR game*^^.  Even social media needs a boost of gameplay and fun to keep things interesting. 


Here at The Marketing Store, we have also injected a fair bit of fun and flair into mobile apps to help increase adoption and usage. An example of this would be our Macca’s Mini Games case study, which we launched back in February of 2020.  We created a full mobile gaming experience within the McDonald’s App in Australia, which helped increase downloads, usage, and transactions within the app. 


All of these examples demonstrate that a playful tone goes a long way to warm people to the utility that your brand has to offer.  If you had a friend that only spoke in grave imperatives around that value that he could bring, you would probably avoid him.


So the next time you’re analysing your app’s content and performance, ask yourself: is my app’s tone too serious to be sustained?  Does my brand have something to offer people beyond the function that we bring? 


In a world where millions of other apps are vying for people’s attention, let’s re-think the tone that we set with our apps.  Few will “do the work” of actually reading through the copy within your app to fully understand your brand and products.


So give your app users something more than function – give them something fun.  Give them something they’ll crave, and actually look forward to doing.


To inject your app with some playful engagement that will accelerate your business objectives, get in touch.

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