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Brands nailing the app game

With over two million apps on iPhone and Android for consumers to choose from it can be challenging to decide which ones are worth downloading. Most retailers have apps these days, but they are often untouched by users and left to take up extra storage on people's phones. We explore the digital world of apps and downloads and decide which brands are indeed nailing the app game and creating applications worthy of your storage space.

Here are a few brands who seem to be doing all the right things, either through a great customer journey, easy accessibility, or design and branding:

#1. Loot

Aside from the fact we are both huge Loot converts (who wouldn't want that kind of organisation in their life?!) we also love the app and the way they have created a seamless consumer journey. It only takes a maximum of 5 minutes to set up an account and the journey is seamless. The banking app can be used to check your balance and view budgeting features within categories; the simple design makes this really easy to review as a customer. All customer service is easily accessible from within the app too. No more long phone calls on hold, Loot allow for directing messaging with their customer service staff all from within the app. Problems have never been resolved so quickly. With forward thinking aspects such as facial recognition, security is tight but effortless.

#2. Netflix

Netflix are up there with the greats. With an attractive and easy to use interface, Netflix have grown into a market leader when it comes to TV, so it's important they have an equally as great app for their audience. Their app is accessible as it needs to be, users are there to watch something specific and don't want to waste time in an unnecessary digital journey. Recognising the apps 'on the go' nature, Netflix also allow users to download programmes, ready to watch later. They are currently testing a change in their interface which although brave, I think will work well for the brand. The “hamburger” menu button will be removed, and all options displayed at the bottom of the screen, hoping to improve the user experience, especially for people with larger phones.

#3. Kitchen Stories

I generally find cookery apps quite hit and miss. I think the common problem is brands not realising the person at the other end of the app is a human! Kitchen Stories feels much different, the app opens with a gallery of different foodie images within a sleek interface. However, what sets them apart from their competitors is how each recipe has step-by-step instructions accompanied by large full width imagery and videos.

#4. Evernote

Evernote is an online place to keep all notes which may otherwise clutter your desktop. Evernote has both a mobile app and desktop plug-in. I use their desktop version which is great. The syncing with the mobile app works seamlessly without the need for saving anything after every edit. This really helps during meetings or at times when you only have the one device on you! The app can scan hand written notes or images and automatically type it up into a digital note. It allows you to favourite your most important notes to the top. They have a simple and clean looking interface which indicates a clear flow of how to use it.

#5. Skyscanner

Skyscanner is an all-in-one travel app with flights, hotels and car rentals. It allows you to instantly search while comparing and booking flights, hotels and car rentals. Independent, unbiased and completely free, Skyscanner find you the best deals in seconds. The app has the ability to save your flight searches, allowing you to return later to purchase. It even notifies you if prices increase/decrease! Also, to save you re-uploading every time, the app allows you to add your passport details to speed up the process of each booking. All of these features are wrapped up in a very seamless and easy flowing design, making it extremely user friendly.

#7. Spotify

Over 50% of Spotify's listeners want their music on the go, so it was vital for them to shift their concept from desktop to mobile/tablet to keep up with user demand. Spotify have designed a very simplistic app which doesn't lack any of the functionality from its desktop version, which is key. It has a fresh and clean design, which goes beyond streaming music with access to videos, podcasts and extra features. Their branding is very concise, which is vital to forming a sense of familiarity with its users. Not many brands choose black as their signature colour; sticking with this and their unique green keeps their branding fresh in users minds.

Some things brands should consider when creating an app:

  • Is it useful and does it offer a memorable and engaging experience?

  • Is it designed to grow brand awareness and loyalty?

  • Does it offer enough brand information, incentives and convenience?

  • Does it offer an easy consumer journey through simplicity and easy to use features?

  • Is there a clear distinction between the brand, website and the app? The app needs to be an obvious extension of what the brand stands for.

  • Are there enough marketing resources to keep the app up to date and promote it through other channels?

Let us know your favourite apps. Are there some big players we're missing out on?

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Marketing Island is an award-winning online marketing magazine set to inspire those in the digital industry.