Designing “crAPPs”

    by Nick Rockafellow on Feb 7, 2017 1:42:07 PM

    As of June 2016, 2 million apps were available in the Apple App Store. With so many applications already available, can a new app penetrate the market to successfully advertise a brand or product? Developers have tried many ways to create separation. Some apps have failed while others differentiated themselves and produced great results.

    Flappy Bird.jpgWhether it’s a game or for a service, the app has to be addictively simple and different enough to be marketed successfully! One of the best examples of a successful, surprise viral app was Flappy Bird. If you don’t remember, you simply clicked on your screen to cause your bird to dodge obstacles and stay in the air. This incredibly simple concept and fun game play helped the app reach number one in the Apple App Store with around 50 million downloads.

    Pokémon Go was another incredibly popular app that proved the concept of addictively simple and different works! By sticking to the same premise that millions around the world have come to love, the game was easy for anybody to start playing while creating a sense of achievement with each in game accomplishment. Augmented reality allowed users to play Pokémon in real life resulting in $35 million in revenue in only the first two weeks.

    Netflix N.pngThe concept is not limited to games. Toward the end of last year, Netflix had the number 1 grossing app in the U.S. iPhone App Store. By allowing customers the convenience of purchasing a subscription through their app, reports say their weekly net revenue climbed from $50,000 to $2.9 million. Netflix proved that a product based app can be just as addictively simple as a game. 

    Google Wave.jpgThese successful apps make the concept sound easy, but for every successful app there are hundreds, if not thousands, that have failed. Even companies like Google have produced unmitigated disasters! Google Wave was intended to take the pain out of group communications. While products like Slack have taken the same concept and become extremely successful, Google Wave was never able to gain any traction. The app wasn’t simple or intuitive as it was too hard to use and no one understood what it was. Google Wave was scrapped after only six months.

    Another app which many thought would be extremely successful was Everpix. The app was supposed to change the world of photo storing and sharing. After a year and a half developing the app, the product worked extremely well but the money was gone. The founders were never able to market the app effectively to gain a large enough user base to become financially successful. Everpix’s failure shows that companies must couple their app with an effective marketing strategy.

    All of these successes and failures beg the question, can a new app be successful? Yes! As long as it follows the same strategy of being addictively simple and different enough to be marketed successfully, apps can be successful. Plus, some cool technology like augmented reality never hurts! 

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