Reputation Management Part I - The art of mobile app brand management
Of all the millions of apps in the mobile app stores, very few made it to the very top. You probably know them well. It could be Duolingo, Candy Crush, Flo, Grindr, or Spotify. They all have a few things in common: they know how to manage their brand well, offer their users fantastic features, and bank on reputation management like there’s no tomorrow.
In this article (which is Part I, by the way!), you will learn about brand management first, and in the follow-up, we will tell you about reputation management—the two guiding lights towards the coveted 4.5 ratings and the position in the top 10 charts.
What makes a mobile app brand successful?
Let's cut through the fluff and get to the point right away. When it comes to branding, people often get caught up in superficial aspects and fail to grasp the real essence of a successful brand. It's not just about logos, color codes, and fonts.
Overall, several things jointly make a brand climb the top ranks:
Value proposition: The mobile app brand must communicate its unique value proposition clearly. Whoever takes a look at the app page or an ad should have an idea of what they can get right away.
Reliability: No one wants to deal with a crappy app, and it’s so easy to be associated as one. Take a look at any app with a rating of 3.3 or below. The app should load quickly, respond promptly to users, and actually perform consistently. People expect nothing less.
User feedback: Smart app brands actually listen to their users—shocking news. They actively seek out user opinions, read those reviews, and improve based on the feedback. That also impacts brand perception and what it is in the eyes of its users. How you react to it also matters: sometimes, a colossal failure can be reversed.
Long-term engagement: The users must have a reason to stick around. Talking about Tinder, for instance, it’s the ultimate catch-22, as the most successful users will inevitably leave the app. Building a community, introducing new social elements, and regularly updating will keep users engaged and loyal. More on that in part II, by the way!
We all have certain associations when we think of brands. It could be annoying online ads or iconic visual symbols like Nike's swoosh or Apple's apple. But branding goes beyond these surface-level impressions.
A brand is a name, design, or symbol distinguishing a seller's product from others. While this definition focuses on the visual and superficial aspects, creating brand value is a separate topic entirely.
On brand identity and management
This interesting term is often confused with brand image, but they are distinct concepts. The brand identity encompasses the visible elements like color, design, and logo that distinguish a brand in users' minds.
Brand identity reflects the intentions of a company to shape a specific image.
When you see a little flame, you think Tinder. The very name of the app suggests a material used for kindling that, in turn, can lead to a roaring fire. All it takes is a spark (or a swipe!). That is precisely how Tinder matched brand identity with branding materials—a fast way to connect with people and pursue all sorts of different things.
Thus, a brand's core lies in the importance of a clear identity and mission. Every aspect of a company, from its products to its behavior, should consistently project what it stands for. Appearance comes last in the hierarchy of importance. A successful branding program stems from a consistent purpose that shapes and defines the company.
On visual elements
Visual elements include colors, fonts, slogans, and sensory experiences like sound. The logo, in particular, serves as the primary identifier for most brands.
Generally, there are four vectors through which a brand manifests itself:
- Product (what it does)
- Environment (where it is)
- Communication (what it says)
- Behavior (where it’s going)
These vectors represent the tangible expressions of the brand in its products, physical and digital spaces, communication strategies, and the behavior of its people.
For instance, one such improvement to the visual elements may be a simple translation of available materials. This will make your brand much more international and open new venues for extra customers!
7 tips for brand management
Below you will find some tips & tricks to use on your brand management journey:
Establish team rules
Lay down guidelines for team members to ensure collaboration. Clarify the team's purpose and goals. When a lot of people work on branding, everyone must understand what it means in the first palace.
Develop a unique brand strategy
Create a long-term plan to achieve brand goals. Understand what makes your business different from competitors and identify target audience needs. We highly recommend Marketing Warfare by Al Ries and Jack Trout if you’d like to learn how to carve out a little piece of the market just for yourself.
Focus on customer experience
Prioritize creating a positive customer experience. Make customers feel valued, appreciated, and heard. Consider their needs, provide excellent service, and aim for satisfaction. It sounds very obvious, but goodness, it works wonders.
Organize brand assets
Maintaining consistent messaging by keeping brand guidelines, including logo, colors, typography, and iconography. Be clear and concise in your guidelines. Try not to overmix various colors, too.
Stick to one brand style
Use a single brand style for all your content to maintain consistency. Keep your assets in one place for easier management and updates. Otherwise, you risk confusing your users and it’ll feel like you’re all the place (because probably you are).
Stay updated with trends
Keep up with evolving content marketing trends to remain relevant. Yes, that means your meme game has to stay on point.
More tips will cover both the brand and product ends of an app when it comes to growth in our upcoming webinar on reputation management on June 7, 2023. Hop in; you’ll love it!
Branding isn't just about pretty logos and fancy fonts. It's about creating a clear identity and mission that speaks volumes about your app. Visual elements like colors and slogans play a part, but the underlying purpose makes a brand truly shine.
A successful brand listens to its customers, stays consistent in how it looks and behaves, and clearly does something right in terms of the value it provides.
Stay tuned for part 2, where we will explore the intricacies of reputation management and how they capitalize on what your users say…faster than ever.