More and more companies are moving to mobile and realising the potential of adding apps to their service offering, in fact some companies even make the mobile app their sole means of business. Over the years we’ve working with some large brands but for every one we end up working with there are several who we don’t, and the reasons are fairly consistent. You may (or may not!) be surprised at how many large brands, well known household brands, make the same mistakes when looking at mobile. Our aim is to help the brands we work with stand out and stay strong with their apps and unfortunately sometimes even the big guys get it wrong and so we end up turning them away. Let’s take a look at some of the key mistakes people make so you can avoid them.
This is quite possibly the most important point here, hence it’s at number 1, but is also the one we see most often. If you are moving your products and services to mobile or providing a mobile product to promote your brand you really must realise why you are doing it. Disregarding mobile as merely a simple channel you need to put something on just because everyone else is, is quite possibly the fastest way to brand destruction and missing out on the most valuable channel you have at your disposal. Mobile is such an immediate and connected platform, this is what makes it so great. The potential to send your message / products / services straight into your customers pocket is incredible, but if you get it wrong, the potential for you to damage your brand is huge. People share their experiences on mobile quicker and more easily than on any other channel, so make sure that message is a positive one.
I’m not suggesting you become a developer yourself, but an understanding of the technology options is vital to the success of your project and the protection of your brand online. If you know the various options available, and associated costs and quality for those approaches, then you can make an informed decision on the best one to use within your budget. There are too many companies offering low quality options for high prices, knowing the difference will ensure you don’t spend money on an app only for you to be disappointed with it for it to cause irrevocable damage your brand.
The brands we work with (and some we don’t) spend a large amount of time and effort on their brand. In business today, your brand is everything and a strong brand is worth a huge amount of money. Once you have understood point 1 above then you should see that the way you approach your mobile app development should be the same way you would with any other channel. If you project a certain brand image then that should continue through to your mobile offering. If you are a luxury brand and everything about your business is of the highest quality then that’s exactly the feeling you should leave the users of your app with. An inconsistent brand experience is a sure-fire way to make your mobile customers feel undervalued.
It is not possible to create an amazing app by rushing the process. It doesn’t work. If you don’t put the groundwork in, define your idea clearly and wireframe the whole process then you are simply failing on all three points above. Don’t waste money by doing things quickly, you will end up with a product which not only disappoints you (and the company execs) but also damages the brand; and that will end up costing a whole lot more to repair. Think through the idea, learn the options available to you and give yourself plenty of time to find the right partner. Believe me, the results are so much more impressive.
I don’t advocate spending over the top for your mobile app, obviously, but you must allocate a viable budget to your product development. We’ve seen many clients come to us who state that a particular company have quoted them a tiny amount for the project and unfortunately sometimes these clients end up believing it can be done and choosing to go that route. Let me make this very clear, you cannot produce a good quality product with a tiny budget or short timeframe. It simply cannot be done, and if someone says it can then you are talking to the wrong people. We see this time and time again and what invariably happens is that you start the project and either get hit for more money during the development of it or they end up cutting corners to provide the features you want within your budget. You do not want either of these situations. Look carefully at the options, ensure you are getting good value for money but above all, if you cannot afford to do it properly then simply do not do it at all. The negative impact of not having an app is minuscule in comparison to the negative impact of putting out a poorly executed one.
Simon has worked in the software industry for over 20 years; intent on always producing work of the highest standard and creating software products that genuinely makes things better for people. Simon has previously held positions ranging from Developer, Technical Consultant, Head of Development through to CTO and more recently founder and CEO of several high profile technology companies.