How Do You Create a Successful App?
Speaking at last week’s Cannes Lions Festival of Innovation, Tommy Hilfiger’s chief brand officer Avery Baker said: “When success is achieved, companies have the hardest choice to make — do we stay on that current path and hope we’ll continue ever upwards or take the leap to new levels of relevance?”
It’s a question more CMOs are asking themselves in the digital age, as the emphasis has shifted away from just talking to customers and has moved toward building relationships with them by inviting them to engage with brands in a truly meaningful way. “This is not the tired CRM of keeping customer information and transaction histories in multiple databases,” wrote Forrester analysts James L. McQuivey and Keith Johnston in the May 2017 report The End of Advertising As We Know It. “Rather,” they added, “it’s a relationship that is high-frequency, emotion-rich, and hyperconvenient.”
We help our clients do just that, to connect more deeply with their customers and users through interactive digital experiences that are part of their overall product and marketing strategy. These experiences are often packaged up into what we call “apps.”
When ArcTouch opened for business in 2008, the apps we built were primarily for mobile phones. However, in the last few years, new connected platforms have emerged — including smart TVs, messaging chatbots and voice assistants like Alexa and Google Home, for example. The opportunities for companies to meaningfully engage with customers with smart app-based experiences is growing fast.
How to transform an idea into a truly successful app
What CMO — or any executive for that matter? — doesn’t want their brand to reach new levels of relevance? And what business stakeholder doesn’t want to increase brand loyalty and the lifetime value of their customers by offering new types of experiences?
Of course, building a successful app is easier said than done. It starts with a great idea. And that idea, like all successful products, must simultaneously solve a genuine problem for target users and create real business value for the company.
In the second edition of our popular ebook, “From Great Idea to Successful App,” originally released in 2014, we cover the step-by-step process for transforming an idea for an app into a delightful experience for your users — and one that drives real value for your business. We also explain how to create successful chatbots for messaging platforms and voice apps for emerging platforms like Alexa and Google Home.
- The anatomy of great app strategy and planning
- How analytics should guide your project
- The definition of a Minimum Loveable Product (MLP), and how to build it
- How rapid prototyping and user testing fits into great app design
- What agile and lean engineering looks like
- Why the app store launch isn’t the end of the project, but the beginning
The process of app development
The word “mobile” is no longer required or implied in the phrase “mobile apps.” But our process — originally developed to help clients build the very best mobile apps — works just as well for developing new Alexa skills as it does for the next Uber.
Our process integrates strategy, design, engineering, and growth — all against a backdrop of frequent user feedback and performance testing. Meanwhile, by defining key success metrics for the app at the beginning of a project, not the end, we create a guide that helps our client stakeholders and team members stay aligned throughout the process.
In Tommy Hilfiger’s case, the fashion house made a dramatic business model shift in 2016 to a “see-now, buy-now” runway show called Tommy Now, in which viewers of the shows can immediately purchase fashions seen on the runway through an integrated campaign on social media, the company’s mobile app and website. Having Gigi Hadid as its spokesmodel doesn’t hurt, of course. But you don’t need to be an established brand willing to bet big on a game-changing digital strategy promoted by a supermodel to achieve success.
We invite you to check out our updated ebook to discover for yourself and learn how our skilled teams of project managers, designers, and engineers can put our proven process and deep experience to work to help you create a truly successful app.