Finding What Makes Your App Unique

April 10th, 2014

From the mundane “Get Your Family to Download Your App” to the off the wall “Create Beer Coasters” join us on a 52-week journey of some of the top ways to promote and market your mobile application.

This week we’re looking at “What Makes My App Unique,” a question everyone must answer in order to properly pitch their app.

Week 14

How Is My App Unique?

Mobile App Marketing Tip - Finding What Makes Your App UniqueIt’s the question that every product must answer – how am I different from the competition? In the app market, the answer to this question is particularly important, as a single mobile app can expect to face dozens, if not hundreds of competitors. With that in mind, a critical part of app marketing is determining what makes your project stand out from the huddled masses in the iTunes Store and Google Play.

Price Versus Story

When developing a marketing plan, I always find it helpful to think about what initially attracted me to the brands I use in my day-to-day life. In some cases, I chose the brand because it was priced at a level that appealed to me; for others, I chose it because of its personal significance in my own life, or because I enjoyed the story it told. I try to remind myself that my purchasing decisions are consistently made on either a basis of price or story. “Price” products were things like petroleum and shampoo, where I felt that the financial cost of the item ultimately mattered more than the quality or brand behind it. Conversely, “story” products were often more expensive, but I chose them because I found their own story compelling enough to try the product – in my case, things like Brooks Brothers shirts, or getting my oil changed at a shop that had been operating in Austin since the mid-70s.

Anyone can tell you that the app market overwhelmingly prefers free apps. A demand for paid apps will always be somewhat present, but the truth is that the runaway, SnapChat-esque successes of the future will almost certainly come from the free sector. In this regard, an app’s “story” is even more important if it requires payment.

What Is Story?

In the context of marketing a product, “story” can be somewhat nebulous and difficult to define. When it comes to apps, there a number of different facets that can be used to construct and emphasize the app’s story. These include:

  • Features
  • Functions
  • Colors
  • Buttons
  • Names
  • Feelings
  • Origins (city, state, county, country, neighborhood, etc.)
  • Lingo
  • Motto

In essence, story is any single feature or benefit of your app that points the user to the overall purpose or value that the app provides. For instance, consider SnapChat – the name itself is an excellent summation of the app’s story. “Snap” implies something that’s quick and near-instantaneous; “chat” implies a casual conversation with a friend or acquaintance. Taken together, the name succinctly instills what makes the app popular – quick, instant conversation with your friends and loved ones.

In summary – to find out what your makes your app unique, you must first write (or find) its story. Once you have that down, you’re ready to start pitching your app to reviewers and writers. Next week, we’ll cover that exact topic.

As always, follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up.

The 52 Week Series of Marketing Mobile Applications
Week 1: Talk to Friends & Family
Week 2: Picking the Right Name for Your App
Week 3: App Store Optimization
Week 4: Submitting Your App to Review Sites, Blogs, and Directories
Week 5: Using Video to Promote Your App
Week 6: Creating a Microsite
Week 7: Creating a Press Kit
Week 8: Creating a Marketing Plan
Week 9: Social Media: Facebook
Week 10: Social Media: Twitter
Week 11: Social Media: Other Platforms
Week 12: Social Media: Managing Your Social Media Presence
Week 13: Social Media: Reaching out to Bloggers & Reviewers
Week 14: Finding What Makes Your App Unique

Sam Allen

Samuel is something of a marketing Swiss Army knife. He enjoys helping clients build their web presence and visual identity through design, SEO, and good ol' fashioned content. A photographer by trade, he's had work published in the New York Times and the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

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