Ooo, it’s been awhile. I must have overslept.
Do you remember Pogs? What about those Premier league/WWF (WWE for the young uns)/Street Fighter 2 Panini Stickers? They were the collectible, pocket money eating "thing" of a time twice gone. I think mobile Apps have become their digital successors. Here is why.
According to these lovely SD snaps, 48% of Smartphone users are "enthusiastic" about Apps, have tons of them and think their Smartphone has improved their life - great, I am SO one of them! However, 26% of Apps are only ever opened once... I can vouch for this many a post install too! SO... we love Apps, download tons of them, but we don't have the time nor interest to use them all - fair. So what makes an App a "reopener"? It sure as heck isn’t just “functionality”.
I actually think it’s more the visual and novelty of certain App that make them keepers and "reopeners". From that icon that sits on your screen, and the Apps coolness/smoothness/eyeball service when you interacting with it. Exclusivity is also a nice icing on that cake is it not? Remember iPhone owners banging on about Angry Birds and Android owners showing off Google Goggles for the sake of exclusivity before they both crossed over? I wonder how often they used them (ok, no replies on that one from Angry Bird fans please!).
So Pogs/Panini Stickers and Mobile Apps? Well, I haven't even played Angry Birds past 8 levels... How many times have you got that Pog collection or Panini Album out to admire since you *almost* completed them? If only I had that last top right sticker of a 6x6...
This is what Apps are for me: short burst use, time killers, things to show off, not essential but nice things to have if you can; trinkets that are in themselves digital currency for their visual presence when executed properly.
Apps & Brands
Now brands and Apps... mixed bag. Take HTC sponsoring the Onion App, nice brands with no relationship or relevance, and somewhat meaningless as a partnership to me (screams MARKETING, SALES) Vs. Rotten Tomatoes sponsoring the Movie App logical, useful, adds credibility to both parties.
I wonder if brands their agencies will start to think of App sponsorship from the perspective of "Why would I want an App from this brand, what would it do, and why would I want it over the other App without the branding that probably does it better". So far, it’s looking like most branded Apps are still being created from the requirement to fill a missing Campaign component > fill it with an App approach.
Remember that Carling iPhone App? A visual treat, yet utterly pointless - how many times did you show it off or have it shown off by one of your iPhone buddies, hmm? YEAH.