Lessons Brands can Learn from Mobile Apps and Gaming


May 14, 2012 - by Ryan Berman
Lessons Brands can Learn from Mobile Apps and Gaming

Don’t we all just want to be entertained? Might just be the reason both mobile apps and social engagement continue to grow like crazy. Chew on these stats:

  • Angry Birds has hit one billion downloads, increasing Rovio’s revenues more than ten fold in 2011, soaring to $106 million
  • Sales in the mobile phone/tablet gaming market in the U.S. more than doubled between 2005 and 2010 reaching $898 million, and according to Mintel are expected to reach $1.6 billion by 2015

Although not every brand should build an app, in fact most probably should not, every brand can learn a few things from the mobile gaming explosion.

Americans like constant entertainment

Especially when it is convenient. How many times have you been in line waiting to do something and whipped out your phone? I’ve even watched my mom play DrawSomething right in the middle of a family dinner (a woman who didn’t even allow us to watch TV during family dinner growing up). 35 million downloads in a few months transformed the lives of the makers of DrawSomething, OMGPOP, which was recently purchased for $180 million by Zynga, the Facebook gaming giant and maker of Farmville.

Takeaway: Are you entertaining your fans?

Companies are building apps around users daily travels

Particularly within the restaurant industry. Companies like Roqbot have reinvented the jukebox and positioned it as a social game allowing users to interact with the restaurant's music right from their phone. And while you wait for your food, why not also compete with your friends in a game of trivia on your mobile device with Spot On Trivia, powered by foursquare?

Takeaway: Are you adding to the experience of your fans daily travels?

Recommendations are Digital

Culture is changing, and so are businesses. But people continue to turn to their most trusted resource for recommendations, friends and family. This coupled with the evolution of social media channels and the convenience of mobile allow for trusted recommendations to be made in real time - a huge opportunity in the foodie world. Apps like Stamped, Food and Bite Hunter drive customer engagement and sharing. These apps give power to the consumer to be the expert, making recommendations and sharing relevant deals based on location.

Takeaway: Are you empowering/incentivizing your fans to make recommendations on your behalf in an engaging and authentic manner?

Bottom line, consumers are engaging with mobile tools in offline settings, in restaurants, in line, at home on the couch, and everywhere they go. These devices have changed our culture, how brands engage, and how we connect. As marketers and innovators it is our job to create interactive experiences between the location and the customer, and humanize the brand to be a part of the user's daily lives. No need to reinvent the wheel, mobile apps can help your brand, you simply need to find the right fit for your marketing and consumer needs.


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