How many apps should a major brand have to connect with consumers? It’s a question asked by brand marketers and strategists since the App Store debuted in 2009. The New York Times spent time last week discussing the ins and outs of brand apps and user satisfaction, meanwhile on a similar front, Global food giant Nestlé delved into their reduction in consumer-facing apps. What’s a brand marketer to do?
When the Experience is Good
“If you’re a brand and you don’t have an app strategy or you aren’t investing in your app development, then it’s going to be really hard for you to engage and monetize the fastest growing population, which are mobile shoppers,” said Jon Hudson, vice president of customer solutions and innovation at Criteo, a digital marketing and technology firm, in a recent article by The New York Times.
As traditional methods for reaching consumers and customers directly like direct mail and TV promotions have fizzled, and easy stand-bys like social media and YouTube have had their brand safety rightly questioned, owned apps, with their in-app and push notifications, have become an easy solution for CPG, retail, and restaurant brands to deliver special offers, product announcements, and more.
But the app experience has to be good, otherwise, it may end up driving loyal customers away, and it has to be easily accessible and worth users finding it.
Nestlé, the owner of such other brands as Tollhouse, Gerber, Purina, Lean Cuisine, San Pellegrino, and more, recently delved into its own decisions to limit the number of consumer-facing apps. In an interview with Computer Weekly, Luca Dell’Orletta, global mobile solutions manager at Nestlé, said, “It was extremely surprising for me when I started because there were about 230 mobile applications. I thought that was too many.”
The company has reduced its count of apps down to 150, which may still sound like a lot, but is actually a focused list of the company’s most successful apps. When you consider Nestlé as a company owns everything from chocolate, to bottled water, to perfumes, it’s hardly surprising it has more apps under its belt than most.
Nestlé’s catalog of apps include a Purina app featuring a game that lets cats attempt to catch fish on a screen and a Nespresso IoT-enabled app that allows customers to buy capsules for the instant coffee machines, including a loyalty program baked in (CPG, retail, and dining take note!).
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