We're a web and mobile app development firm, so we build web, iPhone, iPad and Android apps. When we first started, our clients were heavily biased towards web apps. However, over the past few months, that dichotomy has reached parity. The growth of mobile app projects is steadily increasing, and we expect soon that they'll soon outweigh web apps.
They're two different worlds, the web and mobile. The ideologies, business, development, and customers are wildly different. Understanding mobile isn't always congruent to understanding the web, though there is some overlap. Most of our clients, we've found, are rather uneducated when it comes to mobile platforms.
A lot of times, clients will come to us knowing that they need an app, but not understanding exactly what they want in an app. Traditional industries, for example, only loosely understand the mobile industry and so can't quite give us a firm understanding of what they want built.
We employ collaborative education as a part of our process. Our clients help us understand their customer base, what they want, how they think and how they interact with them. We take this information and come up with multiple ideas and then sift through them to create a comprehensive mobile app.
We then educate our clients on the industry. A major part of this education is understanding the motivation behind developing an app. We've discovered that there are three reasons one would desire develop an app. Yes, only three. We've done a lot of development and in all of that code, only three primary needs arise. We help our clients identify which of these three accurately describes their need and that helps guide us as we come up with ideas.
Here are the three reasons we've identified to develop apps:
- To build a new product.
Some apps, like Angry Birds or camera+, are created as a new product. These apps are built by software or gaming companies who hope to either build an old product on a new platform, reinvent a category in a mobile fashion or create a new product that's never existed before. We have a few client apps in development that fit this category. Most of them are ideas that entrepreneurs have had and are looking to bring to the world.
- To create a value-add for existing clients.
This category of apps includes things like Twitter and Facebook for iPhone, but also apps like the Starbucks or Amazon app. They exist to create a value-add for existing clients. By having a mobile app, Facebook makes their existing users happier because they can access their profile on the go. Amazon adds value to a customer's experience by allowing them to shop wherever they are. A lot of our clients fit into this category. They're usually companies or organizations who have an existing client base and want to extend their existing product offering to the mobile platform (such as Facebook or Twitter) or monetize existing clients by infusing new content, products or services (such as Amazon). They also might want to create a new product that assists their clients in some fashion (such as Starbucks).
- To bring new clients in.
Some companies, especially those in traditional industries, can leverage a mobile app to draw new customers in. The Starbucks app is great example for this category: imagine that I hardly go to coffee shops and have never been to Starbucks before, but I like to drink coffee and do so regularly. The Starbucks app, which I saw advertised online, piqued my interest because it allows me to build a drink I like, which is cool because I drink a very non-standard coffee. Boom — Starbucks just brought me, a new customer, in by having, and effectively advertising, an awesome app.
Using the Starbucks app as an example twice also illustrates another point: these categories aren't exclusive of each other. One app could fit into any of these.
Where do you fit in? How can you best interact with your clients? What would your company's app look like? We can help answer these questions! Awaken your ideas with NewAperio, say firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.