Red Bull doesn’t sell an energy drink. It sells the fuel that powers people through adventure sports. Disney doesn’t sell movie or park tickets. It sells the chance to be surrounded by fairytales, dreams, and magic. Apple doesn’t sell phones. It sells innovation that redefines what’s possible.
Businesses live and die by their brand. If you can get people to believe in who you are, above what you sell, you’ve unlocked the secret to long-term survival.
This begs the question; how do you know if people recognize and understand your brand?
Start by measuring your brand’s awareness level. While there are various instruments and devices to do this, marketers often don’t realize that in today’s mobile era, their app is also one of them. In this post, we’ll give you an overview of all the ways you can use your app to measure your brand’s visibility and vitality.
Your brand is your reputation, your identity, and your promise to your customers. It’s not the product or service you’re selling, it’s why you’re open and what problem you’re solving.
But your brand is only as strong as the number of people who actually know what it represents. That’s why it’s important to measure its awareness level.
Brand awareness is a broad term. It can mean something simple, like getting your brand name in front of masses of people, or something specific, like increasing external media coverage by X% by X date. The point is: your specific brand awareness goals and exact measurement parameters will vary based on your company and priorities (and that’s ok as long as you have actual goals in the first place).
Apps personify brands. They are a means of translating your brand values to customers. For example, Red Bull’s app brings a world of action, adventure, and excitement to users, while Disney has an app that can transform you into your favorite Disney characters.
In short, apps provide your brand’s value to users - right at their fingertips. This makes apps an ideal channel for evaluating your brand’s perception among your target audience.
Do people understand your business? Are the right people using your app? Is your app generating traffic to your other marketing channels? These are all questions related to brand awareness and here’s how your app can help you answer them.
The number of page views and downloads your app listing page is generating are good indicators of how visible and how reputable your app is in crowded app stores. If you’re running paid user acquisition campaigns and noticing a lot of clicks, high page views, but few downloads, it may be because your app’s listing page doesn’t clearly convey your brand identity. People should easily be able to tell which brand your app is a part of. Otherwise, it will feel like they're doing business with a nameless, faceless stranger.
Your brand awareness can vary by platform. Perhaps you get strong organic interest, but low Facebook traffic. App attribution can help you discover these discrepancies because it is able to show you how many new users (and how engaged they are) you are getting from each channel. Look for trends to see which channels are bringing in valuable users and whether or not this number is improving over time (meaning your brand awareness on this platform is also improving).
The keywords your app is ranking for in app stores should closely align with your brand values. Use third-party tools, like this one, to see which terms people are searching for to find your app. If the keywords you are ranking for do not represent your brand, your awareness level is low. Think of ways to revamp your app store listing to better speak to your brand’s principles.
Regularly read what your users have to say about your app in their ratings and reviews. If their feedback addresses key features and functionality, you have good brand awareness because people are using your app in the way that it was intended. In other words, people understand your app’s purpose and by extension, your brand promise.
The segments of people using your app should match your target market. Your app shouldn’t just accumulate a plethora of users; it should earn the right users. Examine the characteristics and behaviors of your users, group them into segments, and compare your findings to your target market. Are you surprised by whose using your app? If you’re not getting the users you expected, you may have low brand awareness amongst your key audience (so it’s time to do some advertising!).
Apps generate buzz, especially if they have unique and compelling features. Monitor third-party press coverage around your app and see if publications, journalists, and influencers are able to capture the brand value behind it. Do their reviews eloquently articulate what your brand is all about and how your app fits into this bigger picture? If not, think about hiring a PR agency or doing some outreach to correct the messaging.
Another thing you should keep tabs on, are the conversations happening around your app in the social stratosphere. Pay attention to what people are saying, whose saying what, and if people are able to link your app to your brand (i.e. are they tweeting about your app and mentioning your brand?). Essentially, you want your app users to find your brand on social media and rave about it.
Apps enable you to strike up two-way conversations with your customers while also gathering data about their preferences and behavior. Examine this data and see if metrics like time in app, session length, or in-app conversions are on the rise. If people are using your app more and more, and taking meaningful in-app actions, then it’s likely that they’re beginning to trust your brand.
Repetition builds recognition. If you’re implementing app remarketing campaigns to bring back latent users, assess how well they’re working. For example, Facebook will give you data on ad impressions and clicks, and if these numbers are increasing, so is your brand awareness. Remind inactive users about your app frequently to help keep your brand top of mind.
Although correlation does not equal causation, as your app accumulates new users, look for parallel increases in traffic to your other marketing channels (like your website). Users that are highly attuned to your brand will seek you out in other places too, be it online or in brick-and-mortar locations.
Apps allow you to be visible to your customers at all times. This closeness between businesses and buyers builds relationships, reliance, and loyalty. The more people use your app, the more affinity they’ll have for your brand.
That’s why apps are both a personification of your brand, as well as a great gauge on how well people know what you stand for.
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