Branding your product appropriately is important for any company or business. However, when it comes to mobile apps, branding is insanely important. This is due to numerous factors, but it is highly since on the App and Google Play store, the first impression potential users get of your app is the small square icon you must fill with creativity and on point branding to grab people’s attention. You have a tiny square of image to show off your impressive brand.
A mobile apps brand is not made up of one thing. A brand is a complex combination of your name, logo, colours, app and website. All these aspects together contribute to completing your brand. The logo must appeal to the target audience, but it also must be distinctive. There is another app just like yours one scroll away so why should a user choose yours?
Customised branding is so important. Not only does it tell a story of how your start-up came to be, it shows brand recognition, users will remember your app due to its uniqueness, and it also shows you care about your product enough to create a fresh brand from scratch.
Branding should evolve
Your brand doesn’t stay the same forever, it should reflect your product as it evolves. As said previously, your brand isn’t just your logo that makes up your brand, it’s the look, function and feel of your product. That’s why your brand should follow the products life cycle. Designers should work with marketers and developers to ensure the brand meet expectations, bringing everything together and reviewing the brand offering every so often. A brand should be able to tell a story and look to be selling an experience not just a product.
Spotify’s brand and logo have evolved along with their product. Their simple icon consisting of 3 sound waves on a green background, is bold and has become instantly recognisable.
What if I don’t feel experienced enough in branding to make it successful?
That’s what agencies like us are for! As an agency, we find that some clients will already have brand guidelines that need to be met. Something that they are set on and want to keep, therefore we must try and incorporate their existing ideas as much as we can whilst creating their brand. Other clients will start out with no branding and will require a lot of work to get it ‘App store ready’.
We work with lots of start-ups and entrepreneurs who have great ideas, but not necessarily the experience to form a compelling brand to complete their product. This can make things harder, but sometimes easier due to having a clean slate. You can chat to the client about their brand ideas, wants and needs and guide them, receiving their input along the way. With a larger client that already has a brand in place, you don’t have complete control over the design features. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as you can use that as a starting point to evolve from.
The first time users will see your app will be on the app store. Unless they’ve seen your product on social media first (another important aspect of your brand). So, in a place where there are thousands of other apps vying to be the users pick, its imperative that your app’s brand stands out. This is, of course, tricky to do with only a tiny square to express your offering. So what aspects of your brand should you include into your app icon. The most important rule that you should take note of which is outlined on the app store and Google Play store best practice info is, minimal text and bright and bold.
The name of your app/product would usually be too long to put in your app logo. For instance, Instagram doesn’t have the word Instagram stuffed into their logo. It has chosen a multicoloured icon with a sleek and simple camera icon. Minimal text, bright and bold. Think of all the successful apps that you use, they all stick to this criteria. Attempting to stuff the entirety of your brand name into the app logo will just mean that it gets overlooked as users get bored trying to read and understand it, associating your app with ease of access and fluidity.
What if I don’t brand my app well?
Brands pull everything together. Your app, website, social media, design should all feel like one. If they don’t it will appear disconnected and messy. Something which no users wants to experience. All your products should feature the same logos so that customers recognise instantly your brand and therefore your company. Users want to know that they belong to the brand and can instantly relate to it. Branding is such a large part of an apps success and it can really contribute to it being a hit when it hits the app store, or if it falls into the pit of forgotten apps.
There is so much more to say when it comes to app branding, it’s hard to fit everything in one blog. So, keep an eye out for a follow up next month, the importance of branding – what we didn’t mention the first time!