iPhone Apps that Boost Brands

  • The App Explosion

    Last week, Apple (Stock Quote: AAPL) announced that the iPhone now has more than 100,000 apps on sale in its App Store. For those who don’t know (though we’re not sure how that’s possible), apps are downloadable applications that can include anything from maps to games like Rock Band. Many are free and most cost less than $10, though these apps can technically charge as much as $999.99. (Check out MainStreet’s list of the worst iPhone apps.) However, apps are not restricted to iPhones. Other smart phones like the Blackberry and Android have thousands of their own apps too. Plus social networking sites like Facebook offer apps as well. This has created a unique opportunity for businesses looking to reach new consumers and strengthen their brand. Photo Credit: Bart Claeys
    The Next Generation of Product Placement
  • The Next Generation of Product Placement

    Many companies have taken advantage of this new platform to reach out to consumers and revitalize their brands, some with more success than others. After all, what more could a company ask than to have customers carry their brand everywhere on their phone? It’s the next generation of product placement. Perhaps most astoundingly of all, some of these companies actually charge for their apps. Imagine, the consumer pays for what is essentially an elaborate advertisement. Now that’s incredible marketing. For some companies, this has served as a valuable added source of income. It’s become easier than ever to create your own iPhone app. If you or your company are considering entering into the app market, you can hire a third party to design an app for as little as $99. But before you do, learn from the successes and mistakes of the companies that have already gone this route. Photo Credit: ricardo.martins
  • Kraft

    Kraft (Stock Quote: KFT) was one of the first big companies to enter the app market. Their application, the iFood Assistant, is unique in that it doesn’t focus on pushing customers to visit their Web site (though the app does feature a store locater). Instead, the app is a standalone product that offers more than 7,000 recipe suggestions and instructional cooking videos. Photo Credit: apple.com
  • Wisk

    Wisk has been making cleaning products for more than 50 years, but the company recently made an effort to rebrand themselves in the world of social media. The company partnered with Facebook to create Wisk It, an application that makes it easier for users to clean up their image online. "As an expert in stain fighting, we have created the WISK-IT application to help people clean up stains on their digital reputations,” according to Wisk’s Brand Manager. The app would help users find particularly unflattering photos of themselves on Facebook and get them off the Web site for good. Wisk It has already gotten a lot of press attention and the application has hundreds of fans on Facebook. Photo Credit: facebook.com
    Pizza Hut
  • Pizza Hut

    Pizza Hut storefront sales have been suffering during the recession, seeing a 13% drop in sales. But they are doing well in the iPhone department. The company has made more than $1 million from iPhone app sales since it launched just three months ago. The app has a lot of visual flair and lets customers design their pizzas in advance. But the kicker is that the app features a “virtual fridge” where users can find coupons before placing their order. (We also like the Pizza Hut Racer, a free game you can fly while waiting for your delicious meal to be made.) Photo Credit: pizzahut.com
  • Scrabble

    This game has a complicated history. Scrabulous, an unauthorized version of the popular board game, launched last year on Facebook and gained thousands of fans. But it was eventually shut down by Hasbro (Stock Quote: HAS), the makers of Scrabble. (The game has since been re-released online under a different name.) This episode served as a wake-up call for Hasbro, which is now going all out to bring the board game to a new generation of fans through social networking sites and mobile devices. Earlier this year, a new version of Scrabble was released online that integrated the app between Facebook and the iPhone. This means users who buy the game for their iPhone will be able to play with Facebook friends. Whether or not this app will ever be as successful as Scrabulous is hard to tell. Photo Credit: apple.com
  • Target

    Like Kraft, Target (Stock Quote: TGT) was one of the earlier companies to venture into the world of iPhone apps with the Gift Globe. The app’s design is simple enough. A snow globe image appears on screen and when users shake it, gift ideas appear out of the blue. It may sound silly, but as holiday season gets closer and your list of people to get gifts for gets longer, you may just find yourself wishing someone could make the gift choices for you. Photo Credit: edkohler
  • Coke

    You may not realize it but Coke (Stock Quote: COKE) is the king of apps. Every few months, the company launches a new one, each seemingly more unrelated to the brand. Perhaps the most well-known is Spin the Coke, released at the beginning of this year. The app parodies the old game, Spin the Bottle, and was marketed as a good way to “break the ice or to give that someone special a not so subtle hint.” So how does Coke relate to your personal life? According to one company official, the beverage has always been about “bringing people together.” Before this, Coke released the Magic Coke Bottle app, which claimed to answer all the questions you have about “life, love and the universe.” We get it, Coke has all the answers. Those may be quirky apps, but what about Coke’s most recent foray into apps? Last month, they put out the Coke Zero Facial Profiler on Facebook, which scans photos on the social networking site and attempts to match similar faces to one another. What can this possibly have to do with Coke? According to Switched.com, the company slogan for the app is, "If Coke Zero has Coke's taste, is it possible someone out there has your face?" The jury is still out on that one. Photo Credit: apple.com
  • Pepsi

    In the world of apps, Pepsi (Stock Quote: PEP) seems to be lagging behind Coke. Last month, the company released a controversial new app to promote their energy drink, AMP. The app, AMP Up Before You Score, provided a set of pickup lines for guys to use based on a set of two dozen stereotypical female characters. All the man had to do was decide whether the woman was a cougar or a nerd and choose accordingly.  (We’re not sure what happened if she turned out to be a nerdy cougar – probably just more options.) In any case, the app was quickly attacked and eventually shelved all together, tarnishing Pepsi’s brand a bit in the process. Photo Credit: apple.com
  • Nike

    Given how many people carry their iPods and iPhones with them to listen to music while working out, it makes sense that Nike (Stock Quote: NKE) decided compliment its products by putting out a fitness app. The Nike Training Club helps women customize their workouts and features training drills in key areas like cardio. Users can even invite their friends to compete with them through the app. The company also just announced that it is releasing a new football training app for the iPhone. The app was developed by coaches and features training videos. Photo Credit: nike.com
  • Disney

    Disney has more than a dozen iPhone apps but they recently released a new one called Click2Life that's worth noting. Users can unlock extra features like new animations simply by taking pictures of movie characters on the Disney Web site. In addition, users get exclusive deals for shopping at Disney Stores. In this way, Disney hopes to get fans to be more actively involved with their product. Photo Credit: apple.com
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