Lesson 2

Aligning Your App With Your Business

While the app market presents some unique challenges and opportunities, your app needs to align with your larger business objectives.

A brick-and-mortar retail business, for example, will most likely want an app that ultimately draws customers into stores. A media company will want an app that encourages users to engage with content as frequently as possible. A retail bank will want an app that makes banking so easy customers become deeply loyal while simultaneously saving customer service costs.

Your Business Determines Your Must-Have Features

No matter what industry you’re in, an app could help boost revenue and grow brand loyalty, but only to the extent that your app is aligned with your business goals. A brick-and-mortar retail business might launch a hit augmented reality mobile game, for example. But if that app doesn’t translate into foot traffic or more sales, that’s a misalignment that means wasted time, energy and money.

For back-to-school season Sears leveraged the buzz around interactive games by launching a game within its app. That game prompted customers to go on an in-store scavenger hunt for discounts and receive personalized coupons and other rewards, providing those customers with an engaging and entertaining experience that also directly benefitted Sears' core business.

To ensure your app is designed to support and boost your business, there are two fundamental questions you need to answer:

  1. What problem can I solve for my users or customers?
  2. What impact do I hope this app will have on my business?

Those questions may be basic, but that’s what makes them powerful. Answering them, and seeing where they overlap, will help you define your app’s core value proposition and features.

The Home Depot’s app has unique features targeted at helping customers more efficiently navigate its often massive stores. For example, if a user’s GPS and location services are turned on, the app will detect what store the customer is in and provide a special store specific menu that helps them find items.

Solve a real and timely problem with a solution that’s convenient, effective and supports your business objectives. That’s the goal of your app and the basis for your strategy.

Keep Learning

In the next lesson, we'll look at the basics of user demographics, including psychographics and building personas.

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