Turn Your App Users into Brand Fanatics: Here’s How
August 23, 2017
The easiest way to promote your app is to have brand fanatics do it for you. Turning static app users into brand fanatics involves psychology, brain power, and hard work, but if done correctly, word of mouth will spread like wildfire.
Apple is known for their dedicated, cult-like following. The company boasts a loyalty rate of 92% and is one of the most valuable brands in the world. While Apple’s continued success can be attributed to beautiful products, the driving force behind their prosperity is brand loyalty. Here’s how the company does it.
As humans, we have a fundamental “need to belong.” We want to form associations, make meaningful connections, and form relationships with other like-minded people because it makes us feel good.
Because of this inherent tendency to categorize ourselves, people can develop group loyalty quickly so long as they strongly associate with the “why” behind the cause.
Apple capitalizes on social identity by communicating in their audience’s language, creating products that can be used universally, and building products that are the first of its kind ー giving innovators and early adopters something to talk about.
Apple capitalizes on these psychological tendencies by keeping their focus on people, not products. According to the company’s messaging, Apple users are different ー in the best way possible. They’re better, smarter, more efficient, and everything PC users aren’t. Take for example the commercial below:
This type of positioning differentiates Apple by separating their customers from “the other guys,” and makes for a winning strategy.
To gain a tribe of loyal brand fanatics, you need to focus on your user ー not your app. While it may be tempting to tell everyone about the amazing technology behind your app, your users only care about what they’re getting once they tap the download button.
Here are the three things you need to do:
Why does your app exist? Your company’s “why” defines a purpose, cause or belief.
Stating your passion behind the “why” throughout your messaging is a way to influence the user’s limbic system, the part of the brain that processes emotions and feelings such as trust, loyalty, behavior, and decision-making.
By tapping into this mindset, you’ll attract, retain, and delight users that share your fundamental belief. And when those users believe in your “why” they become more than a static user; they become an evangelist.
“People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.” ー Simon Sinek, Author “Start With Why”
Providing value means solving a need and solving it well. Keep in mind that value is defined by the end user ー not your team.
Value is the difference between a potential user’s evaluation of the benefits and costs of an app when compared with its competitors. In other words, what will the user receive from your app that they won’t elsewhere, and will it meet their expectations?
Generally speaking, value takes shape in four forms:
Functional Value: What the app does ー it’s the solution an offer provides to the user.
Monetary Value: The function of the price relative to the app’s perceived worth.
Social Value: The extent to which using the app allows the consumer to connect with others.
Psychological Value: The extent to which the app allows consumers to express themselves or feel better.
There are many ways your app/company can provide value, but at a basic level, you should strive to meet and exceed functional value. Meaning, your app should always deliver on its core functionality:
Doing things that don’t scale means doing things yourself. Going hand-in-hand with providing value, this means taking the time out of your schedule to exceed users’ expectations. To do this, you need to have an “over the top” mindset (i.e. Apple makes its packaging just as great as its computers)
Keep in mind, this isn’t scalable. It costs a lot of time but it’s in your best interest to do it anyway. By doing things that don’t scale in your company’s early stages (and beyond), you’ll go beyond users’ expectations, earn their trust, and have them promote your brand for you.
Before Airbnb became the billion-dollar company it is today, the company founders did things that didn’t scale. For instance, back in 2008, co-founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia went to NYC and actually visited their user’s homes to better understand the problems people were having with the service.
They found that the photos listed on the site were low-quality and blurry, so they rented a DSLR camera and went door-to-door to take pictures of apartments themselves.
“We got so close that we got to step into their shoes for a moment and see the world through their eyes, and really see the pain points that they were feeling.” ー Joe Gebbia, co-founder
There are many different ways you can do things that don’t scale, but here are a few proven tactics: