Who hasn’t seen how many apps are available to download lately? Your design goes up against others in your industry, plus every single app out there. An app’s look and feel do more than represent who your brand is. It can determine how consumers perceive your product, thus influencing your brand’s growth.
Take, for instance, apps with less than user-friendly designs. Chances are, people won’t use them for long. The product’s image will suffer, sales will slump, and the company’s traction will stall. But an app with features that pull people in can have the opposite effect. Let’s look at four ways product design can impact brand growth.
1. It Shapes Brand Positioning
One of the challenges with selling commodities is that there’s low differentiation. One company’s offer isn’t much different than a competitor’s. From a consumer’s perspective, they’re getting the same thing regardless of who they buy from. So they’ll usually reach for the offering with the lowest price.
As market competitiveness increases, it’s not unusual for products to become like commodities in people’s eyes. Product designs, including those for apps, can differentiate brands based on user experiences and perceptions of quality. For example, the Uber design system elevates Uber Eats’ app and food delivery service experiences over its competitors’. Universal templates and intuitive order flows help accomplish this.
In the same way, Target’s app leverages the brand’s red color and bullseye logo. There’s no question you’re shopping with the discount retailer known for providing a higher-quality experience than its main competitor. Good app design helps extend brand positioning to consumers’ mobile interactions. Whether a company’s identity is neighborhood service, superior value, or an elevated experience, an app’s design communicates what it is.
2. It Engages Consumers
Brand engagement consists of consumers’ emotional and mental connection with a company’s offerings. Businesses with high customer engagement tend to have loyal fan followings, eager to try the latest product release. Apple is a prime example. The company’s simple yet visually attractive designs play a significant role in driving community engagement.
This concept isn’t lost on the apps the tech giant creates. Not only are the products easy to use, but they’re also good at getting people talking. With product design, the brand executes what McKinsey & Company calls the community flywheel. This flywheel is about knowing your brand’s community, creating a buzzworthy story, and making the narrative sharable. Simultaneously, it’s about highlighting powerful products and facilitating seamless sales.
App designs that focus on your users stand a better chance of engaging them. If your target community doesn’t understand how to navigate your software, you should find out why. What features and menus would make more sense to them? More importantly, does the app design support your market’s needs and drive brand enthusiasm? Make interactions simple, whether they’re motivated by a need for support or community connection.
3. It Encourages Sales
Say you pull up an app for one of your go-to stores. The software takes over 10 seconds to load, and you can’t see the pictures well. They look slightly blurry, plus there’s no way to get a 360-degree virtual view of each product. In addition, the prices don’t add up when you put items in your cart, and you can’t edit your selections.
Are you likely to go through with the sale? Probably not. When apps don’t perform as expected, it can annoy consumers. Design problems, including poor organization and non-functioning features, can contribute to user frustration. Consumers will turn elsewhere if buying is too difficult.
People flocking toward competitors because of undesirable experiences can spell trouble for a brand. Companies avoid this by recognizing an app’s design is often a substitute for an in-store experience. It may be the only means of interaction someone has with a brand. Clear and secure checkout processes ensure users feel comfortable making mobile purchases. Instant follow-ups, such as order confirmations, also encourage repeat business by meeting service expectations.
4. It Boosts Credibility
A shoddy design can hurt your brand’s credibility because it lowers trust. If an app’s layout doesn’t meet your target market’s needs, those consumers won’t think you’re willing to listen. It’s like putting out an employee engagement survey but failing to take any visible action. Eventually, your staff will lose faith in your intentions, and commitment to the organization will drop.
In contrast, an attractive, updated look will build trust by showing your brand is attentive to current market demands and trends. Additional signs of trustworthiness can include personalized recommendations, loyalty program integrations, and account security features. If someone wants to use biometrics to secure the information they store in the app, they can. Another person who prefers not to store sensitive data like credit cards could bypass the option.
App designs must make users feel seen and heard. Without trust, brand growth is hard because consumers perceive too much risk is at stake. Apps with questionable and outdated designs can make people wonder about a company’s competency. Everything from product quality to behind-the-scenes ethics might be up for debate. And once people form an unfavorable perception of a brand’s reputation, it can take years to fix.
Why Product Design Determines Brand Growth
A product’s design shapes what people experience when they interact with a brand. Mobile apps, in particular, can become the consumer’s interface for product delivery, service, and communication. Sales will suffer when app designs diminish a brand’s integrity and make connections challenging. But those that engage users can build the trust and loyalty necessary for growth.