Why Brand Name Recognition Isn’t Worth Much on Mobile

Posted on by Emily Carrion

As marketers, it’s important that we understand the lens through which consumers see brands on mobile. As a relatively new channel, not much is known about how our brand reputations impact how consumers interact with us on mobile, and vice versa. A recent survey of consumers sought to understand how mobile affects brands’ reputations.

Mobile Trends for the 2016 Summer OlympicsThe survey uncovered what brand name recognition is worth on mobile, and how mobile influences brand image outside of the app store. Hint: if mobile isn’t included in your overall brand strategy, you’re damaging your brand.

  1. You Can’t Rely on a Brand Name

A common misconception from big-name brands is that their star rating in the app stores has no effect on their brand image in the eyes of consumers, or their apps’ conversion rate. Their rationale for this misinformed assumption is that the brand recognition somehow grants them immunity. Based on the results Mobile Brand Reputation Management survey, this assumption is a detriment to the health of their entire brand and to the success of their app.

A majority of consumers (55%) said a one-star or two-star app store rating of a well-known brand’s app negatively impacts their view of the brand as a whole. This imposes a challenge for retailers in particular. The shopping journey has changed significantly since mobile burst onto the scene. A study by Facebook IQ and GfK found that 45% of all shopping involves a mobile device, through research, price comparison, or making a purchase. Not surprisingly, that number increases to 57% among Millennials.

The statistics show that companies are not prepared for the current reality of the impact mobile has on their businesses. A survey from Sitecore and Vanson Bourne found that 41% of brands do not have a mobile marketing strategy, even though 97% believe a positive mobile experience impacts customer loyalty. The implications of a bad mobile experience extend beyond customer loyalty. Mobile has become so important to brand image, loyalty, satisfaction and the bottom line. With all of this at stake, brands can no longer afford to ignore mobile’s critical role in maintaining a place in the market. So how do the app stores impact consumers’ perception of brands?

  1. Mobile is an Extension of Your Brand

When people don’t have an outlet to provide their feedback in mobile apps, they’ll head to the app store, or social media. When negative feedback is left in public forums, it has a lasting effect on brands. We found 73% of consumers are likely to leave a review after a negative app experience. Negative customer feedback is extremely useful, but when customers use the app stores to complain about the brand itself rather than their experience with the brand, the feedback is no longer helpful.

Sharing thoughts about a brand is not the intended purpose of app store reviews, but still have an effect on how your brand is received. Content in the app stores connects potential customers with a brand. If people are considering your brand, they’ll be influenced either in a positive way or decide your brand might not be what they’re looking for based on reviews. It’s important to remember that what is in the app store can heavily influence consumers’ perception of your brand as a whole, no matter how widely recognized your brand is.

The moral of the story is this: It is no longer acceptable to leave the mobile channel unattended. An unmanaged mobile brand means the brand in its entirety is unmanaged. Consumer expectations of brands’ mobile experience continue to soar, and show no signs of flagging anytime soon. A lack of investment in your mobile brand is a red flag to consumers that your entire customer experience is lagging. Companies are expected to create multi-channel experiences that are the same across all channels (aka omni-channel), and mobile is quickly becoming the centerpiece. Choosing not to actively manage your brand on mobile is a decision that will damage your entire brand in the long run.

Emily Carrion is head of marketing at mobile customer engagement software firm Apptentive @Emily_Carrion

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