It’s fun, it’s useful and when done right it’s entertaining. Who doesn’t like brand utilities? I use them just about daily. I have my Weather Network app, Desjardins banking app., Place d’Orleans on Facebook and Rainbow foods Facebook. We are exposed to these new ways of advertising more and more everyday. Some brands have been more successful then other with developing utilities that attract their consumers and strengthen their company standards. Which is essential the goal of extending your brand past the point of purchase in order to maintain top of mind awareness and solidify customer loyalty.
You can see in the following video about Chevrolet Volts electric car, how they have developed additional features to benefit clients.
Of course Apple has always been the company who embraces the changes of tomorrow . They are constantly evolving into more relevant and appropriate features. When the ipod came out Itunes was the smartest partnership they could have ever predicted. Now that the world is going mobile Apple has done the same. With their mobile itunes apps, pre-loaded onto any of their products. They even have their cloud software that loads any of your music, pictures or movies, onto your home computer from your mobile device. According to recent 2011 Microsoft Tag study they found that over 1 out of 4 billion of the worlds cellphones users are using Smartphones and 3 billion are SMS enabled. They continue on to predict “In 2014, mobile internet usage will overtake desktop internet usage” this is based on the fact that in the last year, more than 50% of web searches were done from mobile devices.
Locally their are many Ottawa brands who have done some strong brand utilities development. Amongst some of my favorite are; the Hot 89.9 mobile app which allow you to listen live, view upcoming events and see current promotions. There is also the Place d’Orleans Facebook page which pushes updates to any of their followers about promotional events and sales. The Metro app, with allows you to get your news via mobile or web. Finally, Ottawa Traffic app which is partnered with Google and gives people access to the Google maps camera’s to see current traffic situations and offers alternative routes.
One of the things I hate most about owning a car is gassing up. It’s long and boring and you have to go inside to pay. It wouldn’t matter which gas company, but I would love to see an app where you just show the pump your phone and its scans a barcode for direct payment. You could re-fill your card via mobile, and not worry about visa theft when paying at the pump. I think it would catch on quick and a lot of people would appreciate the convenience, without the worry of identity theft. Another of the companies that I would love to see extend their brand would be Ikea. I think a great idea would be to have them allow you to upload a picture of your house or the room you want to redecorate, to their website. Then you would be able to see any of their products featured in your home, just drag and drop it from the catalogue into your picture.
All in all I believe that a brand utilities can only strengthen you company image and entice your customers to think of you.