Five ways to make your mobile app a success

For every Angry Birds, Instagram, Square or Flipboard, there are countless apps that sink without trace. Matthew Rowe, co-founder of luxury lifestyle app collection, iVIP, shares his top tips for building a killer app.

by Matthew Rowe
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

A handful of apps are making hundreds of thousands of pounds, and hundreds of thousands of apps are making only a handful. Here's what the first group are doing right:

1. Meet a real consumer need or exploit a gap in the market

Does your app improve on an existing app? If so, how? Or is it a ‘new’ app designed to meet a need or fill a gap in the market? Just having a good idea isn’t enough, there needs to be a compelling reason to bring it to market and strong, empirical logic as to why it will succeed.

2. Your target market or audience must be thoroughly researched

If you're creating an app to fulfil a specific purpose you need to research its potential users properly. Will they change their behaviour to go mobile? And if so, can you monetise it? If you’re looking to steal an existing user-base or supplant an existing success, why would your target users move platform?

3. Your app must be unique, and there must be a reason to download it over another

Over one million apps have been approved by Apple and you need to be sure that yours has a real raison d’être, a hook, otherwise it will just be lost in the ether. You must be able to describe what makes yours different.

4. It needs to be fluid, user-friendly and well designed

The best apps and most successful apps (in the most part) look beautiful. Yours must too. In the app world, many judge a book by its cover. Also, Apple only features the best looking; that’s the holy grail for developers and you need to maximise your chances.

5. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, your app must be marketed well

However good your app is you can’t just sit back and wait for it to take off. You need a full, integrated marketing plan for it to be successful.

Matthew Rowe is the commercial director of luxury lifestyle app IVIP.

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