Customers Shopping 'Premium' Outdoor Gear Brands Expect More
Outdoor enthusiasts love their premium gear. And those customers usually pack a smartphone. Sure they visit websites, shop for high end outdoor products online and experience brands ‘on the trail’ when they see others using them. But the most intimate experiences in the marketing world can create the strongest connections. Mobile apps are primed to deliver this. With their speed, focused and highly tailored experiences, mobile apps pack more potency per dollar invested than most trade show booths! From a brand perspective, mobile apps are a top item to consider in your marketing budget.
Will Your Mobile App Be Worth Your Customers Time?
It goes without saying that an app that never gets used is a poor investment. Especially if it never gets used because it’s poorly done. Do your customers have frequent questions about your products? Do they have trouble deciding between one offering and another? Maybe your offerings are vast, across many categories and customers are simply unaware of your full product line. RIO Products needed a way to help it’s customer base have an even better time on the water as a result of having ‘just’ the right gear. Perhaps customers could simply search for keywords on your website or online store, and find what they need based on reviews or extensive research? But that takes ‘a lot’ of time if we’re talking about the options and applications for fly fishing lines. RIO had extensive data built up over the years that they wanted to share with their customers, so they could easily access just the right product they needed. This was a perfect situation for delivering a fast, native iOS and Android application experience to solve challenges for their customers (among the many other benefits). Truly saving them time is perhaps the most valuable thing a brand could give it’s customers.
Should We Make a Mobile App Because Everyone Else is Doing One?
Keeping up with the competition is a common activity in the outdoor products world. But we all know that ‘reacting’ to your competitor is never the strongest position. It’s far better to react to your customers, and far better yet to anticipate their needs. Is everyone else making apps? Not as much as you might think. So many are poorly done. Others simply fall short of being useful. What really matters is that your plan for improving your market position considers your competition, and that you act ahead of that. It can be ‘cheaper’ to follow what #1 is doing in the market and provide a follow up that’s a better solution. But that’s a risky proposition that doesn’t necessarily lead to ‘beating’ them with your app. And often forces choices that you would have made differently, when it comes to features, capabilities and market focus.
So That Settles it Then. Mobile Apps are Key
Doing a mobile app for your outdoor products company truly is a massive opportunity from a brand affinity perspective, a perceived ‘value’ perspective, and from a strategic positioning perspective. And you'd be surprised with how much can be done for so little.