Debbie Laskey, MBA

Take a look at anyone’s smartphone or tablet and you’re bound to swipe through screen after screen of applications, or more commonly known as apps. Some apps are pre-programmed into the device, such as, calendar, maps, and stocks. And, of course, there are also apps for contacts, a camera, and social networks. But others are chosen by the device owner. Many marketers are curious as to why you chose the apps on your device, but more importantly for all marketers, what do popular and successful apps teach us about brand equity and branding? Here are some branding tips from my five favorite apps.


This app is useful because it allows the user to provide the URLs for countless blogs, and then each day, new posts for each blog are available for reading in one easy space. No more searching for each blog’s URL separately. No more searching through Twitter for each blog’s latest post. This is a one-stop app if you enjoy reading blog posts and follow more than a few bloggers.


How does your brand communicate your content? How often do you communicate with your audiences? Does your brand have a blog?


This app is memorable because it provides a daily piece of art with information about the specific piece of art, its artist, the time it was created, and where it is housed. The art spans all genres and time periods. Users are just as likely to see a piece of art by Jackson Pollack as a sculpture from the Acropolis. If you cannot visit a museum or gallery on a regular basis, you can get your art fix on your mobile device with this app.


Does your brand think of your customers and prospects as art lovers? This app reminds all marketers to create high quality images while simultaneously taking us on a daily museum visit without standing in line or having to deal with public transportation or parking. When you show visual content (photos and videos) to your audiences, how much time do you spend on making sure that the visual content is high quality?


This app is widely used and enjoyed by men and women, adults and children, and all ethnicities, and as a result, Instagram stands out in social media. It offers the opportunity to share photos and videos to tell both personal and brand stories – and it is incredibly easy to use.

Instagram changed its logo earlier in 2016. While some users expressed their disappointment with the logo change, the logo change did nothing to damage the integrity of the brand or users’ brand experience. The company spokespeople shared comments that explained their reasoning in changing the logo, and users seemed to accept the explanations. If your brand changed your logo, would your audiences accept it?


This app offers Instagram users an option to customize the backgrounds of their posts before adding words. Wordswag has a variety of backgrounds including nature, shapes, and colors. It also offers a search function so users can search for words such as people, fruit, sports, and many, many more. Users can also access their camera roll to create customized backgrounds.


While there are countless apps to enrich a user’s enjoyment of Instagram, Wordswag offers both an easy-to-use and wide-ranging experience. With that in mind, how does your brand go one step beyond the competition and improve the customer experience?


This app is just one of many weather apps that provide users with the capability to customize their view of the weather with cats and dogs. Users can choose their own themes, such as Halloween Cats, Yoga Cats, Holiday Kitties – and users can also add their own cat photos. There’s even an option to customize the app with a famous cat that’s taken over social media, Grumpy Cat. This cat could easily have been a replacement for one of Disney’s Seven Dwarfs, Grumpy.


While users may like your brand and have a strong connection with your brand, do you offer the option to customize your product or service? Users may like your brand more if you do.

There you have it, five branding tips from five apps I check every day. What are your fave apps, and what branding tips do they offer? Please chime in.