Deloitte Identifies the Killer App

If you are thinking of developing a mobile app, particularly one associated with a brand name, then you’ll want to read Deloitte’s latest research into killer apps. In less than a dozen pages, it has some great data, mini-case studies and plenty to think about.

Here are a few of the nuggets:

  • 45% of smartphone owners download an app at least once per week.
  • but less than 1% of the apps associated with a “brand” have been downloaded a million times (which seems to be the metric for success in the app world).

If you want your app to succeed, there are two broad areas that do well – “time killers” and “utilities”. Games are good examples of time killers but Audi and Volkswagen’s driving games are some of the few that have done well. In the utility space, Kraft’s iFood Assistant has also been a hit.

Looking at apps that do well and are successful, these typically employ five functions to engage the user – portability, the accelerometer, sophisticated touch screen use, location-based services (GPS) and the camera. Using these are no guarantees of success but they certainly help.

Of course, it helps if you know your user. Deloitte has broken down iPhone ownership by employment type revealing three big groups:

  • 25.2% – Professional and higher technical work
  • 22.6% – Manager and senior administrator
  • 19.3% – Clerical

In the end, Deloitte reckons that there are four ingredients for branded app success.

  1. Offer useful functionality
  2. Know how to manipulate app store ratings
  3. Target the platforms used by the brand customers
  4. Use additional smartphone functionality

The full report can be downloaded from Killer Apps – The Promises and Pitfalls of a Smarter World.