Turn Your Mobile App into a Brand: Strategies, Tips, Examples

With millions of applications in both the Apple and Google Play app stores, it can be really difficult for your app to stand out from the crowd. And, the numbers are only growing, which means that having a high-quality app won’t necessarily be enough to get noticed.


That’s where your brand comes in.


Creating a strong brand will help your audience remember you over competitors because it gives your app human traits, values, and attributes. If you brand your app the “right” way, you get to control the associations - and conversation - that your users have whenever they see or talk about your app.


Let’s take a look at some ways to turn your mobile app into a brand that gets noticed.


Start by Asking the Big Questions

There are a set of questions that any new business owner, product designer or service provider should ask themselves before creating a brand, and app owners like you are no different.


In order to know what your brand is all about, here’s what you need to answer:


  • Who is going to use your app, and why?
  • What’s unique about your app that competitors don’t have?
  • Which emotions or experiences do you want your users to have when thinking about your app?


Once you have these figured out, you’ll be able to tweak the design of your app so that it’s consistent with the message you want to send to your audience.

Building a Brand Image

Once you know who your app is for and what message you want it to convey to your users, it’s time to put a face to your brand - i.e. create a brand image. Here’s what you need to know: 


Logo and app icon

Your logo is a key element of your brand, especially because it’ll help users identify your app in the App Store. That’s why it’s important to get this right!


There are many different types of logos, but the main ones you need to know about for app design are wordmarks (logos that are made up of just words), pictorial marks (logos that are made up of just a symbol), and combination marks (which, as it sounds, are a combination of words and symbols).


In general, the best logotype for app creators is one that is icon-based. Your app icon will be used to identify your app on a number of different platforms, and it’s usually meant to feature your logo. Because app icons tend to be small, it’s important to have a design that looks good regardless of when it’s scaled down (i.e. not too detailed or complex).


There are many ways to design a logo for your app, depending on your budget and time constraints there are different options:




The look and feel of your app is initially what will draw users to it, so it’s important to have them in mind when designing.


In addition to your logo and app icon, you’ll need to think about all of the visual elements that accompany your app and make sure that they complement one another. This includes anything your audience will see once they open the app, like images, characters, custom illustrations, splash screens, etc.

Take the game League of Legends, a multiplayer arena game in which characters frequently go to battle. While battles are full of different colors, every color uses a bright shade, and scenes are consistently accompanied by a dark background in order to emphasize competitiveness and intensity.


As you’re choosing your imagery, color palette, and character designs for your app (if relevant), remember to think about creating visuals that your users will be drawn to and connect with.



Ideally, you’ve already picked out a great name for your app that you know will resonate with your audience. But just in case, here are a few things to think about when choosing a name:


  • Is the name available in the AppStore? If not, you’ll either have to come up with a name from scratch, or look for name variations that your brand can claim as its own.

  • Is the matching domain name available? You may still need to have a landing page for the app if you want to treat it as an independent product, so it’s important to grab a domain name that matches your app name.

  • Does the name match your style? The last thing you need is an exercise app called Power Hour with images of people lounging around on the couch. Make sure your app name is consistent with the design, in order to help create a congruent brand for your audience.


Next, a tagline - or slogan - may come in handy, as it can say something about your app’s core benefits in a catchy way. While the slogan may not appear directly on the app itself (after all, there isn’t much room for copy,) You’ll be able to use it in places you want to promote your app - like social media, promo networks, ads, reviews etc. - in order to reinforce your core message to your audience. 


Loading Speed

What does this have to do with branding? you might be asking. Well, having a good user experience is key to keeping users around, while one of the worst things to do for any brand is have a product that frustrates your users. And, slow load speed is the opposite of good user experience; in fact, it’s one of the biggest reasons that people quickly leave an app and hit that uninstall button.


Not only will it turn users off, but it will also hurt your brands reputation in the long run. So, before you go to market, make sure you have any loading kinks (or other UX disruptions) ironed out.


Time to Turn Your Mobile App into a Brand

Ready to get your app out there? Remember to always have your users in mind, from the app concept itself to its design and copy. Having a strong message at the forefront of your brand that your users relate to, in addition to putting out an app that works well, will help you build a loyal following among your users that ultimately gets them to keep coming back.