Overcoming the Tension of Brand vs Performance

Lee Spungin

There is what seems to be an inherent tension between Brand, and Performance. At Moburst, we see this all the time, especially when it comes to the limited yet powerful opportunities available to organizations to win over users.

Two specific areas that carry an enormous amount of persuasive influence are the app title, or app name, and the app screenshots and video.

Using The App Title

The app title, or app name, is generally what will first appeal to the user. Deciding between a Branding title, or a Performance-based one, is a critical decision.

Take Amazon and eBay for example. Each of these took a different approach to their app title. Amazon went with a Branding-based app title: “Amazon – Shopping made easy”. Note that the brand leads the description. eBay went with a Performance-based title, “Shop, Sell & Save with eBay”. The focus here is on the performance element.

Overcoming the Tension of Brand vs Performance

The question is, which one of these will be more effective? On the one hand, performance-based titles can lead to more downloads, as people will be searching for apps that accomplish specific goals (“shop”, or “save”). A Brand-led title however conveys a sense of confidence in the brand and the product, and is more subtle and cleaner.

eBay knows that they will be ranked for “eBay” no matter what they do, as this is of course their company name. They also know that the last keywords in the title will get the least amount of ASO points. Therefore, they chose to use their brand as their final word (as they are strong enough with this term anyway), and put Performance-oriented words like “Shop” and “Sell” – which are far more competitive keywords – at the beginning of the title so that their impact on organic searches is much more pronounced.

Using The App Screenshots And Video

App screenshots and video raise similar questions. For example, should a video have a call-to-action at the end? Should it open with the company’s logo, taking up the first precious few seconds of the video?

Overcoming the Tension of Brand vs Performance

These decisions have very real-world consequences. If you want to keep the look clean and brand-oriented, and use the logo at the beginning of the video where most people are already making their decision of whether to use the app or not, it will look better but will convert less people.

The same goes for the call-to-action on the last screenshot: if you don’t use it, conversions will drop. If you do, it can look too pushy. The same goes for the marketing messages that are within the screenshots, such as using numbers and slogans like “more than 50m downloads”. These can help the conversion rate as people will trust it more, but it’s not really “on brand” for most companies.

The Solution

These dilemmas are impacting all brands on the App Store and Google Play. Sure, if you want to be brand safe, and fully compliant with your brand book, you can. But it won’t achieve the same results as optimizing for all-out performance.

At Moburst, we use what we call the “Brandformance” approach. It’s a unique way to combine the best of both worlds, getting brands the right look and feel, with just the right twists and touches to ensure the ultimate performance.

Want to learn more? Get in touch!

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