How important is it to have your mobile app's design/branding right --- right from the get-go?

some followup thoughts/questions for a call: I know that design imbues trust with users. But I've heard about some software/app designers who just put out an ugly version first and iterate from there. What are your thoughts about that? How important is it to get the design right in the first iteration. In a more general sense with any type of business, how important is it to have the design/branding right from the get-go?


If you're talking about an app-store launch, then it's important to have the core mechanics of the product (from a user interaction perspective) figured out such that the majority of your users are doing the things you want them to do in order to drive continual engagement with the app.

Design polish can come later and often slows down whomever is implementing the development of the app.

I don't think anything should ever be "ugly" but lacking polish is often the right way to go to get speed to market. That said, to be sure of the core interactions, you want to do as much testing and observing real users use your app prior to launch.

Happy to talk through any of this in a call with you.

Answered 7 years ago


I'm the Principal at Verbal+Visual, a digital product studio in NYC (

This is a fair question. From our experience, both in creating apps and using apps, I can tell you that your app, and your business, will fair much better if the branding, user experience and user interface are top notch. If something is designed well, is easy to use, and gives the end user trust, they will be much more likely to use it. Think about any app you see that is professionally designed versus one that is not professionally designed. No matter how great the actual app is, you're less likely to use it if it doesn't look the part. Our data on the apps we've worked with Penguin and Kidney Cancer Association confirms this partially, but data from a startup app we did wholeheartedly endorses getting the design and branding done right the first time around.

Please let me know if you'd like to schedule a call for any follow up questions.



Answered 7 years ago

You can tweak certain aspects of your brand as it (and the business behind it) evolves -- and, frankly, as your budget grows.

By far the hardest part of branding to alter later on, though, is the brand name itself. Be sure you get that right before you launch -- or ASAP thereafter.

Answered 7 years ago

Before I answer this question, there is a hidden question that must be answered first before answering the main question. The hidden question is Why Brands Are More Important than Products? Everyone knows what a brand is, right? It is a logo and some colours. Maybe a fancy typeface too. Not something you need to really worry about because your product is so awesome?
Well, no – your brand is much, much more than just your logo. I like Seth Godin’s definition: “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
In other words, it is the space that a company sits in someone’s head. It is what they think of when they hear the name or see a logo. It is affected by past experiences with the company, the design of the website, what a product feels like to touch and a million other things. Any contact with an organisation affects how customers view its brand, either changing their opinion or reinforcing it.
After the Second World War many new products became available in the most advanced countries, from the most essential appliances in a home, such as washing machines and refrigerators, to ready-made soups and aerosol cleaners. For the first time the middle class had access to those products that would have a lasting impact on their quality of life.
Moving from a washboard to an automatic washing machine or from the blocks of ice in the icebox to a refrigerator now became the desire of homemakers the world over. Consumers had to have these new household devices, at any price. No matter the brand, the important thing was the product itself and its incredible features. These new products are sold singly. It was enough to inform consumers about a product’s existence and its mode of use to achieve good distribution and a competitive price. Demand exceeds supply, and it is not necessary for companies to establish customers; it is just about accumulating buyers.
But within a few years’ things start to change. With the extraordinary economic development of the 1960s, a powerful consumer society emerges. Demand continues to grow, but supply is still growing. It is now easier to manufacture than to sell, and as the market tightens, it is no longer sufficient to report on the product’s existence; it is necessary to differentiate oneself from competition through advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations and any other available means of communication. As a result of this situation, brand began to play a relevant role, but the development of the brand had only just begun.
Over the years, technology products have become more and more like consumer products. It is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between a product and its competition, and emotion is gradually gaining ground in advertising messages, obscuring the concrete attributes of products. In a very short time, both technological advances and physical differences are being swept away by competition, making it impossible to base communication on the marginal advantage that would have once made a product unique and distinct from others in its category. The products themselves are no longer attractive per se and must take refuge in the perceived values of the brands that shelter them. Beginning in the late 1970s the consumer, who up to that point had not been accorded much value in the marketing process for products, began to play a relevant role. Because it is no longer enough to have good distribution, reasonable quality, and a competitive price to sell a product. Now the consumer must also be seduced by the brand, and that requires new strategies in which empathy and emotionality are basic factors.
The course of brand experience is much more complex than that of the old brand image; it can be described basically in four levels of relationship with the customer:
1. Pre-Purchase: All the activities that the brand carries out via offline and online media prior to the purchase of the product or service, aimed at informing the audience about the characteristics and qualities of the brand.
2. Point of Purchase: It is no longer enough at the point of sale to have simple stocks of products according to classic merchandising models. Now stores must be a place where the brand uses sensory and cognitive seduction weapons to create empathy with the client’s lifestyle. This so-called neuro-marketing plays a decisive role in this process, in which everything is calculated to create impact in the depths of the client’s private experience. This includes spaces where music, smell, light, and ambiance meld to create a climactic effect conducive to the interests of the brand.
3. After-Sales Service: This is one of the tools that most brands tend to neglect but which is a key part of the brand experience. Keeping in touch with the customer once the sale is made is essential to building loyalty. Be attentive to possible complaints and to queries of any kind, as well as to demonstrations of affection for the brand, which must also be answered with gratitude. However, it is not just about addressing complaints or acknowledging compliments. The most important part of post-sales service is to maintain active contact with the customer, using all the information from the overarching data to strengthen the perception of the brand, reinforce its reputation and ultimately promote new sales.
4. The Theatre of the Brand: These experiences of relationship are very different in each case but can be applied to all kinds of brands, small or large, known or (as yet) unknown. They can also be extremely costly or, on the contrary, extremely simple. Let us take Formula One as a high-profile case, a theater of highly complex brands, because it requires a glamorous setting, established actors and worldwide media outreach.

The “performance” always takes place in an alluring, prestigious place, from Monza, in the environs of Milan, one of the racing world’s oldest and most venerated racetracks, to the ultramodern course in Abu Dhabi, in the middle of the island of Yas, just steps away from Ferrari World, a spectacular amusement park centered around the legendary automobile brand. Or the Monte Carlo circuit, which runs through the streets of the city of Monaco, weaving around such legendary locales as the Hôtel de Paris and the Casino de la Cité.
The stages are always grandiose, with a VIP public of artists, celebrities and millionaires milling around the cars before the start of the race. Suddenly, the engines roar. Beautiful spokesmodels hold up signs indicating the position of the cars. The race starts, and the cars accelerate to speeds of more than 300 kilometers per hour. When they make a pit stop, in a breathtaking feat of technical precision, the brand’s mechanics change all four tires and fill the fuel tank in less than 6 seconds. The frenetic pace of the race is maintained until the very end and culminates in the podium presentation of the winners, who celebrate their success while listening to the respective national anthems by opening giant bottles of champagne and pouring them on the teams of engineers and fans.
Undoubtedly, a spectacle like this, which is televised around the world, is a luxurious brand experience that conveys myriad emotions to past, current and future customers of all the participating brands. Even if you only own a modest Mercedes utility vehicle, you will feel like part of the high technological level of the brand and the glamorous lifestyle that is lived on the circuit. And that emotional flow is also transmitted to brands outside the world of the engine such as Red Bull and Martini, who also sponsor some teams.
It is important is it to have your mobile app's design/branding right --- right from the get-go because:
1. Branding Gets Recognition: The most important reason branding is important to a business is because it is how a company gets recognition and becomes known to the consumers. The logo is the most important element of branding, especially where this factor is concerned, as it is essentially the face of the company. Therefore, a professional logo design should be powerful and easily memorable, making an impression on a person at first glance. Printed promotional products are a way of getting this across.
2. Branding Increases Business Value: Branding is important when trying to generate future business, and a strongly established brand can increase a business’ value by giving the company more leverage in the industry. This makes it a more appealing investment opportunity because of its firmly established place in the marketplace.
3. Branding Generates New Customers: A good brand will have no trouble drumming up referral business. Strong branding generally means there is a positive impression of the company amongst consumers, and they are likely to do business with you because of the familiarity and assumed dependability of using a name they can trust. Once a brand has been well-established, word of mouth will be the company’s best and most effective advertising technique.
4. Improves Employee Pride And Satisfaction: When an employee works for a strongly branded company and truly stands behind the brand, they will be more satisfied with their job and have a higher degree of pride in the work that they do. Working for a brand that is reputable and help in high regard amongst the public makes working for that company more enjoyable and fulfilling. Having a branded office, which can often help employees feel more satisfied and have a sense of belonging to the company, can be achieved through using promotional merchandise for your desktop.
5. Creates Trust Within the Marketplace: A professional appearance and well-strategized branding will help the company build trust with consumers, potential clients and customers. People are more likely to do business with a company that has a polished and professional portrayal. Being properly branded gives the impression of being industry experts and makes the public feel as though they can trust your company, the products, and services it offers and the way it handles its business.
6. Branding Supports Advertising: Advertising is another component to branding, and advertising strategies will directly reflect the brand and its desired portrayal. Advertising techniques such as the use of promotional products from trusted companies such as Outstanding Branding make it easy to create a cohesive and appealing advertising strategy that plays well into your branding goals.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 7 months ago

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