How to Build a Brand for Your Mobile App: Strategies, Tips and Examples

Do you want to build a brand for your mobile app? Here’s how to make your app stand out from the crowd with effective mobile app branding.

Why Do You Need to Build a Brand for Your Mobile App?

There are countless mobile apps around, which can make it difficult for newcomers to reach and continue to cultivate audiences. There is simply a lot of competition, which can make raising brand awareness a challenge.

According to Statista, as of March 2017, there were 3.8 million apps available at Google Play Market and 2 million apps available at Apple’s App Store. And there are even more now. Mobile apps not only need to be of high quality but strongly branded to compete.

SEE ALSO: 7 Proven Ways to Build Brand Awareness

What is Mobile App Branding?

However, with the amount of time users spend on apps, there is still room for innovation. Over half of all web traffic was mobile, overtaking desktop for the first time in 2018. And people spend 89% of their mobile media time on apps. People want to use and interact with apps, and mobile app branding strategies can help ensure that it’s your app they choose.

Branding is generally defined as a combination of marketing and psychological strategies that promote an entity. These can include a product, service, or persona. A brand is an image with distinguishable features that promote something sellable. It is how people interact with that image and how they think and feel about it.

Therefore, mobile app branding is concerned with how users will think and feel about the app as they interact with its visual image, reputation, and communication.

Know the Answers to These Questions

In a lot of ways, building a brand for a mobile app is the same as building a brand for anything else. However, there are certain ways where it is very different. Before you get started building a brand for your mobile app, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who is going to use your app and why?
  • What is your unique selling point?
  • What does the look of your app say about it?
  • Which feelings does your app evoke?
  • What is the tone of your app?
  • How will users get information about your app?

For all of this to be cohesive, including your branding, you will need to have these questions answered before design and development start.

One example of this is the app Cuteen. It is targeted toward teenage girls, which influenced its name, look, and interaction patterns.

mobile app

Strategies for Mobile App Brand Building

Once you know who your target audience is, what solutions it offers, and what message it conveys, you are ready to start building a brand image. Here are some elements and helpful tips to consider. Regardless of budget, keeping these things in mind will help you cultivate the brand you want.

SEE ALSO: How to Build a Digital Brand with No Money

Your Logo and App Icon

One of the most important elements of mobile app branding is the visual symbol which will become synonymous with it: or logo. There are different ways to approach this.

  • Symbol: a symbolic image associated with a brand
  • Logotype: Creative lettering that shows the full name of the brand
  • Lettermark: The first letter of the brand presented creatively
  • Combination mark: A combination of two types of logos
  • Emblem: A wordmark or Lettermark in a symbolic image

You are not limited to this, however. You can also incorporate a mascot or combination of colors. For example, the splash screen for the alarm app Toonie involves both a logo wordmark and app mascot.

mobile app branding

Use Keywords To Your Advantage

You can help keep your branding consistent by using a set of keywords for it. These can be organized into keyword groups depending on their role.

You can group keywords into descriptor keywords: which identify and describe your brand, brand keywords: which present the set of words that people will use to find your app, and brand-plus keywords: which are combinations of the brand name with qualifying words or phrases.

Discovering Your Name and Style

You will have to consider the name, slogan, and overall style of your company. While it would be best to have all of these things settled on before actual design and development, it can be a challenge to find a unique name. Aside from picking a name which is consistent with your brand, enticing, and easy to remember, you will have to consider:

  • If it’s available in the AppStore and PlayMarket
  • A domain name and landing page for your app
  • If the name you want is already present on the internet in other markets

While your name guiding all of the design and branding of the app from the start is ideal, it is not always exactly the order that things unfold in. However, if you find that during the process of creating that a name change is necessary, extra work will need to be done.

Creating Your Slogan and Style

A snappy slogan is a must. An effective slogan communicates the message about the main benefits of the app to the user. Just because there may not be much room for extra copy in your app, does not mean that you will not need a slogan. Your marketing content will definitely benefit from a slogan, even if it’s not in the app itself.

Aside from this, you should put thought into the copywriting style of the app. This copy will set the tone and voice of your whole app and branding. It will also define the relationship users have with it.

For example, whether your tone is more formal or casual will decide whether users feel more like they are interacting with a friend, mentor, or someone else. Make sure that the voice and content of your brand are relatively consistent across channels.

SEE ALSO: How to Use Content Marketing to Build Your Digital Brand


The average US smartphone user looks at their phone 47 times a day, according to a study by Deloitte. That’s 47 daily chances to capture their attention, and eye-catching graphics can help.

Whether your app offers something basic or something wholly new, it is important that is has an original and engaging feel. This can be accomplished with graphics including:

  • logos
  • mascots
  • custom illustrations
  • branded interactive elements
  • photos

For example, the language learning app Duolingo makes use of an eye-catching bright green owl mascot, Duo. Duo can appear in different outfits and is the symbol of the brand. He often offers words of encouragement to users and acts emotionally invested in their language learning journey.

mobile app

Offer Help and Support

You can draw people in with an incredible mobile app strategy including video and visual content, social media marketing, flawless influencer campaigns, gamification, a personalized onboarding experience, and consistent copy that pops, but the bells and whistles will only keep people interested so long if the actual experience of using your app is confusing.

If people can’t get help if they need it, they will likely just stop using your app. Make sure users have an ideal experience by ensuring that there is responsive support in place in case they need help. The more complex your mobile product, the more necessary this is.

SEE ALSO: How To Use Influencers To Build Your Digital Brand

The Secret to Mobile App Branding

Ultimately, an incredible app will likely go undiscovered if it is not promoted with clever marketing and careful branding. However, if your mobile app is lackluster, but your branding excellent, you may manage to draw people in. However, if the app is hard or unpleasant to use, those people you draw in will likely not stick around. A balance of both is key to building a brand and delivering effective content marketing for your mobile app.

SEE ALSO: How the Rise of Direct-to-Consumer Brands Has Changed Content Marketing

What entices you most to download and, most importantly, to continue to use mobile apps? Comment below…

Written by
Juntae DeLane