Getting Frisky with Tablet Apps

To continue a little bit with my topic from last time about how part of successful marketing is daring to be different, I wanted to tell you about an iPad app for cats that I came across recently.

Yes. I said an iPad app for cats.

Some people may think it sounds fishy (tuna delight, perhaps?), but from a marketing perspective, I think it’s a cool idea. Who would ever expect to see an iPad app that’s made for cats?  Nobody, that’s who. So, while all the other cat food companies were cranking out the same old gimmicky stuff they’ve been making since forever, Friskies thought outside the litter box and came up with an app that entertains cats by displaying fast-moving objects on the iPad screen. The app takes advantage of the touch screen—as the cats bat at objects, the objects move frantically across the screen. Not only is this entertaining for the cat, but it’s a hoot to watch them go bonkers!

What I love about this app and the reason why I wanted to talk about it today is that it reaches far beyond the obvious market—iPad owning cat lovers. The news of this seemingly absurd app is all over the Internet! Friskies is standing out in a sea of similarity and that’s exactly what you want to do if you’re thinking about creating a tablet app. If you’re gonna go, go BIG and dare to be different!

But…should you be thinking about making a tablet app for your business?

The answer to this question is: “it depends.” 

When thinking about developing a tablet app for your business, you have to ask yourself a few questions. Is your product or service one where having a tablet app makes sense? 

Are your customers likely to have tablets and use them regularly enough so that your app helps either drive business to your company, make their lives easier, or provides entertainment in some way?

If the answer is “yes” to any of those questions, then read on. Even if it’s not, you should probably keep reading anyway because I wrote this for you.

Most companies contemplating creating a tablet app already have a smartphone app. If you’ve already got a smartphone app, you could have a tablet app too, since the leap from one platform to the other is relatively small. You could even pimp it out a little bit and add extra features and options. It’s also becoming standard for apps to be written so they’re compatible with both smartphones and tablets, at least within a given OS (ie Android, iOS). The portable device market software automatically recognizes the device you’re using and adjusts the available packages accordingly.

However, what people do with tablets is not the same as what they do with their smartphones, so assuming that the two are identical is a little misguided. People engage with content in different ways depending on what they’re using. For example, a person looking for a nearby magic shop while they’re out on the road probably won’t whip out an iPad to do that. They’ll use a smartphone, mostly because tablets are less portable than phones. A tablet is for less immediate utilitarian purposes.

Just think of all the advertisements for tablets that you see on television: they’re marketed as devices you use while staying in once place (your couch, your chair, etc) as opposed to on the go. Lots of folks use them to read newspapers and books. Other people use them for business because they’re great for taking notes, organizing stuff and pulling up files. Their convenience is in their larger screens. Conversely, smartphones are for people on the go, and for the most part, that’s when they’re used.  Their convenience is in their portability and small size.

So, if your customers are the type to use a tablet, go for it with an app! The really great news here is that you can be pretty fun and creative with your tablet app. Set yourself apart from your competition and don’t be afraid to be a little frisky…after all, you want your app to be the cat’s meow!