Picture this: You are stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic after picking up your 13-year-old daughter from school. At a complete stop (you could probably walk home faster) your daughter starts dinner negotiations by asking for McDonalds. Having anticipated this conversation you point at traffic, tell her “NO” and then show her the recipe you found at lunch using the Whole Foods Market iPhone app.
You think you’ve won. That is until your daughter agrees traffic stinks and you should head straight home. That grin on her face reminds you of one simple fact: you haven’t had time to shop for groceries. While your daughter makes her point about “settling” for pizza, you get really annoyed when she finishes her point by recommending the Pizza Hut ordering app, because you really look too angry to talk to anyone.
Situations like these are why Apple’s commercials so cleverly point out, “There’s an app for that.” What this provides you is opportunity, the opportunity to create a useful, practical application that builds brand awareness while helping customers.
After one year and 1.5 billion downloaded applications, I’m celebrating Apple’s success by reviewing the pros and cons of three company-sponsored apps: Whole Food Market’s Recipe Finder, Pizza Hut’s order app and MasterCard’s ATM Hunter. Each of these apps is practical, helpful and provides insight for businesses looking to create their own app.
*Heads up – heading links take you into iTunes Store.*
Pros: Find more than 2,000 healthy recipes and then locate your nearest Whole Foods Store with this easy-to-use application. Its search feature lets you sort dishes by ingredients that make it easy to please picky eaters or people on special diets. Quick “favorites” feature lets you easily find recipes you’ve enjoyed.
Cons: Users aren’t able to view multiple recipes or create an easy shopping list, which would make it even easier to shop at Whole Foods.
Rating: Oneup Thumbs-Up! (Locations provide hours of operations and there is great recipe variety.)
Pros: Use your Pizzahut.com account to order pizza from this application. Just like the site, an order confirmation is sent to your e-mail. Save your favorite pizza order for ease of reorder, or find deals in the “virtual fridge.”
Cons: Getting toppings on one side only is difficult and forget about ordering a pizza without cheese. Picky eaters will really dislike this application for that reason alone.
Rating: Oneup Thumbs-Sideways! (Functionality ignores picky eaters, but simple orders are quick and easy.)
Pros: Find ATM locations in the United States and Canada. It’s extremely simple with a nice user interface that allows you to filter results for drive-through and wheelchair accessibility.
Cons: You cannot filter results by bank name and the app is a bit slow.
Rating: Oneup Thumbs-Up! (It won’t help you avoid ATM surcharges, but you will find a bank with an ATM.)