4 Ways You Can Use an App to Build Your Fashion or Beauty Brand

If you’re like us, you probably cannot live without your smart phone. People are spending more time than ever in the mobile space, which presents new challenges and opportunities for marketers. Why not allow consumers to spend their time effectively by interacting with your brand while on their devices?

The app market has exploded in the past year, and MSLK has capitalized on this trend with our release of OTO, a fun photo-app. An app, like print, packaging, or the web, is simply another piece in the brand puzzle that can serve needs not previously met by any of these more traditional media.

A New Consumer Landscape
With the advent of the internet, consumers were introduced to the idea of browsing this vast thing we call the world wide web for products and information. Now, with the ubiquity of smart devices, consumers are browsing less and getting more with minimal effort. Apps offer quick and easy ways to accomplish almost anything you can imagine. They can be fun and entertaining, informational, or even completely nonsensical.

What Works, What Doesn’t
We have found that simplicity is key and the best apps do one thing well. It’s all about instant gratification with no instructions or complex interactions! Unlike the web, there is less screen room for drop-down menus, side bars etc. There should only be a few buttons and simple ways that users can undo an action or return to a previous screen, an often overlooked principle of interaction design. Design should take a back seat to functionality.

Making Apps Work Your Way
How can apps be integrated into your marketing plan? The fashion and beauty industry has certainly jumped on the bandwagon as we have seen numerous apps that do at least one of the following:

1. Aid with or provide a unique shopping experience
2. Give company updates or exclusive offers
3. Offer a fun game
4. Enforce a strong sense of community

Perhaps the last item is the most important. Consumers who have your app should feel special because they are getting a unique brand experience unlike any other. They are gaining insight into company events, products, offers and tools that make it easy to shop and play. Below is a tour of five fashion & beauty apps that we feel are doing these things really well.

GAP’s Style Mixer
This app does a lot, but is still intuitive and represents the perfect combination of the playful and practical. Users can get inspiration from fashion mavens, add items to wish lists, shop and find stores, and create outfits from any combination of items that people in the Style Mixer community can comment on.

Urban Outfitters
This app is in many ways very similar to the Gap app as it is a great shopping aid. You can shop, find stores nearest to you, and get access to special events and in-store promotions and offers.

Redken Stylizer
Our friends at Redken have a produced a wonderfully sleek, practical app that focuses on their haircare products. Users get tips and guides on how to get the most out of Redken products as well as exclusive offers and a salon locator.

Love it or Lose it
Ever try something on and need an opinion, but nobody is there to help you? With this app, you can take photos of your outfits and share it with your friends and the Love it or Lose it community. Get push notifications once someone has commented on your post or if someone asks you to comment.

I-Stylist Makeover
This app is the ultimate beauty game, and while fun and silly, it is expertly executed. Take photos and try out the latest celebrity looks using hundreds of different hairstyles and accessories.

//Ryan Nussbaum