I read a cool post about branded applications over at Interactive Cognition that I wanted to share (they used the example of the Nike+ site, which is awesome). I spend an awful lot of time talking about how important the “brand” can be and how Rich Internet Applications can help companies expand that brand. As an economics major I always feel like kind of a fraud when I do that. “Brand” is some fluffy concept that is difficult to quantify and that doesn’t sit well with my economic/developer brain. But then I look at companies like Apple or Google that have managed to leverage their brand and create a rabid user base dedicated to their products. That’s impressive.
In the consumer space, branded applications are a way to build that kind of trust/loyalty. Rick took the definition of the branded application from Teknision and I think it’s a good definition:
Traditional campaigns focus on entertainment to deliver a message, while Branded Applications provide a valuable service in order to deliver an emotional connection with a brand.
That’s the great thing about branded applications. In many ways they’re a next-gen form of advertising. Instead of bombarding users with noise you’re actually establishing a relationship with them which will mean more sales in the long term and more loyal customers. Branded applications won’t work for everyone. I think you have to have some traction as a company and a brand before embracing branded applications can actually work. Because branded applications depend heavily on rich media and engaging the user they are an ideal fit for RIAs.
The distributed nature of the web makes creating a branded application more difficult. Your users are going to be everywhere and if they really love your brand they will want to take it with them. To me, that’s one of the compelling things about the Adobe Platform. We’re very web centric, so you can use the web to start and create your branded application but then you can take it beyond the web to the desktop (Adobe AIR) or devices (Flash Lite). You get a lot of mileage from your skills which means you can focus on delivering content to your users wherever they are.
[tags]Adobe AIR, Branded Applications, Flash, Adobe Platform, Teknision[/tags]Tweet