What is a Branded Desktop Application?
Didn’t big brand software companies sell desktop applications all the time? Yes, but it is different this time. Here we are talking of applications from brands like Coca Cola, CNN, ESPN and Southwest Airlines! Yes, you download from their website!
Why not just the website?
Direct marketing outside of the browser has interested the marketers as the web advertising is crowded, complex (need to track user behavior), and well, not everyone goes to their site every day. It would be best to be on the consumer’s desktop all the time, focus on content and user experience of the brand. Serves most of what marketers desire – immediacy, relevance, attention span, permission and repeated brand impressions.
These branded applications are cool. They carry the slickest interface (obviously). They innovate on what exactly is helpful (why would anyone download). Imagine the Branded Desktop Application, which knows where you are going, provides real-time flight update, destination Weather, itinerary planner and seat-picker. OTOlabs has a platform for building such apps. Southwest Airlines has stimulated more ticket sales from a small desktop application called DING. CNN/Pipeline, ESPN/Motion, WeatherBug are good examples.
What do they gain?
Big brand companies would love to be on your desktop. Enhances brand loyalty and lifetime value of their customers. Builds a personal relationship and increased traffic to their website.
It’s all about advertising.
Some applications like WeatherBug sell advertising space to other publishers and brands. Just like the ads on your Yahoo! Internet Messenger.
Although they are ad-supported, these applications are not like the typical Adware that track the user behavior on the web and annoy with indiscriminate pop-ups.
Fine. But why would I need such an app?
While everyone wants some real estate in your icon tray and desktop, why should you permit? Well it provides information, entertainment and functionality at your doorstep and you choose to download and use. Of course, the application provider has to worry about keeping it useful and engaging, all the time.
How is it different from a widget?
Widgets are also tiny applications that work off your desktop, but mostly designed for a widget framework (such as Google Desktop). Branded Desktop Applications are mostly self-contained and independent. Widget frameworks like Klipfolio are brandable, extendible (by downloading more klips) and highly customizable.
Is it about doing more on the desktop or a landgrab of our desktop?
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Technorati Tags: Desktop, Web, User experience