When a press release landed in our inbox announcing Spaceworks’ new app, it got us thinking: How important is it to have your brand inside clients' pockets?
And is there really a market for it in the massively stocked Apple store – now boasting 1.2 million iOS apps? Not always, says Grant Difford of Waking Giants, who collaborated on the fit-out agency’s app – but in this case, yes. We spoke to Grant and Spaceworks director Lizzi Hines on the brand's fun new design tool.
The app (available in both the Apple and Google Play stores) brings together all of Spaceworks' social media and debuts a social wall, where users can post design-related questions. Its popular blog also features.
So why an app?
Lizzi: It was always in the back of my mind but I considered that it would be cost prohibitive, and other innovation pieces we have in the pipeline would probably take precedence. Waking Giants knows we're always keen to try new things, so when they suggested to partner on the app, naturally we jumped at the idea.
Grant: We're both mad creatives and entrepreneurs so we share ideas and work out how to deliver them. The thinking was the culmination of all their digital activities to put it into their clients'/fans' pockets to be inspired when on the move.
Should we all be developing our own apps then?
Lizzi: If it supports the nature of your business, then yes. We are fortunately in a very visual business so a lot of what we have to say is supported with visuals or photos – an app is a great way of bringing together the different platforms.
Grant: For any market, you have to identify what the app, like any tool, is going to deliver – to the business and the user.
It’s not for every business then.
Grant: In my opinion, some providers aren’t necessarily looking at helping small business become active online – that means helping develop an idea or advising not to waste their money.
I would assume 97% of apps are a huge waste of time. For us, if we cannot justify a media we won’t use it. We have been approached by so many people looking to develop an app but with no business plan, budget or marketing strategy. Like social media a lot of people do it because they think they should, rather than because it adds value to their business.
Has there been a positive response to the Spaceworks app?
Lizzi: Fantastic, better than expected. For us, this was really a mini-development project as a way of diversifying and increasing our marketing reach.
Some of this positive feedback could also come from the fact that we have actively blogged now for 3 years, 4-5 times a week, with a monthly readership of 16,000 and growing. We have been establishing and growing our audience for some time. The app also allows us to connect with overseas readers of our blog.
Pitch time: why should we download the Spaceworks app?
Lizzi: We love being on social media; for us it is an extension of the creativity we have inhouse. We are keen bloggers (see Design Aloud section on app) and love to speak about the design industry both locally and internationally and this app is about bringing together all of the social media platforms that we present into one location.
It could easily be a shameless self promotion but it’s not – you’ll find there is more about other spaces/places and people on there than us. We just love to appreciate great design.