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Apps are increasingly competing in “winner-take-all markets”, and at Shape we see a solid app strategy as a prerequisite for competing, attracting users, and capturing value from app investments.

A broad perspective on developing an app strategy

Before embarking on the development of a new app strategy we always recommend taking a second look at the potential within the current approach and technology. Using our more tactical growth services we can often increase and extend performance within the current strategy and platform. 

When moving forward with new strategy development, the premise of our approach is our desire and ambition to always create world-class apps for our clients. To deliver on this ambition and create competitive apps we approach strategy development from three different perspectives:

  1. A user perspective
  2. A market perspective
  3. A company and organisational perspective.

The user perspective 

Working with the user perspective we are looking to answer questions like: 

  • Who are our target audiences?
  • What do they expect, need, and want?
  • What jobs are they trying to accomplish?

Catering to user needs is the foundation for creating value. We often find that this perspective has the most potential, and we recommend taking time to truly understand the audience. This will constitute the foundation for a compelling value proposition and ultimately a strong user experience.

Methods are applied depending on the state of existing user insights but we always recommend prioritising direct and unfiltered dialogue with end users about the challenges and resolutions. In the collection of data to support the user perspective, we work with user interviews, user panels, and insights teams.

The market perspective

From working with the market perspective, we examine the competitive environment where our app has to perform.

  • Who are the key competitors, and who caters to the same needs?
  • What are they offering in the app and digital space?
  • How can we differentiate?
Our competitors also play to win, and there have to be clear and compelling reasons to choose our offering. As part of our engagement, we usually include deep market- and competitor analysis. We have found that detailed reviews of competing apps often give clear direction about the competitive landscape and help us identify opportunities where we can create extraordinary digital value. In some cases, we include user insights in this perspective to gauge how the customers and users see the competition and what they miss out on. 

The company and organisational perspective
With a clear understanding of user/customer needs and how our competitors are doing, we now turn our focus to our own organisation. What do we aim for, and what internal resources and strategies can we base a strong digital offering on?
  • What goals must the app and digital initiative support?
  • What resources can be applied to the initiative?
  • How can digital services and products extend the value of the current products and services?
  • What strategic landscape (corporate -, IT-, sales- etc.) must the app and digital strategy align with? 
We often see significant value created from the alignment with existing company strategies (corporate-, business-, it-, digitalisation- etc.). Often these strategies point to areas where digital and apps can be a valuable channels.

Analysis from the company perspective is usually focused on desktop research, but workshops and interviews with relevant stakeholders can also play a role in driving value from this perspective.

Building a competitive digital strategy

Our strategic recommendations are based on the consolidated findings from all three perspectives. The goal is to identify a strategy that can drive the creation of a unique and compelling digital value proposition strong enough to cater to the needs of the audience and drive growth. 

How can our strategy approach support your digital solution?

To learn more about how our strategic approach and outcome can help your business, just reach out to us and we’re happy to discuss your specific business needs in detail.

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