Study: The Three ‘Core Needs’ For Underpinning Every Mobile App

Study: The Three ‘Core Needs’ For Underpinning Every Mobile App

Enero’s research arm The Leading Edge has today presented research at the annual AMSRS conference highlighting the three ‘core needs’ essential to building successful mobile apps. It has defined these core needs as: life enhancers, daily simplifiers and connection catalysts. 

The research, conducted in April 2016, included profiling 660 Australian consumers, analysis of 61 mobile home screens, qualitative focus groups, and analysis of various data sources to understand how brands can most effectively engage with consumers on mobile platforms.

The Leading Edge found that brands need to address at least one of the following ‘core needs’ to create a successful mobile app:

       Life enhancers and boredom eliminators: Content that educates, enriches or entertains. e.g. games, infotainment, video/audio content,

       Daily simplifiers: Functions that make day-to-day activities easier. e.g. calendars, banking, food, news, and travel applications,

       Connection catalysts: Platforms that streamline or enhance the way we communicate and engage with each other. e.g. social media. 

According to research, if a brand’s app is not driven by at least one of these three ‘core needs’, there is a high likelihood it will be viewed as unnecessary and add to the scrapheap of unused mobile apps.


Katharine Milner (pictured above), head of relationship development and marketing, said, “Mobile is certainly a platform that all brands should assess as a potential avenue to generate or deepen engagement with customers, as well as a potential tool to drive sales.

“However, brands should recognise that building ‘an app for that’ is not necessarily going to achieve these aims unless it enhances, simplifies or connects customers’ lives in a valuable way. So it is important for brands not to get caught up in the excitement, jumping on the ‘app’ bandwagon if you will, but rather to invest in strategies that will most effectively deliver what their customers want.” 

Once brands have determined their app addresses at least one of the fundamental ‘core needs’, the research also found the following seven characteristics were key to ensuring the app survived what The Leading Edge calls ‘the 10-second cull’, meaning an app needs to prove its value within the first ten seconds of being downloaded, or it runs the risk of being deleted immediately.

1.     Fit for purpose

2.     Easy to use and highly intuitive

3.     Data and memory efficient

4.     Long-term usefulness and relevance

5.     Smooth functioning – no bugs, crashes, dead links or glitches

6.     Fast to load and use

7.     Category/industry-specific features

“We conducted extensive research into not only which apps get downloaded, but also on those apps that remain on someone’s phone having survived “the 10 second cull”, and on apps used regularly to drive ongoing sales and engagement opportunities for brands. We found that consumers have an increasingly low tolerance for complicated, non-intuitive and slow apps – the easier it is to use, the more likely consumers are to continue engaging with a brand through their app,” continued Milner.

“Mobile apps are a fantastic way to create truly personal experiences for consumers, and deliver information in a timely manner. Brands incorporating mobile into their marketing strategies need to keep customers’ needs at the core of their design, functionality, communications, and payment options, or risk losing these same customers to a competitor with a more effective mobile strategy,” said Milner.

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