How to stand out from the competition to sell apps?

Written by on Friday, June 11th 2021

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The app market is booming for the past few years and mobile apps agencies are taking advantage of it. Thanks to GoodBarber's Reseller program, you can create and sell unlimited apps. it's an interesting business opportunity. Nevertheless, as the market is dynamic, you will face competition. Here are a few of our tips to position yourself against this competition and maximize your profits by selling apps.

1/ Analyze your market 
2/ Define your positioning 
3/ Build a strong brand 
4/ Capitalize on your strengths 
5/ Impeccable  customer service
 

1/ Analyze your market

To adopt a winning strategy towards your competitors, you must of course know who they are, what services they offer, and what their strategies are. Nowadays it's quite easy to do this thanks to search engines and social media. Remember that if you have trouble finding your competitors on the web, your customers will have trouble finding them too. Good news ;) 

Direct competition 
Your direct competition is obviously the other companies creating apps that evolve on the same market as you. You need to know if they're specialized in a particular product or in a specific sector of activity. You'll find the info on the web pages of your competitors or on their social media. You'll also gather information by yourself by talking with customers and partners. 

You have to be very attentive to the working method of your competitors. Indeed, the final customer will not necessarily see the difference between your offer and theirs. And if the prices are different, you'll have to explain the difference, whether it's in your favor or not. The market is not yet consolidated and we can see differences of 1 to 5X sometimes for the same service. Some of your competitors will have either decided to use an app-builder, while others develop custom apps. The advantage of using an app-builder for an app agency is to save time and money. But this does not necessarily mean that the apps are of lower quality. At GoodBarber for example, we only use native technologies to generate our apps and the technical result is of a very high standard. We manage to lower the cost by coordinating investment in Research & Development, never sacrificing the technical quality of our platform.

Tip: Compare in a spreadsheet all the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and keep it updated. Believe me, this can make the difference during a negotiation ;) 

Indirect competition 
If you specialize in app development, you'll still be facing indirect competition. Indeed, web design agencies can position themselves on the mobile market with so-called "responsive" sites. A responsive site is simply the mobile version of a website, which adapts to the size of a smartphone screen. These agencies will surely argue that their result is almost the same as for an app and that the cost is lower. As we've seen above, by using an app builder, you'll have all the selling points to challenge the price. However, on the technical aspects, you'll make the difference. An app has nothing to do with a responsive site. It's faster, uses native functions of the smartphone (GPS, camera ..), and works offline. 

You may also be competing with community managers who might say that having up-to-date profiles on the main social media is more important than having an app. Indeed, a presence on social media is essential for any kind of business nowadays. But that doesn't stop the app from being important too. In terms of audience retention first. Thanks to push notifications, your customers can stay in direct contact with their audience.  Second, the features.  With social media, you're limited to their framework, whereas the app functionalities are at the discretion of your customers. Finally, at the transactional level, a Shopping app generates payments and revenues directly from the app.
 

2/ Define your positioning

Now that you've analyzed your competition, you need to know where you want to position yourself to find your new clients. Some agencies, already have a story or a flagship product and start selling apps capitalizing on that experience. But whether you're experienced or a beginner, it's always good to think about your positioning strategy. 

Choose an industry niche 
As you get into app development, you'll probably find it wise to choose a particular industry as your target. Why would you choose this? Either because you saw an opportunity or a trend. Or because you already know this sector of activity. In both cases, this choice can pay off. Indeed, the more specialized you are in a sector, the better you'll know it and the better you'll be able to meet your clients' requirements. Be careful though, because if your sector evolves in a direction that doesn't suit you, it will be more difficult to pivot to another sector. 

Choose a geographical niche 
This choice is sometimes the most obvious. First of all, it will be easier to be in direct contact with your clients. You'll have an easier time finding clients in your area by networking. Word of mouth is still very important in business. Some of your clients, who aren't necessarily very comfortable with new technologies will be reassured to work with a company close to them culturally and geographically. 

Moreover, if you're in a region where competition isn't important, it's even a smart strategic choice. Because even if the region is less dynamic, you will only be a few on the same market. Be careful though because if you choose a region that is too small, you may find yourself short of new clients. Being alone in a too-small market does not guarantee success. 

Choose a functional niche 
As we've seen above, the range of features of GoodBarber and apps, in general, is very wide. You can choose to specialize in a particular type of app. For example, you can choose to sell only eCommerce apps. The market is growing rapidly in this sector. This way, you'll be seen as a specialist and you'll have more selling points against a competitor who makes all types of apps. Of course, the danger here is that if that your specialization declines, you'll have to change your strategy.
 

3/ Build a strong brand

Once you've chosen your positioning, you need to have a specific brand strategy and communicate on it. The stronger your brand is, the more trust you'll inspire and that's a significant competitive advantage. You'll be a the center of the attention and your competitors will know it, which is a good thing ;) 

Brand identity 
First, if you have followed the 2 previous steps, you know your market and your positioning. So now, you need to capitalize on this positioning and establish your brand accordingly. To do so, you'll have to build your own identity. The goal is that your leads and clients recognize you right away. Even if you think it's secondary now, in the long run, this strategy will pay off. Of course, you'll have to create a logo, visuals, a color palette. You can hire a graphic designer or use design software. You'll also need slogans, taglines, and a coherent lexical field. It's best to have internal documents with company presentations of different lengths available to all your employees. This way, the content distributed externally will always use the same language and tone, establishing your brand even more. 

Content distribution 
Nowadays, there are plenty of tools to distribute your content. Of course, as a mobile agency, you should focus on digital platforms. Social media are the best way to strengthen your brand and to differentiate yourself from your competitors. First of all, your target audience is necessarily there. Social media are aimed at all populationsEveryone is on social media. So you need to be too. Facebook with almost 3 billion users worldwide remains the most generalist media, it's almost mandatory for you to be there. Of course, you can also keep a blog where you can share your successes but also give advice around the app world. A blog can help establish you as an expert with your target audience. It's difficult for a competitor to compete with a recognized expert ;) Finally, you can use all this content to create white papers and targeted mailings. Anything that allows you to highlight your skills and achievements is a significant competitive advantage.  

Thinking outside the box 
If you're positioned in an ultra-competitive market, such as a large international city, you'll have to go even further to get your brand recognized. In this case, use your creativity. For example, you can counteract your competitors by trying to communicate on more traditional media: newspapers (free or paid), flyers, signs on cabs or buses... Be careful, this strategy is risky because it's more difficult to measure the results, which is on the contrary very easy on digital media. You can also do graphically offbeat campaigns, sponsor sports or eSport events, create free apps for foundations... The important thing is to always stay true to your brand identity and keep in mind who your target is. 

Stay consistent 
Don't forget that a brand identity is built on the long term and that's the most difficult thing. Don't stop on a one-off success. You have to use it to keep on having more. If a Facebook or Instagram campaign has brought you a certain number of clients,it doesn't mean you have to stop there. You must constantly re-invest and adapt these campaigns so that they can be even more profitable in the long run. It's the same thing for a blog. The more quality articles you write, the better your blog will rank. But if you slow down, your SEO will suffer. Especially since nowadays, Internet users look at the publication dates of articles. If the article is too old, it will lose its credibility. We're aware that this represents a significant investment of time. If you can't find the time to do this, you can easily hire an intern to help you or a freelancer. 

Tip: Create (again) a content calendar. This will help you keep track of past actions, and especially will allow you to write down your ideas for future actions. This way, you'll never run out of inspiration to create new content.

4/ Capitalize on your strengths

Your competitors, as we saw above, will come from all over. So, with your clear positioning and strong brand, you'll be in a good position to compete. But during negotiation or a presentation to clients, you'll sometimes have to show your advantages over your competitors. 

Knowledge of your market and your products 
As you've decided to position yourself on a niche (whatever it is), you'll have the advantage over a competitor with a vague positioning. It will be easier to sell your services and you'll be pleased with yourself for having done the positioning work we mentioned above. Moreover, we advise you to use the products you sell yourself. This will give you even more credibility. You can create demo apps to show when people ask you what you do. You can also outright create an app to promote your mobile agency. Don't be the shoemaker who goes barefoot! Prepare beautiful demo apps and you will stand out from the crowd ;) 

Internal skills 
Every company has in-house skills to leverage. If you keep a document with the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors you'll know what your advantages are over them. Then rely on these skills values as much as possible. As we've seen above, you have several content strategies, take advantage of them to highlight your competitive advantages whatever they are. You can also highlight the skills of your employees or partners as proof of your expertise. Clients love transparency and seeing the "behind the scene" side. Remember that your clients identify with their suppliers. If they're proud of you, they will be even more proud of their company because they can say they're using the best products. And of course, another competitive advantage is clients' testimonials. (FYI, if you are a Reseller customer and would like to be featured on the GoodBarber blog contact us). 

Networking 
To stand out from your competitors when selling apps, you must capitalize on your network. Indeed, especially when you're in the launching phase, you'll surely need to get in touch with your network. Your acquaintances can of course buy an app from you, but they can also recommend you to other potential clients and help get the word out. As we've already seen, the more visible you are, the better your positioning will be compared to your competition. But, as for social media, networking is ongoing. For example, take part in the associative life of your region. You can also create or join associations promoting digital tools. The world of apps is growing rapidly, many people will need advice, expertise around this topic. If you created and maintained a blog, try to be a  speaker in events around mobile. 

GoodBarber can help you 
GoodBarber is one of the world's leading app-builders. With more than 500 features, you have the possibility to create content apps and eCommerce apps. You can meet almost any client's demand with our platform. You'll be able to capitalize on a reliable and powerful tool to meet your clients' expectations. Moreover, the fact that you can create an app quickly, will put you in a position of strength compared to a colleague who will be slow to present a demo app. Our teams are here to help you be successful. 

5/ Impeccable customer service

It seems obvious, but the customer relationship should not be neglected. It is the last parameter that will tip the balance in your favor compared to your competitors.  

With your leads 
When you meet with a lead, even if you have followed our previous advice and your reputation precedes you, the sale is not guaranteed. Until the lead has met you directly (in person or by video), they won't be 100% confident. This is why listening and empathy are important. You must not forget that most of the time, your customers don't know much about the app world. Therefore, you will have to be educational. You are the expert and that's why they call on you. Also, don't forget that your potential customers can easily verify what you say on the internet. Transparency is essential to gain their trust. They will also challenge you on research they have done before. You should therefore take into consideration what they're asking you and not take offense. They've done their research to know the context but will not be able or have the time to build the app themselves. 

If they bring up your competitors, again if you've followed our advice, you'll already know who they are and you'll be able to highlight your strengths. Don't hesitate to go the extra mile. For example, a demo app already customized with the potential client's logo can impress them. 

Tip: Create an app for your agency and have every lead you meet download it. Then send them push notifications. The effect is guaranteed and the lead is very likely to get back to you. 

With your clients 
Once you've succeeded in selling an app, the work doesn't stop there. First of all, because you can always upsell. But also because you have to guarantee the success of the app with your client. All your competitors "say" that they put their clients are their priority but don't necessarily do it. Don't neglect this aspect. You've spent too much time and energy gaining customers only to lose them due to lack of follow through. If one of your competitors has this mindset, they can take away clients from you. GoodBarber provides you with tools to help there. Our blog is full of tips to help you make an app a success. The Customer Success team is at your disposal to give you personalized advice. You can also download our "Agency Guide ". And of course, you become an expert with the GoodBarber Academy. We remind you that all these tools are free for our clients. 

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