Is your mobile app about you or about me?

It seems like just about everyone is jumping onto the mobile app (iPhone, Droid, Blackberry) wagon these days.  Most apps fall into one of four categories:

  • They’re functional/useful (they help you do something you want to do)
  • They’re about access/ease (they help you get stuff/information you need)
  • They’re entertaining (they amuse us, keep us busy, are funny)
  • They’re lame (they couldn’t think how to fit into one of the above, so they’re sort of dumb)

For many brands, they’re rushing to be there but have no idea why.  (which leads to lame apps like Coke’s* — where you you tip it back and it’s like your drinking a Coke – sound effects and all)

It’s much easier to create a functional or get me access type app.  You’re Walgreen’s and you let me renew my prescriptions.  You’re DropBox and you let me access my files. But to be genuinely entertaining AND drive home your brand message?  Now that’s impressive.

See the difference?  Coke’s app is about them and how refreshing they are.  Walgreen’s and DropBox are about the user and what they want/need.

That’s why I am applauding Sealy’s app called the In Bed Tagger.  (Keep in mind that their tagline is: Whatever you do in bed, Sealy supports it.)  Watch this brief video to see their app in action.


They got it.  An app isn’t a sales gimmick or supposed to be a digital brochure.  And it’s not about them.  Their app is all about the user and having some fun with the old fortune cookie game.  By focusing their app on us… it tells us a great deal about them.


*In fairness, I will say Coke’s other apps, like their snowglobe app, are much more about the user and therefore…more fun and more like the brand I know and love.


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7 comments on “Is your mobile app about you or about me?

  1. Dennis says:

    Who woulda thunk, hey. That is cool for something that you wouldnt think about apping. I cant see on the video, but is the sealy logo or something below the ‘bed’ snippet or not?

    1. Dennis,

      Yup — that’s the only flaw in their brilliant execution. They just couldn’t resist putting their logo on it!


  2. Coleman,

    That could be said about just about anything!


  3. Tracy Geier says:

    I think the Sealy app is a great way to reach a younger audience that may not have ever purchased a mattress “on their own” yet. It is an entertaining and fun app for a day or two anyway. It would be interesting to see whether or not the app converts into any Sealy mattress purchases if Sealy has any real way of tracking the results.

    Drew, I certainly agree that many companies are creating apps without knowing why leading to some pretty lame apps out there. Hopefully posts like yours will make other companies “think before they app” so to speak.

    1. Tracy,

      I think they knocked it out of the park. The only minor criticism I would have is that they could not resist sticking their logo into the altered photo. I think what an app like this can do is make me have some connection with a mattress brand. Before I saw this app — to me they were a commodity. But now, next time I have to buy a mattress, I will walk into that store with warm feelings for Sealy, which may give them the edge in a purchase decision.


  4. Jimm says:

    Don’t understand the video clip and therefore I think the marketing people behind this ad need to do some rethinking. Not everyone is IT savvy.

  5. Jim Brown says:

    As mobile phones are developing in a rapid manner this kind of update posts are quite useful for not only people who are dealing with the mobile phones but also for the interested persons as well. What is more interesting is that learning about this digital world is not difficult at all.

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