Cheered on by their ad agencies, companies are being encouraged to create iPad applications. But are they really working?
Clearly a lot of companies just want some of the magic dust of Apple to rub off on their brand. Okay, but that is not a long term strategy, and it is hardly likely to create something which makes your business stand out in people’s eyes and minds. And once someone has downloaded it, and been disappointed, then you are going to have to work hard to get the opportunity again.
There is an opportunity I think to create iPad newspapers/magazines which really stand out. No one has done it yet and it will be interesting to see how Rupert Murdoch gets on. It will be a massive cultural shift for his business to pull it off. It doesn’t sound too promising when the project is referred to as ‘Daily’, given that social media is real time!
Many iPad newspapers are being dismissed as simply PDFs of the print version. Which completely misses the point. There are clearly opportunities here though to break the mould and create a new kind of publication which resonates with the target audience: a new kind of music magazine, sports magazine, film magazine for example. Companies too could create titles for specific audiences with the imagination and commitment to provide something genuinely useful – it would have to be much more than a reworked brochure from reception.
With an emerging medium, this is the time to explore and experiment.
First of all, any iPad publication has to be social and show you what people you trust or your friends are reading and passing around; it needs to be realtime- breaking news every second; curating videos; tweeting information for you.
Also, in some cases, a local element is important – depending on the type of publication, of course, and this would serve you information locally.
Of course, the iPad is not the only tablet computer, but it cannot be ignored.
Some more useful thoughts on potential blueprints for new kinds of iPad publications here.