Execs from Zagat, Benjamin Moore, Men’s Health and Kleiner Perkins share marketing tips during Apps For Brands

Sep 23, 2009
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When Benjamin Moore developed its popular Ben Color Capture application, the process involved more than just slapping paint on the wall and hoping it would stay fresh. “We haven’t accomplished anything if somebody doesn’t buy paint in the process,” said Carl Minchew, Director of Product Development, Benjamin Moore & Co. Minchew shared this insight at […]

When Benjamin Moore developed its popular Ben Color Capture application, the process involved more than just slapping paint on the wall and hoping it would stay fresh.

“We haven’t accomplished anything if somebody doesn’t buy paint in the process,” said Carl Minchew, Director of Product Development, Benjamin Moore & Co.

Minchew shared this insight at the Apps For Brands conference, produced by Appolicious and Advertising Age. During a panel conversation around “how can brands best benefit from apps”, he said Benjamin Moore executives were “astounded” when Ben Color Capture reached 50,000 downloads. The next challenge, which was shared by mobile media mavens at Zagat, Men’s Health and venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is to take advantage of the business opportunities emerging from the iPhone application platform.

“We’ve found a good mix of balancing our premium brand content and charging for that premium so we have a business model two, three, four years from now,” said
Ryan Charles, Senior Product and Marketing Manager, Zagat Survey.

Zagat is a pioneer in the mobile marketing space and launched its first app nearly a decade ago on the Palm platform. Zagat’s To Go, which costs $9.99 to download to the iPhone, is currently 77th among the approximately 58,000 paid apps available on the iTunes App Store.

Matt Bean, Article’s Editor for Men’s Health, envisions mobile apps to be “a $25 billion business by 2014.” Men’s Health has six apps available, including one of the most popular health and fitness apps Men’s Health Workouts ($1.99). Although the magazine has 11 million readers, Bean acknowledged that no company, no matter how large its brand, can rest on its laurels when marketing apps.

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“People don’t give you a free pass just because you are the world’s largest men’s magazine,” he said. “We are thinking long-term. This is an iterative process.”

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which is arguably the most accomplished venture capital firm in the world, manages the $100 million iFund in partnership with Apple Inc. that to date has funded six app-based start-ups (out of a pool of 3,300 submissions.)

Kleiner Perkins partner Aileen Lee said it is “staggering how fast adoption is on mobile relative to the Internet. We are staring at incredible growth that nobody could have predicted.”

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Brad Spirrison

Brad Spirrison is the managing editor of appoLearning and Appolicious Inc. In this capacity, he has sampled and evaluated thousands of iOS and Android applications. He also holds an M.A. in Education and Media Ecology from New York University.

Spirrison worked in concert with appoLearning Expert and Instructional Technology Specialist Leslie Morris while curating and evaluating educational applications.

A longtime media and technology commentator and executive, Spirrison is also a regular contributor to ABC News, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Bloomberg West and The Christopher Gabriel Program.

Spirrison is married and lives with his wife and young son in Chicago. As his son was born just weeks before the debut of the iPad, Spirrison takes his work home with him and regularly samples and enjoys a variety of educational applications for young children.

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