Mobile App Success Story: The Swift Life

Imagine that you are a superstar and you have millions of followers on each social channel! What can you do to make sure that this number continues to grow every day? You launch an app because you want to transform all those users into loyal fans. Or vice versa! Yes, we were talking about Taylor Swift and this is the story of The Swift Life in just a few words. But let’s expand this idea further.

Brilliant Idea

The Swift Life was developed by Glu, a famous company that created popular games like Kim Kardashian: Hollywood or Gordon Ramsay: Restaurant Dash. Unlike their previous creations, The Swift Life isn’t a game, but a dedicated social network for all Taylor fans. The app was released last year, on December 15, for iOS in the United States and after a short period, Android users were able to enjoy the app. In the same period, Taylor launched her sixth album, Reputation which represents a hot topic for users who want to share their creatives and to impress their favorite singer.

How The Swift Life Did It

Of course, we aren’t Taylor Swift’s BFFs but we will give you at least one reason why you should check the app: the marketing strategy behind The Swift Life can be applied to apps. You just need to find a way to adapt each technique to your users’ needs.

Social App; Another One!

For those of you who know that the mobile market is fierce, especially for social apps you probably wonder why Taylor Swift wanted to fight all those giants who are in top charts for years. In fact, this is an advantageous situation for her who needed to be everywhere and to maintain the relationship with her fans on all social networks. Now she has everything in one place. Instead of being active on Instagram or Tumblr, she is able to promote her app and to keep in touch with her audience in the same time. The goal wasn’t to surpass all the other social channels but to allow her followers to express their love in an environment specially created for them.

Start Small!

If you aren’t sure how your audience will react or if you want to test the app before the big release then do what Taylor did. Actually, Glu launched the app in a few selected countries to make sure that this new format will work for Taylor Swift and fans will appreciate the app. This strategy should be a mandatory step for all app owners, from small studios to big companies. Maybe you would think that your app will be great, but the truth is that you can’t know for sure until you pay attention to your users’ opinions. If you think about it, you will realize that this stage is also cost effective since it is easier to face your users’ disappointment on a smaller scale. And if that won’t happen and your app is successful you will be able to enjoy the results and to launch your product knowing that it will be well received. Just take a look at the preview video posted by Taylor on YouTube before the beta release of The Swift Life.

Press Coverage … And More Press Coverage

Let’s make one thing clear before going further. The marketing team behind Taylor Swift is gigantic. For this reason, we started this story in the first place, because we wanted to notice the difference between the strategies adopted by indie developers and an app owner with an army of marketers that fight for a specific product. While an individual developer focuses on a few tech sites, her team didn’t stop until the news about The Swift Life reached every press corner. Tech, music, gossip… the goal was to make sure that every Taylor fan will want to try the app. And from that stage to absolute addiction it’s just a small step. After all, that’s the psychology behind freemium apps.

Is it An App Or A Game? Probably Both!

Even though the core feature of the app is the social one which allows users to share ideas, collages, photos or videos about Taylor Swift other factors influence the way users interact with The Sift Life. For example, there are 4 levels – Fan, Super Fan, Swifties and Super Swifties – which offer different elements for each type of user. Customers can buy more stuff with guitar picks and those Taymojis make things more interesting. After all, what is a celebrity without her own set of emojis? And we didn’t even mention those cute kittens which in fact are avatars for Taylor’s real cats. Users can buy them or the most loyal ones will have the chance to earn them without spending money. But the ultimate goal of the app is to get noticed by Taylor herself. When fans post something interesting they receive from other community members SwiftSends which make Taylor pay attention to their messages.

Bonus Tip: Don’t Disappoint Your (Fans) Users

You would think that the only condition to reach success with this type of apps is to be a superstar adored by millions of people. Think again! No matter how obsessed people can get about a famous singer, app world doesn’t work like that. There are plenty of examples for apps launched by celebrities (we won’t mention them here 😉 but it is easy to find them if you search on Google) that didn’t obtain the wanted results for many reasons. That’s not the case because people usually download The Swift Life for … more Taylor Swift. And her huge marketing team makes sure they receive at least a small piece of her universe. The most important takeaway is to know what users want to obtain after they use your app and to offer them that. So simple and yet so efficient!

 

Final Thoughts

Well, what do you think about that? To summarize a little the entire story: build an app (not necessary a social app, although social factor is very important) and test it on smaller groups of people to see if it will be well received by your target audience. Make sure that every influential site will write an article about your product. Allow users to download it for free if you want to gather a huge number of customers. Add some game elements in order to engage users even more. And try to offer them what they want. At the end of the day, we all agree that there are many lessons we can learn from The Swift Life even though at first you would believe that only Super Swifties will benefit from it.

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