Distimo looked at the performance of the top international brands in terms of app downloads, finding that “the most valuable brands do not necessarily generate the most downloads in the App Store”. However, it also noted that Apple and Google both score well in terms of brand value and app downloads.
There are several different ways in which brands can use apps. These include marketing – to simply give more visibility to a brand – or to support the main product of a company, as is the case for Facebook and Google.
Another use is to generate revenue: Disney, for example, has many games for sale in the App Store, which serve directly as income for its core content business.
Distimo used the Interbrand 2012 Best Global Brands report as the source for its top 100 biggest companies, and analysed their performance in Apple’s App Store.
Of the top brands, 88 have at least one app available. Among the twelve that have no presence, in some case the reason is obvious: Nokia, Nintendo and BlackBerry are all competitors of Apple to various degrees, and therefore do not have a presence on iOS.
For others, such as Gillette, KFC, Corona and Jack Daniels, the reason is less clear.
Six brands that did not have any apps in the store in September 2011 have “at least one” available now.
The brands with the largest number of apps available were Sony (141), Disney (139), Samsung (117), MTV (72) and SAP (72) – and in each case this was an increase from September 2011.
Top performers by downloads
Distimo said that Apple, Disney, Facebook, Google and eBay generated the most downloads in the US during September 2012, making them the most successful of the top 100 brands in this respect.
YouTube was the single most downloaded app from any of the top 100 global brands in September 2012 in the US market.
The IKEA catalogue is the most popular “for the purpose of promotion only” – apps by other brands which are used solely for promotion generated significantly fewer downloads.
IKEA’s catalogue ranks number 32 in the downloads from top brands, with 10 percent of the number of downloads of YouTube.
Interestingly, with one exception (Disney’s Temple Run: Brave) the most downloaded apps did not come from the most active publishers. Apple, which has 19 available apps, dominates the download top 10 in terms of apps listed, with Google generating the most downloads from YouTube and the Chrome browser.
Google’s position was a “quite extraordinary achievement”, Distimo said, because the YouTube app was only released on 11 September 2012 – it had previously been embedded in iOS. It is also an iPhone-only app, unlike the majority of the others in the top 10, which are also available for iPad.
Distimo also noted that all of Apple’s free apps were prominently featured in the App Store to support the iOS 6 release, resulting in a large growth in the number of downloads.
Disney saw a decline in the number of downloads during September, due to several successful releases (WATCH Disney Channel and Where’s My Perry? Free) earlier in the year.
Temple Run: Brave also stands out as the only paid app in the download top ten – although more than 90 percent of downloads were generated during the time it was available free, as a promotion.
The app of the top brands that has generated the most downloads counting paid-only is another Disney title: Where’s My Perry?
According to the Interbrand survey, in order to be a top global brand, it is necessary to have “worldwide successful activities”. This is defined as a presence in at least three continents, and more than 30 percent of revenue from outside of the home country, for example.
To identify the top global brands in app terms, Distimo analysed twelve of the top app markets – US, UK, Russia, Korea, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, China, Canada, Brazil and Australia – and focused on brands that have apps available in at least ten of these.
The company found 61 brands with a global app effort.
Gap, Johnson & Johnson, Harley Davidson and Pampers were among those with apps that are “nearly always downloaded in the US only”.
Of the biggest brands, Apple’s downloads are the most evenly split across markets, unlike IBM, for example, which generates more than half of its downloads in the US.
However, across all brands, it is some more unexpected names that have the most international distribution. Top spot goes to Adidas, which is the 60th biggest brand, followed by IKEA (28th biggest brand) and Philips (41st).
GE is the brand which scores highly both in terms of brand value and the division of app downloads across different countries, “making it a truly global brand for app downloads as well”.