In our app-centric world, having an app is a given for most brands. However, maintaining the connection post-app creation is another story.

Auto brands are a case in point. While most brands in the category have their own apps, 79% of them earn fewer than three stars in the App Store, and reviews are littered with complaints about limited functionality and issues with connectivity, according to Gartner L2’s report. Brands looking to drive more digital success through their apps can look to Ford and Lincoln, which have both seen success in this area. Ford took the number-one spot in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Auto and leads the category with over 15,000 app reviews, while Lincoln has been riding up the ranks over the years and has the second-most reviews at just under 8,000.

These brands likely cultivate their plethora of reviews via in-app notifications that prompt customers to provide feedback. Additionally, Ford’s FordPass and Lincoln’s The Lincoln Way are frequently updated, ranking third and fifth in terms of app updates per year. The FordPass app is also frequently featured on the Navigation and Lifestyle category pages on the App Store and regularly engages in App Store Optimization (ASO) to secure visibility in relevant searches. One thing to note, however, is that while targeted app promotions can bolster App Store performance for a short period of time, brands should strive to maintain an always-on ASO strategy to make the most of their investment.

Auto brands should not only produce and promote connected car apps that customers value, but should build connections to customers after app creation. By pushing customers to rate apps in the App Store and accordingly responding to user feedback, auto brands can maximize the returns on their digital investments.

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