Last week, the 10 billionth app was downloaded from the Apple store. Remarkable really. If brands were not racing to develop an app before, the race is officially on as this news is sure to push any brands that have been holding off over the mobile edge. Before your brand dips its toe into the app waters, a few questions to check off the list for marketers and developers: Why an app? Yes, an obvious question but so often with new technology we 'just want it'. We feel the need to keep up, show that our brand is on trend. Clearly the world loves apps 10 billion times over, but not all apps. There are many apps that were created by well meaning, hard working marketers that have yet to get more than a few downloads. Will the app fill a need or will be for entertainment only? An industry specific tool Does the app allow the medical community to share data easier in emergency rooms? Does the app allow architects easy access to solutions to complex mathematics while on the job site? A fun tool, but a tool none the less Golf tips that can be accessible on the 7th hole when the ball just keeps going to the right no matter what you do @%!& There is a clear path to success (and optimization) if the app fulfills a very specific need. Not to simplify it, but find a real need that matches with your industry and then challenge your developers to make it user friendly. Entertainment: This is where success is both harder to control and can be more broadly defined. This is the challenge for the marketer. If it's for entertainment ' be true to entertainment. Don't say you want to create the most fun app ever, measure it on downloads and then ask: "but where is the product tag line in the app?" It is user friendly? No choice here. If it's a bad idea, it won't matter. If it's a good idea and it's not user friendly, someone will rebuild it, only better. Make sure the end game for the brand and the user is clear and achievable.