No matter how saturated a mobile app market looks, you would encounter unique app ideas and products on the app store and play store every day. For instance, this mobile app product was launched a few days ago on the product hunt; it is a simple app idea that allows people to find nearby DJs. They can see reviews of DJs and their photos and then book the DJ for an event.

Ideas are everywhere. The question is how to take that idea and develop a mobile app from that idea. According to Gartner, only 0.01% of the app financially succeeds in their endeavor. That means 9999 apps out of 10,000 apps fail to live up to the expectation of users. That is shocking but a truth that should be accepted.

Those who cross the barrier and stand out among their competitors get millions of app downloads. But how do their approach towards any apps differ from the rest of all? What makes their app successful? Well, a straight answer would be “their execution of the idea”. It’s their efforts in developing an app idea that makes them stand out among the crowd.

In this article, we are going to uncover the anatomy of a successful mobile app. We will understand how to develop an app idea that helps you understand how to create an app from scratch.

Essential Steps to Develop an App Idea

steps to develop an app idea

Research Your Niche

Before you go further in your app development process, you need to properly research the niche you want to create an app for. Healthcare? fintech? food? or education? In which domain do you want to start your app? At the first sight, it looks compelling to go for popular apps like note storing apps, camera apps, or social network apps. But you may have to work a little harder to get your app noticed in such a super competitive niche.

Do the people in a particular domain have an inclination towards a mobile app? Will they be interested in your app idea? Where is that industry heading with technological adoption? Is it still relying on the same old legacy techniques or it is leveraging the technology?

Ask these questions before jumping on to a particular category or industry.

You can use google trends to find a particular trend in a specific industry. Google trend will provide you with the search trend of that particular term. Do thorough research on the industry before you come up with an app idea. Websites like Appannie showcases daily updates on the app ranking you can have insights over which type of app is fairing well among users. You can also have a glance at the App Store and Play Store for trending apps.

Research Your Competition

Today, we find many local level apps giving tough competition to the more popular global level apps. And it becomes possible with proper market analysis and competitor research. In the past, many such local level app startups have proven to beat a global competitor with thorough research. A recent takeover of Uber’s global food delivery chain UberEats was acquired by India’s local food delivery company Zomato. Which was quite shocking when the press released was announced. The thing is, you can not think that you can’t build an app like Netflix or Uber because they are more popular and you don’t stand a chance against them. With the right app development partner and sound business model, you can beat Netflix in your local market or even in the international market.

Hence, whenever you create an app idea, keep your competition in the mind. Inquire which territory they are operating and know how they started. Have they been successful in their campaigns in a particular location? What has been their marketing strategy? You also have to dig out their pricing strategy. In short, you shouldn’t take your competitors lightly. It’s better you filter out the mistakes your competitor app has made in the past.

Develop a Business Plan for Your App

Developing a business strategy before launching your app in a full-fledged mode is a prudent decision. It is said that a goal without a plan is just a wish. A well-planned business plan could work as your north star. It will help you sell your app idea to the investor unless you are bootstrapping.

So, when you develop your mobile app idea, consider building a foolproof business plan for your mobile app. Include the executive summary, business description, detail of your app (or you plan to have it in your app), your team (Although you are two people), SWOT analysis, and marketing analysis in the business plan. Also, make sure what you want to achieve with your app in the near future in terms of the financial aspects.

Create a Business Model

business model canvas

A business model of your app is different from the business plan. It will contain a mechanism through which your app will generate a profit. It should be at the center of your business plan. Here is a business model for marketplace apps, if you are building an app that connects buyers and suppliers.

Ensure that you develop a framework for a healthy relationship with your partners, suppliers, and most importantly customers. Ask these questions to yourself before laying out your business model for your app.

  • What value do you provide to your customers with your app? Or what unique problem your app solves for its users?
  • In what way should I charge my customers?
  • Which channels will be helpful in reaching out to my customers?
  • What can be done to generate a predictable revenue stream?
  • What does my customer acquisition cost look like?
  • Which Mobile app monetization strategy I am going to implement?

Develop A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) App

Despite doing thorough research, many apps fail. As long as there won’t be involvement of potential users in your app, there is a high possibility, you might fall short in delivering the perfect product. You must ensure that your audience has an active involvement in your final product. For that, you should develop an MVP of your mobile app.

MVP is a product built with the essential features only. Features that have been included keeping in mind what customers are looking for. MVP allows you to gather the early reviews of your app. It helps you figure out whether you are going in the right direction or not. Many popular apps were started as an MVP product and eventually became the leading app in their niche. Airbnb, Instagram, Dropbox, Instacart, and Uber are the well known examples that had started as an MVP.

With the help of a suitable app development company, you can create an MVP for your app.

Build a Marketing Plan

Customers coming to your business and that too voluntarily- that’s impossible until you reach a certain level of your business. As a startup, you have to have a marketing plan prepared. Your app will have to reach the customers.

A sound marketing strategy will play a vital role in your app’s success. And for that, you have to leverage every marketing channel available there on the internet. Social media is considered a simple and cost-free marketing channel, especially for a new app startup. Do not start promoting your app directly on these platforms. Identify what core problem your app solves and then create content that revolves around your app’s motive.

You can create a website for your app and include a blog section that allows readers to understand what problems they are facing and how your app might be a perfect solution for them. You can use various other platforms like Product hunt, Reddit, Indie hacker, and Slack channels to promote your new app idea.

If you are willing to go beyond free marketing channels, you can set aside some budget for the paid marketing. Influencer marketing has also been a great way to reach your potential customer in recent times. Affiliate marketing is also a way to spread the word about your app.

Find a Product-Market fit

Product market fit happens when your app’s value proposition aligns with the customer and distribution channel. If any of the only two align, you may witness a success, but that would be ephemeral. It will not be sustainable. You may want to develop an app that brings all three elements together.

Think of product-market fit as the moment when your customer becomes your salesperson. Remember when you will find a perfect product-market fit: Your current users will recognize your product’s value. They will share the experience of your app with other people. You have found a product-market fit when the value provided by your app can not be provided by another app.

So, finding the product-market fit should be your primary goal while developing a mobile app idea. According to Hubspot, If more than 40% of your users get disappointed not finding your product where they used to be, then you have achieved this feat. In simple words, when your product sells faster than the manufacturing rate of it, you have achieved the product-market fit.

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So these were the essential steps to develop a mobile app idea. It is never about the goal. Anyone who wants to develop a mobile app can set higher goals for their app. Just like anyone taking part with Michael Phelps in the Olympics has the same goal as the legend. The difference is in their execution plan. It’s Michael Phelps’s training process and dedication that differentiates him from others. So is with a mobile app.

You need to work on how effectively you implement your business plan and marketing plan. What efforts you are giving in finding the right market for your app. How successfully you are solving your customers’ problems with your app and more.

If you don’t have ideas for your app development, proceed to read part 2 of the blog, we have curated a list of unique mobile app ideas.