About a month after its release our first game “Lära läsa HD” had made it to the top of its App Store category (Educational Games). We were, of course, very proud and started to envision world dominance. After another month had passed with us still topping our category in Sweden and almost doing the same in the rest of Scandinavia, we had high hopes for our US launch.
The first day “I Read HD”, as the US version was called, was available on the App Store it outsold our Swedish version 10 to 1. We were ecstatic. Unfortunately, the euphoria was short lived. Day 2 on the US App Store sales were down about 80%. Day 3 down another 50%. After a week, we didnʼt sell any games at all on the US App Store. In Scandinavia our apps were still topping the charts.
Too Generic Name
What was happening here? After a diligent investigation we came to the conclusion that “I Read HD” did not sell on the US App Store because no one could find it. Even we had a hard time finding our own game! For example, it did not show up on the first search page when we searched for the exact app title.
The reason for this, we understood after a while, was because the words in our app title were too generic. Other apps, with the same words in their app title but that had been on the App Store longer or was selling better, were listed ahead of us. Thus pushing us back on the search page. Initially we thought we had been clever when we named our app using the word “Read” in the title. This word must be used in many searches we reasoned. Most likely this assumption was correct but there are also A LOT of apps on the App Store.
Own Your App Title
After much debating we decided that the only way we could ever get our marketing moneys worth was if people who heard of us or saw one of our press releases could actually find our app on the App Store. To accomplish that we came up with a new strategy: OWN your app title on the App Store!
By that we mean that our app was going to come up first if someone searched for it by title (or even by part of the title). For this to happen their must be a very unique word in the app title. A word that, preferably, no one else has thought of yet. Not an easy feat, though, with more than 500 000 apps on the App Store at the time of this post.
Finding The New Name
After trying out tons of names we finally decided on the word “Happi” (note the ʻiʼ at the end instead of the normal ʻyʼ). This word was unique enough that it did not generate any search results in any App Stores except for the US App Store where apps with the word “Happiness” in the title showed up. There werenʼt too many of those so we decided we could live with that.
A few further rounds of discussion later we had decided that we were going to call ourselves Happi Papi (after all we are two happi dads…) and name all our apps “Happi Something”. And so “I Read” became “Happi Reads”. We added the generic word “Reads” to the title because we did not want to miss out on those broader, generic searches once our app had become popular enough to climb the App Store search ranking on its sales merits.
Was this rebranding successful? It is too early to tell but you can always do a search on your local App Store for “Happi” and see if any of our apps show up.