Apperian Builds iPhone App to Lead You to New England Hikes—and Timberland Retailers

9/11/09Follow @wroush

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take with them on the trek—a jacket, hiking boots, a flashlight, a compass, or a knife. Choose carefully, because you never know what hazards you’ll run into! The game, to be honest, is the cheesiest aspect of the Timberland app, but I guess any amount of time potential customers spend “engaged with the brand” is good thing, from a marketing perspective.

4. Tunes—a mix of free and paid pop songs that, in the judgment of somebody at Apperian, Mullen, or Timberland, make a good accompaniment for outdoor activities. The feaured track today is “Don’t Give Up” by the Noisettes, and there are also tunes by The Fray, Asher Roth, Black Eyed Peas, and Modest Mouse. This part of the app works pretty much like the iPhone’s built-in iPod interface.

Timber Trail“I think it’s a great first step for a company like Timberland onto the iPhone with something that’s engaging and two-way,” says Goldman. “With the user-generated content, people out in the field can recommend new ideas, so it taps into that social-networking aspect of what great apps are—they’re viral, networked, and they leverage the wonderful aspects of the iPhone like location and the beautiful user interface and fun gaming.”

While Apperian continues to work with big brands on consumer-facing apps—its greeting card generator for American Greetings recently hit number 8 on the list of the most popular free apps in the iTunes App Store—it’s also working behind the scenes on an application development framework that other companies will be able to use to build their own apps, Goldman says. Many of those will be enterprise apps, he says: imagine a healthcare organization, for example, providing visiting nurses with an app that pulls up the appropriate medical records automatically when a nurse arrives at a patient’s house to collect blood or urine samples.

“We’re basically moving from being a one-off professional services company using our own software [to build apps] to being a product-centric company that’s developing frameworks that will allow other companies to do their own development,” says Goldman. “But it’s a process.” And meantime, iPhone users can expect to see more fun brand-driven apps coming out of Apperian.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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