Going Mobile: 5 Brands Trail-blazing the Mobile Web

By Katie Kearsey Nielsen released a study this morning on smartphones and their penetration in different age groups and income brackets.  Unsurprisingly, more than half of the study's participants in the age range of 18-24 indicated that smartphones are essential to their everyday lives, and an ever-increasing number of people across all age brackets are using smartphones to browse the mobile web on a daily basis.  Here’s a list of 5 brands leading the way in mobile website and application development and also some lessons that other brand marketers can learn from them.


The Starbucks mobile application offers a variety of tools and useful information to its users.  With this app, you can check your gift card balance, view any rewards you may have earned, locate nearby stores, and find nutritional information about your favorite foods and beverages.  Socially, you can send eGifts to friends and family via email or Facebook, share your drink preferences with the world via Twitter, and connect to any of Starbucks' other social channels (i.e. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook) via one click on their mobile app homepage.

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo mobile application makes visiting the zoo into an even more fun, social event.  When you first open the app, you are asked whether you would like to subscribe to the mailing list.  From the main menu, you can access lists of exhibits and animals, and you can pull up a map and tons of additional visitor information.  You can also explore their media section, which is filled with live feeds, videos, and photos: all of which can be commented on, liked, or shared on a number of social channels.  The main menu also contains a scroll at the bottom that functions as a live Twitter feed, so users can see what the San Diego Zoo Twitter handle is talking about.


 The NFL has an excellent mobile website that not only provides the latest football news, but also includes information about teams, including scores, schedules, standings, and photos.  Most of this content is shareable via Facebook and Twitter.  The website also provides links to their mobile apps and other social media channels.


Disney has developed an excellent mobile website to make it easier for users, customers, and visitors who are on the go.  In addition to information about Disney's parks and upcoming events (e.g. Disney on Ice), the website has games, photos, videos, and music.  It also provides links to download additional Disney apps.



The JetBlue iPhone application has done an incredible job of simplifying flying.  It provides information about your past and future trips, allows you to check-in to your flight, and sends push notifications when there are any changes to your flight’s status.




Key Takeaways:

  • Before investing in a quality mobile website or application, determine whether or not it will appeal to your target demographic.
  • Ensure that your application is intuitive to use, visually stimulating, and that it functions flawlessly.
  • The application should include easy ways to share content on a variety of social channels.
  • Finally, it should provide direct links to your brand’s other social channels so that users don’t have to hunt down Twitter handles.


Which brands have you identified as having an excellent presence on the mobile web?