Media Case Study

Pivoting From App Nobody Wanted Toward Market Space Nobody Owned


With readers exposed to an ever-increasing amount of online content and related distractions, a ten-year old Web site that had been successfully meeting the needs of visitors to a Midwestern vacation destination saw the “writing on the wall”: with rare exceptions traditional news sites, even if they had embraced richer digital content, were not sustainable over the long-term.


They approached me and a partner with digital experience to determine whether an envisioned app would be the solution to their challenges.



I conducted efficient rounds of desk research and national interviews and came to a straight-forward conclusion: the app wouldn’t address either stated or latent needs and was therefore not a solution.

  • This conclusion, coupled with sobering research regarding app adoption and stickiness trends, allowed us to convince the Client to abandon the initiative.

  • But as a strong believer in giving clients what they request as well as what they might also need, abandoning the app created an alternative opportunity: evolving their business into a lifestyle brand. With strong brand equity among current readers as they vacation, the idea was to expand the relationship when readers returned home.


Embraced by the Client but necessitating operational changes to support the wider footprint, the on-hold program development is slated to resume in late 2017.



  • Media


Type of Business

  • Medium Size


  • Category Research and Competitive Analysis

  • Stakeholder Interviews and Customer Experience Mapping

  • Ideation Facilitation



  • Business Model Development / Refinement and Market Entry Paths

  • Brand Positioning, Architecture, and Activation

  • Lifestyle Branding



© 2017 by Jonathan B Davis

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