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Subaru blazes past the bandwagon with app catering to exploring

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Remember the mobile app boom? It seemed like every business was developing its own app, no matter the industry. While that trend has slowed, I was always confused by why so many companies thought consumers would actually download their app, and beyond that, use it.

That’s the thing about riding on the bandwagon — there are usually so many people crammed aboard that you can’t see who is steering.

I’ve never been one to do something just because everyone else is, especially when it comes to business. When I was in the journalism industry, I was so confused why a newspaper would want to build an app instead of a solid mobile website. Instead of giving weight to what the competition is doing, it often pays to slow down and ask what the consumer wants.

Which is exactly what Subaru did with its “Guide to Everything” App.

While so many applications cater to product, this app is designed for people. Subaru owners are known for their active lifestyle. I can’t count how many Subaru vehicles I see with bikes, canoes, kayaks, or a combination of all of the above strapped to them — mine included. (That’s right, full disclosure: I am a Subaru owner). With adventure in mind, Subaru created an app that helps users find the trail less traveled.

The “Guide to Everything” app, developed by Lonely Planet can be used on your mobile phone or on Facebook. Users can search for nearby hiking, camping, dog friendly areas, sights, biking or dining hot spots. The best part? Much of the content is user generated. These are places submitted by locals and you may or may not find on a location’s travel guide.

Trailblazers are the ones who don’t mind to let the bandwagon pass and watch how it handles the trail, only to venture off on their own direction. Subaru is a proven pioneer. Inline with the brand’s message, it has found a way to unite with its already-loyal customers by steering away from the typical.

I had my Subaru off the beaten path recently. My dad and I went fishing at some little-known ponds, climbing up the mountain and over very rough terrain to find a little patch of paradise in Southeastern Kentucky. Maybe I’ll do my part and share my secret fishing spot with some like-minded explorers.

Well, maybe not.

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