Dipping your brand into unfamiliar territory (like marketing a mobile app to the masses) isn't just a matter of learning new terrain, it's a matter of rethinking what you think you know. A good place to start? Other companies' success stories.

Enter Vogue Stylist ("Your closet. Styled by Vogue."), an iPhone app that does two things really well: It provides a useful function, and it employs an ad model that contributes to its functionality.

The Stylist is a tool that helps a gal match her clothes to current fashion trends. Take photos of what you've got, then upload them to the system. It'll mix-and-match your array with a few extra separates to get you fashion-forward on a budget! (Spring variants include Floaty Dress, The Trench and Tribal. Tres chic!)

Where does the advertising come in? Lots of places, actually. To start, every piece of clothing or accessory suggested to you comes from a sponsoring brand. (About 91 signed up for the launch of Vogue Stylist, including Gucci, Kate Spade, Valentino, Nine West, Via Spiga and Longchamp Paris.) If you happen to like something, Stylist tells you where to find it nearby—sending revenue back to brick-and-mortar retailers. You also get exclusive access to discounts and events—a girl's best friend, and the fruit of many a sponsorship!

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