By Giselle Simmons
In today's digital age, brands and voice play a much more significant role in affecting customer decisions than we think. Aside from creating new ways to connect with customers, branding and voice technology are crucial for business growth in today's marketplace. For instance, research published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior notes how voice shopping is on the rise as AI assistants appeal to a consumer's desire for power — implying that these technologies can significantly affect future shopping patterns. Today, we review the impact that the Internet and tech have on our brand attachment and how these developments affect traditional marketing.
What is "brand love"?
Referring to the attachment customers feel to companies and their brands, brand love has become an essential aspect of modern marketing in the Internet age. A study on building sustainable brands published in Frontiers in Psychology defines brand love as the changed relationship between a customer and a brand — a shift from mere satisfaction, to love. This is attributed to customers connecting with a brand and considering it as a manifestation of their self-identification.
Despite the change in medium, the marketing principle stays the same — people love brands that know how to connect with them beyond a business relationship. To do so, the best companies rely on storytelling techniques to appeal to customers' emotions and, consequently, their emotional needs. Insights from Building a StoryBrand by marketing expert Donald Miller highlights the importance of delivering a business' message clearly and distinctly, while still building an organic and emotional connection with people in as human a way as possible.
To add that extra layer of human-ness to the list of marketing technologies today, innovative companies are investing in voice applications to enhance this brand love further. Using voice tech, brands can create one-to-one relationships with customers. As noted in our post Brand Building for the Future Using Emerging Technologies, we are dedicated to offering custom and dynamic voice experiences on the Internet and through smart devices in the form of voice assistants for the optimal customer engagement.
How does this affect traditional marketing?
Because newer and more efficient digital means of marketing are available, it doesn't mean they are replacements for traditional marketing. Rather, businesses can benefit from thinking of emerging technologies in the marketing world as tools or extensions to improve existing strategies. After all, the Internet is merely a solution to make faster versions of direct mail and print marketing possible, but the messaging stays relatively similar. Instead of billboards, for example, businesses today are vying to be seen on social media.
What's important is the commitment to authentically deliver a message while being efficient. This is so that the human workforce can be redirected to other aspects of marketing. Author and marketing strategy consultant Mark Schaefer emphasizes the value of businesses built on human impressions in his book Marketing Rebellion. In today's crowded marketplace and marketing landscape, Schaefer insists that the most human company wins. For brands relying on telephone customer service, for example, using AI technology in voice assistants can ensure conversational, non-robotic engagement with customers while maintaining a proper tone, pronunciation, and consistency.
What lies ahead?
Many of us are familiar with voice-led customer service. Voice assistants are as present in smartphones as in a business's customer service department. Having life-like conversations, even with AI, provides a human aspect to the things we do instead of merely typing and clicking commands on a screen or a keyboard.
However, organic voice technology stems from training the AI and the analysis of data from different interactions. To continually enhance and humanize voice tech, businesses first need to have an established understanding of human behavior and decisions, so that voice assistants are professional but not stiff, conversational but not rude or trying too hard. A personalized approach for every customer, instead of a repetitive customer service front that dehumanizes a business' brand and negates brand love, is key.
To see how you can quickly and easily create a voice application and start building your brand love, contact our team today.