Startups: Is your startup name voice compatible

When you’re starting off and trying to decide your business name, it is hard work, trying to find a legal business name, a domain to register, then there are all the social accounts Twitter/Instagram/Facebook/YouTube account names that you need to reserve.

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With the rise of voice assistants in the home (with over 100 million devices to be sold in 2018 globally) and growing demand within the workplace, voice interfaces are another channel that needs to be in your branding and marketing plan.

Even if you’re not planning on building a voice-based application, your brand may be accessed or consumed through a voice service/application. You need to make the most of that brand awareness especially in the passive environment of a family home.

The simplest and what can be the hardest is, how will users say your brand name and is your brand name easy for a voice device to pronounce correctly.

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As voice is an action intent based experience you may not be able to enjoy the recurring nature of a user saying your brand name over and over daily “Play Ed Sheeran on Spotify”, “Show me Narco’s on Netflix”.

If your company is a way for people to book flights that they do once or twice a year the engagement level over voice as well as discovery is going to be low. Though people do ask for the weather daily, what if you built or sponsored an existing app that does have the engagement levels “Weather today provided by Instaflights”.

Amazon as the current leaders in the voice device space recently released the Alexa Show and Alexa Spot. These devices are great at showing key information such as weather or the time remaining on your kitchen timers. They also allow Amazon to teach you about new commands you could be asking Alexa. Currently, these tips seem to be Amazon skills focused, but they could open future marketing real estate.


Building for the dominant platform

Voice is still in its infancy though like any platform it will have its moment as mobile is currently. Will you be voice ready and what can your business do now to start thinking about how it can use voice to raise awareness for itself or what it stands for.

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This was done amazingly in 2017 by American rapper Logic who released a song that highlighted suicide prevention, calling the song 1–800–273–8255 which is the telephone number for US suicide prevention services.

Where mobile is current dominant platform it meant whenever, you listened to the song you were repeatedly seeing the telephone number 1–800–273–8255, giving people a subconscious reference they could relate to in a moment of need or if they knew someone else who needed it.

The direct impact saw the NSPL get a 27% rise in call volume during the 3 weeks of the song’s release.

With 20% of all Google searches now being conducted by voice and over 1 billion devices globally with voice discovery enabled (Alexa, Siri, Google, Cortana), voice will only become more dominant. But like with any technology your voice experience needs to be providing value to succeed.