Voice platforms will create the global power brands of the 2020s
Hoover is a vacuum, Jet Ski is a watercraft, a Google a search, Onesies is a bodysuit, Jacuzzi is a hot tub, a Post-it is a sticky note, PowerPoint is a presentation, roller-blades are inline skates, and Sellotape is well Sellotape.
These are the brands that have become synonymous in our society, and though some of their market caps may have faded over the years, their legacy remains, and it is the brand that they built that gave them opportunity.
Voice as a platform will create the next round of global power brand’s, brands of today both small and large need have the opportunity to capitalise on this now.
Linking Spotify to my Alexa devices, when asking for music I could get defaulted to Amazon’s music service which I do not have a subscription for. I would, therefore, get a “This track is not within your music library, would you like to hear about amazon prime music”, I would have to add “play X On Spotify” if I wanted it to use Spotify.
Over a few months this resulted in me saying 5–10 times a day I would say “On Spotify”, this started to cement Spotify into the minds of anyone in my home. My wife asked to get Spotify on her phone, and the children would always say Spotify, this was the same on the kindle fire for the TV and Netflix “Alexa, put Dinotrucks on Netflix”. Spotify became the name for music and Netflix for TV.
Spotify needs to release a speaker
I recently set Spotify as the default music service on my Alexa devices, I now do not get the lovely prime music advert as my music requests are directed to Spotify.
Spotify has just lost brand awareness in my home.
Now I can say “Play XXX album” or “top hits from XXX”, my music provider could easily change under the hood, and I would be none the wiser, apart from the £180 a year I pay Spotify would move to another provider. This is unlikely to happen currently with 70% of my music consumption on mobile, the quality of the Spotify app keeps me to their platform but what happens when 70% of my consumption is via voice.
Siri only supports Apple music, and Amazon offers more complex searching on prime music. Netflix by controlling more and more original content are future proofing themselves that their content itself becomes its brand rather than its technology platform.
As we move further towards a voice-based world and UI-less experiences, we have to re-think our brands and how we build brand awareness.
Brands need to focus on intent awareness; this is where a brand is associated with an intent action rather than just their logo. Tesco (UK’s largest supermarket chain), would show intent by enabling customers to “Tell Tesco I am out of butter” or “Tesco, bring my delivery tomorrow morning before 10am” delivering value to customers whilst giving Tesco awareness in a UI-less experience.
Why is this important in a voice first world?
Our technology-driven society continues to distance users away from how “things” are created and logistically delivered to us. Do you know how many Amazon depo locations there are in the UK or the number of Amazon employee’s national? Probably not, that is because to most users Amazon is just an app on their phone that in one tap can deliver an item to their home the following day.
Tesco with 6,500 stores, 476,000 staff in a voice world becomes simply a shopping list app, as you ask for items, they arrive, users may never step into a Tesco store, the same way a lot of Amazon Prime users do not even check if a product exists outside of amazon.com.
These and other brands will lose their hold if they don’t embrace intent awareness in a voice-powered world. What if you’re a brand that does not produce something physical? You can take still embrace intent awareness by engaging through positive promotion. These intent based promotions though have to deliver value otherwise customers will not engage or trust your brand intention.
Some suggestions on how your brand could embrace promotion intent awareness:
“The weather brought to you by The outdoor company.”
“Local news sponsored by the Premier League.”
“Apple is spelt A.P.P.L.E [voice of Micky mouse].”
How will your brand remain relevant in a voice first world?