By Dennis de Rond, Founder / CEO of Skyne | 2-3 minute read
The success of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is evident. Although the commercial implementation might still be in its infancy, AI technologies hold many success stories already. AI technologies are expected to add US$15 trillion to the global economy by 2030, according to Oxford Insights. For industry leaders like Amazon, Uber and Booking.com, AI is a fundamental element of their marketing strategy. Customer experiences will be driven entirely by artificial intelligence in the near future. Recently, the United Arab Emirates was ranked one of the top countries in the Middle East for AI readiness, whilst Singapore is leading the way worldwide. Organizations that successfully deployed artificial intelligence techniques already work smarter and benefit from increased efficiency and scientific decision-making. There is no doubt that AI technologies will change how we see and interact with brands too. Time for a closer look at AI technologies from a branding perspective: How to deploy AI technologies and increase the value of your brand.
Artificial intelligence in brief
John McCarthy is worldwide recognized as one of the founding fathers of Artificial Intelligence. He came up with the term in 1956 and defined AI as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines”. This translates to computer systems that are developed to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. AI works by processing large amounts of data and combine it with intelligent algorithms at high speed. This allows the software to learn automatically from patterns or features in the data. That way, AI can be used to recognize data, make predictions or even to make recommendations. Examples of AI techniques in daily life are Google Maps predicting the amount of time it takes to get from A to B, Facebook using AI to recognize faces when you upload images or think about shopping recommendations that appear when you look for an item on Amazon. Forbes predicts global spending on AI systems will increase from 2018 to 2019 with 44% to $35.8 billion. In 2022, global spending are expected to even double and reach $79.2 billion.
How AI benefits brands – is all about humanization & personalization
The value of your brand depends solely on the reputation of your brand. A good brand reputation is achieved by consistently living up to your brand’s promise throughout the customer journey. The biggest AI opportunities to increase brand value are the possibilities to make brands more human and personalize the customer journey. Why does this matter?
Winning over customers and to establish a relationship with them takes a great deal of trust. In fact, according to this major research 81% (!) of the respondents said: “I must be able to trust the brand to do what is right,” before they make a purchase. Being able to trust brands is now more important to customers than ever before, but a trust relationship is not built overnight, as probably every reader can relate to.
Showing the human side of your brand is one of the most critical factors to build a trust relationship with your target audience. Customers want to feel your brand understands them, that you’re not just a brand trying to sell products or services. And this is where AI technologies can definitely make a difference, by taking communication with customers to a whole new and deeper level. For instance, voice technology allows for an actual conversation with brands, like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri or Spotify Voice.
Other AI techniques, like social listening, make it much easier and way faster to anticipate your target audience needs. Based on your target audience’s digital activities, interactions and interests, AI crafts detailed target audience personas. These are almost real-time insights in the lives of your target audience and enable you to quickly determine what content is relevant to your target audience and when and where they need your brand most. From there, machine learning makes it even easier to personalize the customer journey of your target audience: Shopping recommendations when customers shop online on your website, chatbots answering your customer’s fact-based questions 24/7 or (re) targeting advertisements are just a few examples. Content creation based on machine learning will be the next big step in AI to further personalize and automate the customer journey. Some major online companies, like Google and Facebook, are currently researching the options for content creation with the use of AI.
The implications for your brand
But how do these AI developments impact your brand? Most brand strategies describe the personality of the brand. It describes your brand as a person: how it would behave, look like, talk and some strategies even take it as far as star signs and how a brand would smell. Visualizing your brand as a human is a great way to give direction to everyone working with your brand and ensures a consistent image is being portrayed. But with the demand increasing for brands to become more human and the availability of AI technologies to realize this, the question who your brand is becomes even more relevant. If you wanted to start using voice technology for your brand, what voice would fit? How would your brand talk, is it a ‘Good morning Sir, how are you doing today?’ type of brand or more a ‘Hey dude, what’s up?’ type? And although artificial intelligence can help you make considered choices regarding your brand’s personality, it is still a manual job to decide on what brand personality fits best with your company (goals) and target audience.
But there is more to AI and branding
Not only do AI technologies change the way we see and interact with brands, it also changes the way we manage brands. Efficiency, accuracy and automation are the key advantages of working with AI technologies. AI technologies open up a whole new world of managing brands, making it much easier for you to not only reach your target audience much easier, but also to provide them with the most relevant information, when and where they need it most.
Ready to seize the opportunities?
Whether you’re convinced that AI technologies provide great opportunities for your brand after reading this article or not yet, AI technologies are not going to disappear. It will radically change the future of both B2C and B2B brands. AI technologies, when implemented in the right way, provide many opportunities to increase your brand value; to deepen relationships with your customers and to manage your brand much more efficiently and accurately. When you’re ready to embrace these opportunities, the first step is to make sure your brand strategy is AI-proof.