Creating a brand personality through chatbots.
When it comes to Artificial Intelligence, we are far from attaining the end of the road – especially when it involves new ways of reaching out to consumers. ‘Chatbots’, or the robots behind any customer service assistance you may encounter online, are starting to populate the digital world.
Before becoming the chatbots we know today, conversational interfaces started in the 1970s with text-based games where players could choose what their characters should do by responding to short text descriptions. Apple, Microsoft and others then introduced the Graphical User Interfaces to improve the user’s experience which was only the start to a long series of innovations within this field. Conversational interfaces are now emerging all over the place. However, it goes beyond the need to improve customer service; for brands it means rethinking their digital eco-system and start branding themselves as humans.
Just a couple of years ago, branding could have been summarised by finding the perfect logo, defining a clear brand identity, having the adapted packaging, using promotions and other attractive techniques to drag consumers’ attention. Market research then helped point out cultural and environmental differences and the importance of being customer-focused when developing a business’s marketing strategy. Today, Artificial Intelligence is drastically boosting and reshaping the evolution of branding. From a simple logo to the idea of creating human connections through technology, the question is: could brands ever develop a personality?
If we take a look at the application Siri: Apple created it with the intention of providing its customers with an “intelligent personal assistant that helps you get things done”, but Siri has become more than that. It answers any type of questions and has a clearly defined voice which builds on a personality. Having conversations with Siri is enjoyable. Siri is a friend.
Other brands and companies have expanded this concept by creating their own chatbots. National Geographic practically created Albert Einstein by matching the chatbot’s voice to what Einstein would have sounded like for the promotion of a new documentary on his life – “Genius”, 2017. People could talk with the ‘genius’ himself. Just as in real life, the tone you adapt and the way you talk influences how you are seen by people and predicts some traits of your personality. Not only do conversational interfaces save time and improve customer support but if brands start having a distinct voice matching their values and the company’s culture, it will become more relatable, believable and relevant. This could be the future of branding.