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Does your brand have a Voice?

Updated: Oct 30, 2020

Who is controlling the narrative of your brand on Voice devices such as Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant?

There is a race to conquer Voice Assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, and Samsung’s Bixby but the road is complex with 1000+ unique brands that have a voice assistant built-into a device. How should your brand navigate the voice landscape? This article provides a brief overview of the voice tsunami and the opportunity for brands to get voice.

Why Voice and Conversations?

Voice is the most natural, intuitive and easy way for us to engage. From the early days of text-to-speech (TTS) and computer generated digital robotic voice to the amazing smart speakers in our homes today, voice interface has come a long way. We adapted to the QWERTY keyboard as our primary input interface, but this is about to change quickly. Ambient computing and conversational voice experience have arrived and here to stay.

What is the adoption rate for Smart Speakers & Voice Assistants?

Today, there are over 1B+ devices with Voice Assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Samsung Bixby. With over 500M+ active users monthly, the adoption of voice assistant is continuing to accelerate. According to the smart audio report by NPR and Edison Research, the number of smart speakers in the U.S. households grew by 135% in two years.

There are over 60 million people in the United States that own a smart speaker (and I don’t think this data includes 2019 year-end sales)

Who controls the voice narrative for your brand?

The first thing you may want to ask is ‘What do these smart speakers and voice assistants know about my brand?, What is the narrative being shared by these voice assistants about my industry, brand, and competitors?, Is the narrative aligned with our purpose and brand?’

Extending brand identity, value and engagement over voice is critical to the success of digital strategy. Simply digital or social media engagement is no longer enough. Voice Assistants now offer a multi-modal experience, from television to watch and from smart speaker to Home refrigerator.

Give your brand a Voice!

Here are three immediate and pragmatic things you can do to start your Voice Journey:

1. Research the narrative. Understand the voice landscape and gather insights about the market, target segment, competition, your brand, sources, and narrative.

2. Develop a voice strategy. Own the narrative before someone else does. What are the things you will need to do to align the voice narrative and improve meaningful engagements? What platforms, devices, and voice assistants should you target? What can be done differently to achieve sustainable competitive advantage? How can we align, strengthen, and amplify voice identity in the context of our brand identity? What should be our objective? What are the realistic and stretch goals for our voice strategy? How will we measure success?

3. Employ best practices in voice. Engage with a voice expert or professional voice agency that can help you achieve your goals in an efficient and timely manner.

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