As artificial intelligence grows and broadens as a form of technology, multiple tech companies have launched their own voice assistants and voice-based customer solutions. From Apple’s Siri to Amazon’s Alexa to IBM’s Watson, there is no shortage of variety in terms of voice assistants on the market and their unique capabilities.
What is becoming increasingly more interesting is not in the voice assistants themselves, but in the brands that are creating their own ties to the technology either through partnership or by creating their own voice-based platforms. Below are the TACK10 Tuesday Top 5 Brands Leveraging Voice Technology.
Just last month, Walmart announced a partnership with Google in which shoppers could easily order their Walmart shopping lists just by speaking to their Google Assistant through a smart speaker or Android-powered smartphone. This partnership was created with the aim of competing with Amazon, who has been rapidly growing in the online retail space. Through Google Express, Google’s e-commerce platform, Walmart has made available hundreds of thousands of its most popular items for ordering. These items are then shipped, for free, to the user’s home or local Walmart. While this partnership is currently only available in the United States, it is a great strategy for both partners, who want to compete against the growing Amazon.
Starbucks is often praised for the ease of its loyalty app and the lengths it has made in terms of online ordering and express pick-up options. Starbucks has started introducing My Starbucks Barista, a voice-activated bot that can take your order by listening to it, and then sending it to your nearby Starbucks shop for pickup. My Starbucks Barista is built to track orders and make product recommendations based on history. Its built-in AI algorithm is also extremely personalized and able to offer unique coupons or even games and contests based on the user’s preferences.
Dominos’ chatbot, naturally named Dom, has been the topic of conversation for a number of years now, as its conversational skills and capabilities have been frequently updated. Dubbed “The Siri of Pizza,” Dom engages in voice-activated or typed conversation with users of the Dominos app, which always ends in a suggestion of pizza. Much like My Starbucks Barista, Dom can help users order pizza for pickup or delivery without ever calling the store itself. A unique feature of Dominos’ Dom is the Easy Order basket in which users can place their typical pizza order into a virtual basket for Dom to quickly suggest as the pizza to be ordered.
Beloved comfort food brand Campbell’s has both developed its own form of voice technology, and partnered with existing platforms to extend its reach to consumers. Through the Campbell’s Kitchen App, compatible with the Amazon Echo, consumers can ask the age-old question “what’s for dinner?” and get an intelligent response. By providing the app with a key ingredient, the user’s Echo will suggest five different recipes featuring Campbell’s and its sister brands’ ingredients. In addition, Campbell’s has partnered with the Weather Network and IBM’s Watson to deliver voice-activated advertisements through the Weather Network app. Much like the Campbell’s Kitchen App, people who view these advertisements can directly offer up an ingredient and receive a recipe built around it.
According to reports, Facebook, the social media giant who seems to be constantly evolving and adding new features to its website and app, is in the midst of developing both a video chatbot and a voice assistant hardware. While these reported developments are just that – in development – they serve as a reminder that Facebook is tackling evolving technology head on. Multiple companies have already deployed branded chatbots through Facebook Messenger, but the addition of a voice assistant and video chat could change the strategy for many.
These brands have done a great job at leveraging a new technology while it is still a hot topic. When deciding if either creating or partnering with a voice-based solution is right for your brand, it is important to recognize whether or not this type of technology makes sense for your company and industry.
Another important point to consider, for those leveraging voice technology or not, is that consumers are using voice assistants more and more frequently for search, online shopping, recommendations and more. Whether or not you want to leverage this technology directly, it is important that you at least take an internal look at your content strategy so that it is optimized for voice search. Much like traditional SEO practices, content needs to be succinct and directly related to the topic, but with voice on the rise, brands also need to make sure their content is easily pronounceable and relevant to what their consumers are searching most often.