Do CPGs need their own voice for Alexa?
In the internet age, the term “brand voice” has come to represent a company’s look, feel and attitude, but with the advent of voice-based commerce, CPG brands find they need a literal voice — one distinctive enough to separate them from the pack.
The challenge of branding audio in a way that sticks out as clearly as attractive packaging on the shelf was one that came up at this year’s Voice Summit, reported GeoMarketing. In order to differentiate in the world of voice commerce, the article foresees CPG brands having to take steps such as:
- Creating an audio branding element that is consistent with other aspects of a product’s branding, like its colors and logo;
- Having an owned voice that differs significantly from Alexa (which may be seen as the “default” personality of voice commerce) à la Geico’s current use of its iconic Gecko voice to introduce its Alexa skill;
- Creating unique audio logos;
- Using brand-appropriate regional dialects and accents.
Such moves may be comparatively rare at this stage in voice commerce’s evolution. They evoke a memory of the bygone days of advertising. Quick, catchy, unforgettable commercial jingles, like the Rice-a-Roni song or the three-tone sound signatures that once accompanied “Nabisco” or “By Mennen” commercials, seem ready-made for introducing an Alexa skill.
And branded character voices, as the GeoMarketing article notes, are already out there in the commercial world, especially in the cereal aisle.
It’s not hard to imagine the Echo device subbing in a different voice than Alexa’s each time it mentions a specific branded product. Such a variation in voices could not only help brands stand out, but make for a more engaging user experience.
Some might see such a conversation as jumping the gun, given that voice assistants have not yet demonstrated a high rate of adoption for shopping, as a report earlier this month revealed. By the same token, the introduction of new branded voices could represent one of the improvements in sophistication required to bring the technology into its next stage of evolution.
- CPG And Alexa: Audio Packaging On The Voice Shelf – GeoMarketing
- Voice Shopping with Alexa – YouTube
- Report says voice commerce is all talk – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How seriously should CPGs take the idea of creating distinct voice presences to help them stand on Alexa and other voice assistants? How should brands go about “finding their voice”?