How brands can remain human in an artificial world


The superpower of a successful brand is the ability to build emotional connections with its audience; to tap into their needs and form lasting ties.


With AI creeping into our everyday lives, there’s been a lot of talk about how and why it will affect brands. One thing is certain, the effects aren’t always obvious and will change as technology evolves.


Branded content leads to CMO discontent?


One of the avenues AI opens up is the opportunity for anyone to create and develop content. CMOs are both excited and also wary of its consequences. Over 60% of the 500 CMOs Frontify recently interviewed welcomed AI as the future of creativity and asset creation. Automatically generating on-brand social posts and writing content pieces would undoubtedly appeal to any marketeer looking to streamline their processes.

But there’s also a flip side. Anyone with access to AI can easily use it to develop branded content of their own. Three quarters of the CMO group described an unsolicited “fake brand partnership” as their worst nightmare, and want greater governance to prevent such potential issues.

As the power of AI tools grows and adapts, those in charge of managing brands need to carefully control their brand assets, and ensure that the seductive appeal of generated content doesn’t eclipse the core principles and values of their brand.


Brands are being cut out of the decision making process


Across many sectors and experiences, decision making is being transferred from people to AI, making it harder than ever to create truly memorable customer interactions that can turn customers into vocal advocates. To see this in action, let’s consider a simple interaction; asking Alexa to purchase AAA batteries. Very few people request a battery by brand, therefore decades of Duracell’s brand equity are overwritten as the final purchase decision now seamlessly shifts from the customer, to Amazon.

It’s obvious how this could become problematic in many sectors, and how investing in a memorable brand name, defining a strategy around product naming and developing sonic branding will likely become more important to build brand equity. It’s not a leap to see the value in Energiser AAA batteries becoming ‘Energiser MiniMighty’.


Brands that excel in personalisation deliver over five times the marketing ROI, and see sales boosted by over 10%


Adding the unseen magic


AI is playing a largely unseen role behind the scenes enabling brands to develop a more customised and personalised customer experience. Using AI to gather insights on what users are looking for from products or services, allows brands to build experiences around those needs. This almost instinctual understanding of the needs of the audience in turn forges a closer connection between the audience and the brand. Levels of personalisation can now be embedded in the customer lifecycle in a far more meaningful way.

This level of hyper-customisation requires a real commitment to analytics and data, but the return on that commitment is worth it — brands that excel in personalisation deliver over five times the marketing ROI, and see sales boosted by over 10% according to McKinsey.

But it’s not simply a case of using AI to predict future needs and behaviours, there needs to be an understanding of how design, writing and UI can create a customer journey that resonates.