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Voice on the Rise: Why Brands Should Start Listening

With an abundance of sophisticated, new technologies on display at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), there was one common theme among the industry’s most hi-tech fortune-tellers: Voice.

Revolution Digital  |  February 4, 2019
Voice on the Rise: Why Brands Should Start Listening

With an abundance of sophisticated, new technologies on display at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), there was one common theme among the industry’s most hi-tech fortune-tellers: Voice.

With 4,500 companies showcasing their latest and greatest devices, an overwhelming amount of those trailblazing technologies predicted the rise of voice assistants and related tech, so much so that AdWeek declared 2019 “The Year of Voice.”

While the Voice evolution is still ongoing, brands are quickly jumping aboard to make sure they’re ready when Voice reaches its peak. And if you think its popularity is just a phase, think again. Revolution Digital had the recent pleasure of attending the Amazon-sponsored “Alexa Conference,” taking away some interesting facts and tips for those considering a move into Voice.

1. Voice is on the Rise:
Did you know that smart speakers are being adopted at a faster rate than smart phones and the internet? Plus, 26% of people who own smart speakers have already made a purchase by voice, making it far more valuable than just a tool to check the weather (but hey, we don’t hate). Moving forward, Voice will be way bigger than just “smart” speakers; we’re entering Phase 2 of the Modern Voice Assistant era, where voice has more capabilities and more frequent use across more devices.

2. It’s the Antidote to Screen Addiction:
With smartphone use on the rise, voice serves as a refreshing “correction” to screen addiction. It allows us to get things done and consume interesting audio-first content in a screen-free, on-demand and frictionless way—out in the world with our heads up. With speech being our most natural form of communication throughout history, voice tech operates at the intersection of a return to our roots and cutting-edge innovation.

3. Flipping the Ad Framework:
With voice technology, consumers can take back the reins and play a bigger role in determining the brands and content to which they’re exposed. While paid advertising will certainly play a role in which brands are suggested when voice assistants like Alexa are asked to order something (more toilet paper, please!), consumers have a lot more power with Voice since they’re the ones initiating smart speaker conversations—not the other way around, like traditional and social media.

4. The Importance of Sonic Branding:
When it comes to breaking into Voice as a brand, more is required than just deciding on a “skill” to own. You have to start with the basics, and that begins with one question: What does your brand sound like? You have an identity on social media, in your TVC, and on your website, but how do you bring that to life via Voice? To create a definitive identity, a brand’s most powerful tool is finding the right tone and nomenclature to build an emotional connection with consumers.

5. Brilliance in Brevity:
When thinking about creating your brand’s Voice footprint, it’s easy to own random skills or deliver a wealth of information. But with 70,000 skills currently in Alexa alone, making your mark can be a major challenge. The most impactful way to have a voice (in Voice) is to focus on one thing that consumers expect the most from you and do that. Steer away from anything loosely related to your brand that seems cool, and instead opt to lean in to something you know your consumers want and that will help make their everyday routine easier or more fruitful.

If your brand hasn’t yet experimented with Voice, now’s the time to make moves. At Revolution Digital, we can help craft your strategy and guide execution on this cutting-edge platform. Reach out to our team at newbusiness@rev-d.com to see how we can work together!

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