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The brands that found their voice in 2019

Nov 22, 2019
The more engaged your customers are, the more emotionally invested they are in your brand, and a lasting emotional connection starts with a conversation. In today’s digitally detached age, brands are reclaiming the power of talk to strike a familiar chord with consumers. By nature, we’re curious. But by technology, we’re invested – the smart speaker revolution has reached one in five homes across the UK and over 120 million homes in the US. And this year more than ever before, increasing numbers of brands have enjoyed real success in the smart speaker space.

From arduous to effortless, the Amazon Alexa and Google Home have transformed the purchasing experience. Ordering a late night pizza, booking a hotel room for your upcoming city break, reserving an item in-store… smart speakers let you have your say – literally. Domino’s voice-activated ordering assistant, Dom, has topped more than two million orders since its 2014 launch, while travel agency Kayak uses Alexa as a skill to help customers learn about and book rooms.

Combatting sipping scepticism

Scotch whisky brand Johnnie Walker has also developed its very own Alexa skill to dismantle the scotch stereotype and open the bar to a new type of consumer. Traditionally, the whisky backdrop was a dark, dingy and dusty room with the fire roaring and smoke circling over a grumpy-looking man kicked back in a leather chair. Unsurprisingly, the world of whisky became an intimidating place, so it was time for the old man’s drink to have a rethink. Johnnie Walker combatted sipping scepticism by developing its very own Alexa skill based solely on personal preference. The Alexa skill brings brand credentials to life while customers choose a label, enjoy a tasting, purchase a bottle and expand their whisky knowledge. As a result, the drink has become a more fashionable and accessible option for the younger generation and almost 40% of US whisky drinkers are now female.
Johnnie Walker Amazon Alexa

Kitchen conversation

“Alexa, tell Whirlpool to preheat the oven.” It’s not the most standard culinary phrase, but commands like these are set to become the norm. Whirlpool is the world’s largest appliance manufacturer and at the start of 2019, the brand introduced four new Alexa and Google Assistant integrated products to help home cooks expand their culinary creativity. Turning the oven, stove, washer and dryer smarter, Whirlpool cooked up a storm to win five C E S Innovation Awards for 2019. Utilising functional, intentional and bespoke sounds, the smart appliances successfully set the mood for the task at hand while also deepening customer loyalty. Brandon Satanek, the Global Manager at Whirlpool argues ‘if you like what you hear, you’ll develop brand allegiance, replacing a Whirlpool with a Whirlpool, and seeking out other members of our product family”.
Alexa Amazon Whirlpool

Speaking in the driving seat

Similarly to the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, Mercedes’ MBUX creates an interactive experience, but this time, on the road. Unlike a typical backseat driver, this extra voice doesn’t comment and critique every aspect of your driving technique. Rather, the MBUX voice assistant places you firmly in the driving seat to control navigation, air conditioning, the radio and more aspects of your journey. The MBUX is intuitive – say you’re hungry and nearby restaurants pop up on the screen – say you’re cold and the temperature rises – it’s all part of Mercedes’ ambition to drive forward into younger markets. Similarly to Johnnie Walker, Mercedes wanted to lower the average age of the A-class buyer, and cool introductions like ‘Hey Mercedes’ offer instant brand recognition while initiating a quirky relationship with customers.
Mercedes Benz Voice Activate
Voice technology represents a great opportunity for businesses to engage and interact with other businesses and clients. More and more brands are finding their voice to spark a more natural and organic conversation with consumers. Improving engagement, recognition, and loyalty, ‘brand voice’ has now developed a literal meaning as marketers have never been as close to consumers. Similarly, with an exclusive Brand-Sound-Track™, stylistic copywriting and the perfect voice artist, PHMG works to establish an exclusive tone of voice for more than 36,000 clients in 39 countries. Your brand identity speaks for itself, and now is the time to take a deeper look at the conversations you’re having with consumers.