AI isn’t going away any time soon. More and more businesses are beginning to incorporate AI in their branding and user experience. And AI is getting people talking about brands even if they don’t actually use them. Stewart Brand writes, ‘once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.’ Let’s talk about how to make sure that your business isn’t trampled by the future.
Remember the human.
Potential clients will either buy or boycott your brand based on your brand’s social and political stance, says Edelman’s 2017 Earned Brand study. This new generation of ‘belief-driven’ consumers expect brands to address critical social problems and speak out.
If your brand doesn’t speak to the people, the people won’t come to you. Before you even begin to consider involving AI in your company’s marketing or UX, make sure to define your brand and what it stands for. If you’re stuck, try imagining your company as a person — with a face, a name and a set of values. Weave that persona into your branding and make sure it shouts outs from your logo to your website.
Your AI is part of your branding.
NatWest is literally putting a face to the brand with their digital bank teller, Cora. The new Cora prototype is a female human avatar who responds to verbal prompts. Cora’s brown hair, ear piercings and a NatWest uniform combine the feeling of talking to a human being with the accuracy of a robot — the perfect blend of personalised efficiency that marks a good bank.
If you envision AI as part of your clients’ user experience of your product, your AI must fit your brand. AI can be as unobtrusive as machine-learning content customisation (think Spotify or Netflix), or as simple as a pop-up chatbot on your website.
Consider stereotypes and social biases.
The last thing you want is your clients to think of your brand negatively. Siri, Alexa and Cortana’s female voices have been slated for reinforcing sexist tropes of women in service roles. AI will learn the same biases as those who code and create them. Your clients will judge your brand by what your AI looks like, what it has learnt and what it reproduces. Trial your prototypes with diverse groups of people to ensure that your AI doesn’t send messages you didn’t intend.
Considering AI but not sure where to start for optimal UX? Contact us for a free consultation.