With the rise in voice assistant platforms, smart speakers and wearables. Have you thought about your brand’s presence in this space? Well, In today’s episode we are joined by Chip Edwards, a Partner at Create My Voice. He is a voice branding expert that helps brand owners (businesses and influencers) create their verbal brand on Voice Assistant platforms like Smart Speakers, smartphones, and wearables and he explains how to leverage these mediums and verbal branding to help build your brand.
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Okay. So today we’re joined by Chip Edwards, a partner at Create My Voice he’s a voice branding expert that helps brand owners, businesses, and influencers create their verbal brand on voice assistant platforms like smart speakers, smartphones, and wearables.
Chris Outlaw: Great to have you on the unified brand podcast chip, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself? Create my voice and how you got into the verbal branding space.
Chip Edwards: Yeah, great to be here. And thanks for having me on this podcast. This is an exciting topic these days, and branding is so important. So I’m absolutely thrilled to be here with you today.
So I used to be in the corporate world and one of my responsibilities was an innovation lab. Yeah. Years ago we identified one of the up and coming technologies was going to be voice assistant technologies. It was clear from the resources that Amazon and Google and Siri or Apple were putting into these voice assistants that these weren’t going to just be toys anymore.
They were actually going to change how we use computers. So about three years ago, I started my own company, create my voice. To help brand owners understand the changes that are happening. And in many cases, we help them protect their brand and get started carving out a place on these new voice assistance.
Cool. Yeah, it sounds interesting. So, um, in that innovation lab, you mentioned that you were sort of seeing these trends and these things coming out that were more than just toys, like you said. So what was the first indicator that it was going in a different direction from just the toy sort of market.
Some of the indicators were the fact that Amazon, I think several years ago, Amazon reported that they had like 10,000 employees working on their Amazon Alexa product. Well, Google, the CEO, Sundar Pichai. He’s actually changing Google from being a company that just searches and gives you answers. A company that helps you get things done.
Another one from Amazon is they have the goal of not just building smart speakers. They want to get Amazon Alexa, that voice assistant everywhere. They want it in your car. They want it in your hotel room. They want it. The latest is the wearables, which is actually pretty exciting for me from the aspect of you can put the earbuds on or your glasses on, and now you have Alexa with you anywhere you go.
So now you’ve got these voice assistants that are listening to you, giving you information and responding to you. And so the idea with voice assistance is much bigger than just a smart speaker in your living room. Matter of fact, I just read a report not too long ago, that it used to be the living room and the kitchen where the places where people had their smart speakers, but the most popular place for smart speakers now is actually in the bedroom.
So bedroom living room, kitchen, and then bathroom after that is the order of where people are putting their smart speakers,
Chris Outlaw: That’s quite powerful, isn’t it? That you can get those speakers in those different rooms. So you’re kind of almost always able as a brand to sort of reach that audience no matter where they are, whether that’s in the kitchen or in the bedroom or in the living room, or like you said, with wearable tech. So what are some of the main places that you see brands sort of using this link with the wearables and the different kind of tech that’s coming out?
Chip Edwards: From a brand perspective from a company perspective, I think traditionally as a brand, we’ve kind of focused a lot on our website or some of our marketing material that we’ve put out there. And a lot of that has been really visually based, but as we start looking at voice assistance where people are asking for things. Once you strip away your logos and your colors and your fonts and your sliding images and all that kind of fancy stuff. As far as here’s what our brand, how we represent our brand, once you all that stuff away, and you just have a response, an audio response. All of a sudden, you have to kind of think about your branding a little bit differently. I know that you talked about branding from a really holistic kind of wide perspective, and you really have to do that. And then once you start focusing on voice assistant or voice technology branding, all of a sudden, you’ve got to say, okay, what is my content, the content of what I’m delivering and how do I deliver that content in a way that.
From a verbal response is represents my brand well. So that’s kind of some of the shifts that are happening when you start thinking about branding in a voice assistant world, it really is your content and your interaction models and your presence. Because a lot of people don’t know that to get on these voice assistants.
It’s not magic. You actually have to do something to be able to get your brand out on these voices systems.
Chris Outlaw: That’s really interesting. The bridge between the visual brand and the verbal brand. What is that bridge and how do you build a verbal brand and how do you, like you said to get onto these platforms, what are the kind of steps that you would take as a brand to get them on to those particular platforms?
Chip Edwards: There’s two sides to that. And the first side is when you think about branding, you really need to think about what is the content, what is it that you have that your customers or your audience. Wants from you because in a voice assistant world, the audience, or the customer asks for something from you, and then you provide the content back to them.
And so the first thing you have to do is you’ve got to figure out is what is the content? What are the things that I have that my audience wants from me? Easy ones, or if I’m a blogger or like you a podcaster, my audience wants to hear my blog or wants to hear my podcasts. If I’m a company, what is it that I have that my audience wants from me?
Once you identify those, those pieces, then you can build in the here’s how I can and respond to my audience with the content that they’re asking for. And that’s kind of an interaction model and that’s gets a little bit technical. Once you start building out interaction models for how are people going to ask for what I have for them?
And so how do I provide that to them? But the other side of branding besides the, what is the specifics of what I do I have and how do I make sure that that’s in a form that represents the brand that I am. The other is an invocation name and the invocation name is how do people use a voice assistant to be able to get to your content?
So in the internet world, you can kind of think of that as the invocation name is kind of like your domain name. What is the domain name that people type into a browser to be able to get to your website and the interaction model and the content is in a voice app, which is similar to website. So that’s kind of the parallel.
You need an invocation name. How do people ask for your content and then a voice app, which actually is the interaction with the user, into your content and from a brand perspective. The other thing that I’ll throw out there is. In most brands know this already, and that is making sure the content that you have, the content actually represents your brands.
So the grammar, the style of writing, all those things as general, anybody that’s really thought about branding knows that those pieces are important, but in a verbal world, they become actually critical. Cause that’s. The only thing that your audience is going to get from you is the actual content turned into audio.
If you don’t have it in audio already.
Chris Outlaw: Sure. Yeah. I totally understand that and get what you’re saying, that building out of that voice and that personality as being the, sort of the basis of the brand from a smart sort of device point of view. And I think that there’s, I’ve got two kids and, there’s one that we use on our Alexa app.
That is the CBeebies one. And, So that’s for kids. It’s a children’s one, but they’ve done it really well with the kinds of, like you said, the interactive content sort of open up the app by saying Alexa CBBs and it will open up and it will give you these different options and different things that you can do.
And the way that they’ve presented it with the music and the tonality and the way that the presenters from the actual TV channel are on the app. It’s done really, really well. So you can see how building a brand through that platform can be really strong. And you’re sort of getting into that place, like podcasts almost get into people’s kind of lives through walking or dog walking or in the car, but I can see how building a brand through a platform like a smart device can be really beneficial for a brand to get into some of the places in the house where, where those people are and where they can sort of really take advantage of that.
Just having that sort of ability as a brand to reach your audience in a place where they could potentially be using what it is that you are providing, I think is a really exciting new sort of Avenue for branding.
Chip Edwards: Yes, absolutely. And for me, that’s one of the exciting things about wearables are the fact that these voice assistants are in my car.
I can be commuting to the office and ask for any content that I want. It doesn’t even have to be a verbal content. It doesn’t have to be audio content. I mean, the podcast is easy to be able to play anywhere, but with voice assistance, now we have the ability to turn text into audio. And so I could be listening to my favorite blog.
Or like the other day I was ordering a Domino’s pizza and it’s like, okay, in the old world, you’d have to get on the website or you’d have to find a phone number and call them, pull out your smartphone and maybe get onto their app in the voice assistant world. You can just ask, Hey, I want a pizza Domino’s and I said, sure.
You know, what sides do you want? So in other words, I can be doing something and, and accomplishing another task verbally at the same time. And that’s one of the powers that kind of the voice assistance bring is it brings me a connection in my audience where they don’t have to stop what they’re doing and they don’t have to get onto a website, pull out their cell phone.
They can just ask for what they want. And as a brand, as long as my presence is on there, I can now figure out what is that verbal interaction that my audience wants from me, even podcasts. So like you have a podcast out there, can people ask for your podcast or do they have to go to their podcast player and start it?
Chris Outlaw: Yeah. So we just got on Amazon podcasts. So yeah, recently within the last week or two, you can now go to Alexa and you can ask for the Unified Brand Podcast and it’ll play the most recent episode. And that was a real sort of revelation for me to sort of be able to do that and see that in work, because it’s so much easier.
It’s so much easier to be able to do that. And like you said, if you’re in the car or. You’ve got a wearable device and you can just do that straight away rather than having to search for it on the phone or try and look it up on the computer. You can just ask for it and it will be there. I think it’s a really powerful thing.
I think like you said, you see from devices and the way that Google shifting regards to the search and have that voice search in there, how voice is really becoming something that is driving a lot of the internet and like you said, wearables. So I think it’s quite an exciting time in that sort of sphere.
Chip Edwards: Absolutely. Let’s go along with your brand, the unified branding podcast. So right now they can ask for it and they can get the latest episode. If you had a previous episode, you know, episode 12, that was something that you wanted people to get to with a Voice app. Now you could say, ask unified brand podcast to play episode 12.
So in other words, once you have that voice app out there with your branding on it, you can now figure out what is it that my audience wants and how can I make that available to them?
Chris Outlaw: Yes. I like that idea of the interactive side of it. I’ve seen some really interesting stuff done with, there was a company that deals mainly with sports. Clothing and sports apparel. And they’d actually done something along the lines of a sports quiz as a kind of interactive app that people could ask questions with regard to it. And then it would obviously promote their business, but it’s also doing a daily sports quiz, which I thought was a really fun and interesting way to build that brand and interact with the audience.
Chip Edwards: That’s actually a really good example of what they did cause they, and I don’t know that one specifically, but it sounds like they didn’t just take their marketing material. And say, Hey, we made it accessible. So people could ask for our marketing material, because nobody’s going to ask for your marketing material.
But by turning it into a quiz now than they are putting something out there that people may want. And so now when you ask for that content that people are coming to get, now you insert your marketing, your branding into the content that people are coming for. And that’s one of the big things that you’ve got to figure out is what is it that I have, or can produce that is valuable enough that people are going to want to come ask for it. And now how do I answer my branding into that?
Chris Outlaw: Yeah, I think that’s a really good point. I think that’s something that comes down to knowing what your brand is. I think intrinsically and knowing what you stand for, the relationship you have with your audience and what your audience wants. I think that’s a really crucial question.
I think then you can sort of start to develop those things to actually engage with your audience. But I think it has to come from that place of understanding what your brand is already to be able to build that out. But I can see that has been a really useful part of the brand and having that engagement.
It’s something that for a long time, brands have wanted that sort of, it’s kind of what the promise is, what social media was meant to be, but it didn’t always deliver on that particular engagement in as much as the, you don’t always get a, to and fro on social media, there was in the early days, but now it’s kind of almost.
A little bit of banner blindness when you start getting into it. So I think because this is a new and developing technology in the way that it’s kind of appearing everywhere. I think it’s a really interesting way that you can interact with your audience.
Chip Edwards: Yes, absolutely. And some of the early adopters did make that mistake of, they just put their branding material or their marketing material from the mindset of, yeah, we’re pushing this content and their voice apps got really low marks and people never go back to them because.
They didn’t understand that difference of marketing and branding is something that you need people to come get from you. And how do you market and present your brand in such a way that people are going to want what you have. So if they’re coming for it and voice technology is all people are coming for it.
And if you don’t have what they want to come for, you don’t exist.
Chris Outlaw: Yeah. And some of the best ways that you’ve seen brands use this sort of technology and some of the best ways that this sort of interactive experience has been created. And some of the things you’ve seen?
Chip Edwards: Some of the ones that I’ve actually really enjoyed working with from a user experience.
I mentioned Domino’s just a little bit ago now. Can I go to the website and order stuff? Yes. But they did a really good job with their voice app being able to order a pizza just by asking for it so I can be driving towards, cause I live outside the city far enough that I have to go pick it up. I can’t actually I’m outside of it, deliveries up so I can get in my car and start in the town in order my pizza in my car on the way.
And because they did such a good job, they did a pretty good job of their voice app. The other one that I’m actually pretty impressed with as is capital one, they were another early adopter. I can now ask what’s my credit card balance. Um, it’ll give it to me and then it does stuff like it says, Hey, do you want to know when it’s due then?
Yeah, I want to know when is my credit card bill due? And then it does stuff like, Hey, do you want to pay it? In other words, they made the experience, not just providing information that I asked for, but they’re actually figuring out what is it that I want likely want to do and will help me with that as well.
So the fact that I can pay my credit card bill on voice technologies, just by having a dialogue with a capital one voice app, I think is pretty impressive. They’ve done some pretty good work on theirs as well. Um, some of the games are pretty good. Have to have a different mindset because when you’re talking a, you know, an audio game, it’s a little bit different.
And then some of the people that have content, and that’s one of the things that we’ve helped with a number of people with were podcasters and bloggers, being able to provide another platform that people can now get to your content directly. So I’m a blogger I like to blog. A lot of bloggers that we’ve talked to, they’ve realized that people aren’t sitting down in front of their computers nearly as much as they used to the bloggers, we’ve been talking to have been saying, Hey, I got to start a podcast because people just want to listen to the content.
Well, voice technology makes it so that. You can keep blogging writing, like you always have, and now people can listen to your blog going forward and ask for previous episodes and all that kind of stuff. But some of that stuff is pretty exciting, especially with the ways that Amazon and Google both have just recently upgraded.
That’s probably the wrong word, but enhanced there. Text to speech process where their voices are sounding and less computer ish and much better. As far as being able to sound like a human reading, something it’s still, it’s a computer, so it’s not perfect yet, but it’s getting better. And actually there’s quite a few things that you can do in your text to actually even make it better.
And that’s one of the things that I do with my blog is I, I highlight some of the fancy stuff that you can do. In your text to be able to help that text to speech engine, do some cool stuff.
Chris Outlaw: Cool. Yeah, the Domino’s thing sounds dangerous for me cause I’m massive pizza lover. So making that process easier is not a good thing for me.
I don’t think. Cause I’ll yeah, I overuse that. I think it’s, um, it’s something I’m a similar to you, I’m just outside of a delivery zone. So that actually makes it a lot easier to, like you said, you can just order it on the way and then just go and pick it up. I think that’s a really, yeah, we’ll be using that.
Definitely be using that soon. The capital one thing is interesting because. Like you said, it almost leads you through a process and it’s given you a brand experience that is more than what you might just get from the website. You’re having that level of interactivity. And it’s almost like acting as kind of a customer service type agent in a way to help you increase your experience with that particular brand.
And talking about the voice blogging thing that you mentioned, there’s a, an app I’ve got, I think it’s called Listal and it does a similar thing. So it takes blogs from people that I follow and it reads them out to you. And I think it’s a really ingenious way of doing things because. Time is getting less and less for a lot of people in terms of being able to sit down and read through a blog.
But the content is really important and there’s some really good content in there that is you want to take in. So I think one of the easiest ways to do that is through audio books or podcasts or audio based blogs. I really think that’s an exciting thing for people to be able to put their blogs into an audio format.
Chip Edwards: Because people are so busy these days. I mean, multitasking is the wrong word. But we multitask, I’m cooking breakfast. I want to be able to consume content. I’m driving to work. I want to be able to say, I’m working out at the gym. I want to be able to consume content. This is kind of interesting one, because this does back into wearables.
So I used to listen to podcasts at the gym. So I’d be on a machine working out and every once in a while you would hear something it’s like, Oh yeah, I gotta remember that. And nine times out of 10, I wouldn’t stop. And I would then not remember what I needed to remember. And one time out of 10, it was like, this is really important.
So I’d stop. I’d get off the machine. And I pull out my cell phone and I’d make a note wearables with a voice assistant now in your ear. Now I can be working out. I can hear something I need to remember. And I can just say, Alexa, remind me about such and such. Or put this on my shopping list or in other words, I can be doing something and I don’t have to interrupt.
I don’t have to stop what I’m doing. I can invoke my voice assistant and I can have it do something for me while they continue to do, you know, cooking breakfast or working out stuff like that. So I think as people start using this voice at technology and they start realizing a lot of the convenience that it is going to be providing, I think we’re going to realize that people are going to start using this a lot more in a lot more places.
And that’s where brands are going to need to make sure they get ahead of this. Because as people start using this, they’re going to expect that you’re going to be on these. So how do you make sure that you’re on these platforms? As people start using them more and more.
Chris Outlaw: Yeah, definitely. I think that’s a really good function because the amount of times I’ve done a similar thing where I’ve been listening to audio books or podcasts, do you want to kind of remember something that’s a point it’s made in the book?
Or a lot of times you, I have books that reference other books. They’ll talk about a particular, another book that they source. And in that case, they might of times you, you have to stop. Get your phone out type in the notes that, but to be able to, like you said, invoke the audio assistant, so then remind you of that is so powerful because you don’t have to stop what you’re doing.
You don’t have to break that concentration and you can continue to do what you’re doing. It’d be really interesting to find out the sort of steps that you would need to think about creating brand or an audio brand or a verbal Brandon steps to get that on those devices. Is there sort of a set process or is it different for each brand?
Chip Edwards: The base component you need is what’s referred to as a voice app, that’s gotta be built. And Amazon calls, voice app skills, Google calls them actions, Samsung calls them something else. You need to build a voice app. And that voice app is how you connect your content up with the interaction as how do people ask for it.
And so that’s something that needs some thought behind as far as what content do I have and how do I make that accessible? How are people going to engage with it? And then the other side of it is when you have that voice app, when you get it certified on the Google assistant platform or on the Alexa platform, In that process, you assign it at what’s called an invocation name.
And that invocation name like I was referring to earlier is like a domain name. That’s how people are going to invoke your voice app. So those are the two pieces that you have to put out there. Now, the interesting thing with an invocation name is Amazon made it so that multiple people could put skills out there.
Voice apps with the same invocation name causes a little bit of confusion on the Amazon devices. But Google made it similar to it, domain name. So the first person that registers a voice app with that in vocation name, they’re the only ones that get that in vocation name and an invocation name is in essence, your brand.
So how do people refer to you? That’s your brand name? And so in the Google space, I say you really need to get your voice app out there doing something. So that you’ve claimed your invocation name in the Google assistant space. And then you can build your voice app to do more multiple things in the Amazon space.
You really want to be first so that when somebody else comes in, they say, Oh, there’s already a skill out there with that name. And so we’re either going to compete with it, or we’re going to choose a different one, but getting that invocation name out there, that’s your brand name on voice devices. And then the voice app.
Is what does all the work behind the scenes to be able to present your content to your audience? Similar to a domain name and a website, but it’s in a voice space.
Chris Outlaw: Okay. Yes. Is it similar to when domain names kind of came out and you had to, it was always a good idea for your brand to get your brand name, sort of set up and ready, even if you weren’t maybe using it to its full advantage just to stop.
Cause what you wouldn’t want to happen is obviously somebody to use your brand name as a, like you said, in Google where it’s it’s individual to each particular sort of skill, name or app name. Is that something that you’d recommend most brands do at an early stage even now, even if they don’t have a. Maybe a full plan for what they’re going to do with that particular platform?
Chip Edwards: Absolutely tell people is it’s like it’s 1995 right now you can register any domain name you want in 1995. But now this many years later, it’s like, you gotta figure out a domain name before you decide what your brand name is now, because you can’t do it the other way around.
But in the voice space, there’s only a handful of these voice apps that have been written. And so. Invocation names are relatively easy to get right now. So yeah, I highly recommend you’re looking at this space and it’s like, you want to be an early adopter. Absolutely. Get some base voice app put together in each of these environments and get them certified with your brand name as well.
In vocation named it actually does something, which is one of the things that both Google and Amazon have done well. They let brand owners or companies or influencers, they let them put their voice apps out there, but they don’t let you just reserve your invocation name. You actually have to build a voice app that does something useful that can be certified.
So you can’t just, you know, squat on a vocation name. You actually have to make it, do something and get it certified.
Chris Outlaw: Right. Okay. What’s kind of a minimum barrier of entry in terms of getting something certified. Is there a certain set of criteria or is it just has to do some kind of engagement?
Chip Edwards: That’s actually a really good question. It has to do something and it has to function correctly. So it can’t throw errors. It can’t, and it has to do to a base level of providing information. So one of the base ones that we put out there is, is two core set of information about a brand and then some follow on information. And so it’s a simple interaction model you asked for.
That invocation name and you get core information about a brand and it says, Hey, do you want to know more about this brand? And then it’ll give you additional information. So something as simple as that can be put together and get it out there and then certified with your brand name, but that’s like the simplest, and then you can go from there to make it as complicated.
Like Domino’s where you can, you know, order pizzas or, or capital one, where you can pay your credit card bills with it, stuff like that. That’s all way more complicated than the simple stuff.
Chris Outlaw: So is it kind of key sort of follow a similar route to how a chat bot might work in some regards? So. You can you set up a kind of different set of ways that the, the audience can move through a particular app or, um, skill and how they sort of get that engagement and how it then gives them feedback and then they can take different routes into different channels. It’s sort of similar to that?
Chip Edwards: It’s very similar to build from a mindset perspective to building a chatbot. And the challenge is that we’ve all experienced is when we use the chat bot is a poorly written chat bot. Can only do one set of things it’s way.
And when we’re talking about good chatbots or good voice apps, you have to let the user ask for what they want their way. And from a technical perspective, it’s actually has a definition of what they call it. As, as they’re moving the cognitive load, we’re moving the cognitive load from the user, to the computers.
Yeah. In essence and a website, the cognitive load is still with the user. I build a website that is easy to navigate, but the user has to figure out how to navigate the website, to find what they want. When you start talking about chat bots or voice assistants, now the user can say anything they want and the computer has to figure out what did they say?
What was their intention? Their intention is I now need to help them with that. And how do I help them with that? So we’ve really moved the cognitive load from the user into the compute space and doing it well, really has to bring that cognitive load into the compute space. And what we find is some of the poorly one done.
Poor chat bots or poor voice apps really leave the cognitive load with the user. And it’s a really frustrating experience because they now have to figure out how do I make this thing work? And it’s harder enough to find stuff on a website, but in a chat bot or a voice space, it’s really difficult to figure out how to make that stuff work.
So that’s why we have to move the cognitive load from the user into the compute space to be able to do it well.
Chris Outlaw: I really like distinction. I think that distinction is really, really important to get across. Cause I think that’s the same with branding in general and any kind of marketing, I think that you want to try and I liked the way you put that, remove that cognitive load from the audience onto the brand or the skill or the app.
I think that’s a really good distinction. And I know what you mean because when you have those chatbots that they put it back on, you. You end up leaving. You just don’t, you don’t want to sort of engage because it makes it too hard for you to get anything done that you’re trying to do, but the ones that give you what you want and kind of help you to find what you’re looking for in a very intuitive way, are the ones that you remember.
And also they could provide you that really nice brand experience that you’re looking for. And I think that’s what you want to try and get across is that experiential side of it that makes it easier. Like you said, for the audience to find what they’re looking for.
Chip Edwards: Exactly. If the compute space knows something already, you should not ask for that information from your user.
It’s that whole idea of. Of how do you, how do you make the experience? The user’s experience really, really friction-free.
Chris Outlaw: Yeah, I really do like that distinction. I think it’s a really simple distinction in terms of the way you’ve put, it makes so much sense that reducing that cognitive load. So it’s on the skill itself. I think he’s a big shift for a lot of people, mentally terms of how they think about their brand, how they think about their particular when they go into this space, how they think about it. I think making it as simple as possible for the audience so that it is effortless and it is intuitive is going to be something then that probably a lot of people struggle with initially and probably where the teething problems will come in because they haven’t maybe thought about it enough.
So is there any sort of advice, so you’d give for brands and business owners on how to think about that, how. The best way to remove that cognitive load from the audience.
Chip Edwards: That’s actually a difficult one, I would say because you pointed it out well, from that idea, it’s a mindset shift. It’s a whole different way of thinking about branding.
And I come from a technology background and when I moved from, you know, building apps, into building voice apps, It’s a whole different mindset of how you have to think about the presentation or that interaction. And from a branding perspective, same way you need to think about how are you presenting your brand in a new way.
Now, once you get that, all of a sudden how you present your brand in a visual world and a voice world or chatbot world, all of those that kind of you’ve made the shift and it helps you in all of the spaces. But making that shift is not an easy shift to make. And so, I mean, I would say one or two things either get with somebody who’s kind of made that shift already to kind of help guide you through and think through the different ways of how you have to think differently to be able to move that cognitive load off of your users, or start thinking about it and start experimenting with it.
If you’re going to go through it yourself with that mentality, with that mindset shift of. Okay, this is my goal. How am I going to do it? You’re going to have to practice to be able to do it yourself or get with somebody that’s kind of gone down that path already. That might be able to give you some pointers in it, but it’s not an easy shift.
Chris Outlaw: Yeah, no, it sounds like it’s one of those things that takes a bit of time and a bit of, like you said, if you’re going to do it on your own, it’s gonna be something that’s going to take dedicated. Trial and error in a way to try and find out the best way to build out that particular part of your brand.
But I think like you said, if you could pair up somebody partner with somebody like yourself understands how that works, it’s only going to make that process easier. And I saw some interesting stuff on your website on create my voice.com and some of the articles you had there. And one of them was talking about voice enabled payments.
It was all about trends. It was article about trends. And it sort of really jumps out at me some of the way that the innovation in this particular space is really flying in terms of what you can do with it. So I wondered if you could just highlight things like the voice enabled payments and different things that are kind of, sort of the new trends in a particular environment.
Chip Edwards: Yeah. Good question. So voice assistants in general are kind of early adopter space or they’re kind of in the early majority, as far as people getting them. But payments is actually even earlier than that, because people have to trust the payment process, but there are absolutely some things that are happening in the voice assistant space, around voice payments.
They come in a couple of different flavors. The first one is kind of an obvious one and cause this is what Amazon does really well. You can buy stuff off of Amazon without ever having to get onto their website, using a voice assistant. Now, a lot of us are comfortable because we actually want to see and make the choices ourselves.
But we’re moving into an area where we do want convenience. And so that’s kind of a trade off that’s happening in that space. But if you look when you’re browsing Amazon on their website, you’re going to notice this thing called Amazon’s choice is going to show up for a number of products. Hard to miss anymore because they made this one is the Amazon’s choice.
And lots of times they’re actually good at figuring out, which is the product of the set that comes up of, you know, this is a good choice. That’s Amazon’s choice. The important part of that, though, if you look right to the right of where it says Amazon’s choice, you’re going to see us a phrase. It’s that phrase.
That’s the important thing, because those are the words that when you say you want to order something on a voice assistant, it’s going to key into figuring out what is it that you want. And it’s looking at that set of words, to be able to match up what you’re wanting. So it’s going to let you reorder things and or it’s going to let you order the Amazon’s choices, products easily.
So it’s worth trying on at least stuff. That’s not super expensive because they’ve actually done a pretty good job of being able to order Amazon products. The other thing that I’ve seen as far as from voice payments is if you have content that is like subscription-based, or you want it behind a paywall, so it’s not just for anybody it’s for your audience and they, and you want it available.
For people that have subscribed to it or paid for it. Those are things that can be done relatively easy with voice payments, either online and or connected with a subscription that they’ve gotten otherwise. But that’s something that Amazon has done again, has done pretty well. They’ve made it so that developers can connect right into the payments process and you can unlock.
If you’re a game, if you’re building a game, you can unlock certain features. Or if you’ve got a subscription, you’ve got certain content that’s available only to people that have paid for that content, make it relatively easy to be able to pay for that content. Right. From the voice app stuff. And then the other one about voice payments is done with some specific brand actions.
So like capital one, when I enable that voice app, I connected in with my capital one account, that’s held it at capital one. So now when I’m interacting with the capital one voice app, they’re connected through, into the capital one systems. And now I can instruct the capital one systems to do things like make payments, pay bills and my credit card balance and stuff like that.
So as you’re building a voice app, that’s the kind of the, the three different ways that that voice payments are done. Amazon ordering things or unlocking content, right inside the voice app and or through, into the, uh, brands, you know, internal computer systems. Where you can instruct those systems to do things for you and make payments.
So there’s stuff happening in there. Not a ton of usage right now. I think the biggest thing it’s done with voice payments right now is ordering music online. I want to hear a song and it’s like, okay, well that cost you 99 cents. Sure. I’ll, I’ll pay it. And now you get it type stuff. And that’s probably the biggest voice payment things that are happening right now, but it’s moving in that direction because they’re making it relatively easy to do.
And as people want the convenience as opposed to, yeah, I don’t want to go to my computer and sit down and figure this out. It’s going to become more popular, but it’s not hugely used yet, but it’s moving there.
Chris Outlaw: That’s so in terms of like similar to with apps and games at the moment, so if you’re on your PlayStation or if you’re on iPhone or whichever particular phone, you have, you have those in app purchases.
So I guess that’d be a similar thing for some of the games that at the same. Yeah. And things like that, where you can just connect straight into it. So what do you see as being the future? So in terms of say a year or two years down the line with kind of. These devices and how they interact with other devices.
What is it that you see on the horizon?
Chip Edwards: We’re kind of in a chicken and egg space right now, Amazon and Apple and Google have done a great job at getting this voice technology everywhere in everybody’s pocket and in their home. And with these wearables, it’s going to be like in everyone’s ears. They’re doing a good job at getting the technology everywhere, but we’re now at kind of this learning curve of I’ve got the devices.
I’m starting to use it more. I’m using it more than just navigation or turning lights on, or, you know, I’m starting to explore more of what can happen. And so as companies or brand owners or influencers, content, producers, As they start engaging the space more. That’s going to be where you’re going to let your audience know, Hey, here’s all the ways that you can do the same things that you can do on the website, but easier because now you can just ask for it.
So as that starts to develop out more, I think that we’re going to find people getting a lot more comfortable using the devices, and you’re going to get a lot more usage of the devices to be able to do things. We’re seeing that in a number of like, if you go into the capital one website, you’ll see there’s a space for here’s how you engage with the capital one voice app.
But you wouldn’t know that just when you put a smart speaker in your house, you wouldn’t know that. So we’re kind of at this chicken and egg thing of people exploring, finding out about what are all the things that they can do with that. And as they do that more, we’re gonna find a lot more usage of the devices for a breadth of different things.
So I think that from a business or an influencer that you’re going to want to make sure that your content is available and then start sharing with your audience. Here’s new ways of getting the same content using this new platform that you’ve got in your house, or you’ve got in your car and stuff like that.
And as we get these positive experiences, it’s going to grow more from that.
Chris Outlaw: Yeah, exciting. I think that’s a really good way of thinking about it in terms of, as it grows and it builds being able to, and let your audience know about that. Whether that’s through a mailing list or through social media or a different channels, you can, like you said, on your website, like with capital one, I think.
The more that we it’s getting adopted. And the more that people and brands pick up on this particular channel, I think it’s going to be important for us to try new things, to innovate a bit. And I think that’s where the brand could really, from a branding point of view, you can really come out with some interesting stuff.
If you think about the personality of a brand and how you can create a fun experience, or if you’re more of a hero archetype, you can create a bit of a hero experience. I think there’s some really cool ways to explore this technology and moving forward. I think that some of the bigger brands will start to do that.
And you’ll see some really interesting stuff from them.
Chip Edwards: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yup. Cool.
Chris Outlaw: Well, it’s been really good to having you on the unified brand chip. I really appreciate it. And where’s a good place for people to find you, how can they find out more about what you do and also your insight in terms of the sort of this space.
Chip Edwards: Yeah. So easiest is on my website, create my voice.com or if you’ve got a smart speaker, you can just ask Alexa or a, or Google, just ask, create my voice. To read the latest blog posts. That’s the other way you can get to my content, but I’m a website is the easiest way to connect with me or I’m on social media, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, et cetera.
Chris Outlaw: Brilliant. I’ll put all of those links in the show notes and yeah, it’s been really great talking to you say Chip, and I just want to sort of invite you back again for another talk down the line. So I’ve really enjoyed it today. And I think it’s been a really interesting talk and it’s a really exciting space for branding.
I think moving forward,
Chip Edwards: That would be great. Chris. I had really enjoyed it.
Chris Outlaw: Great. Well, thanks very much. And yeah, look forward to catching up again soon.
Chip Edwards: Same. Thank you. Uh, and, uh, had a great time talking today. Thanks Chris.
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