Will AI kill your brand and branding efforts, or will it still have value?

by | Jul 16, 2018 | Branding with impact

Will your AI kill your brand and branding efforts or will your brand still have value in an AI economy?

There is a massive disruption to advertising and branding as we know it… on its way and our brands and branding efforts, on which we have leaned on so heavily, for so long may not in anyway prepared for the fallout.

Look at the fall out in less than a decade….

  1. Uber killed the taxi industry
  2. Robinhood killed many stock brokers’ profits with its commission-free trading
  3. Spotify killed iTunes’ pay-per-song model
  4. Netflix killed Blockbuster(This is quite possibly the greatest example of a startup killing a giant.)
  5. Google search killed Yahoo search
  6. Amazon has killed and still is killing MANY retail businesses
  7. Apple killed Nokia/Motorola

Yes… Just like a tsunami, all the signs are there but as marketers and brand marketers we are so focused on today and our daily problems and challenges that this billion dollar disruption to advertising as we know it is going unnoticed – save a few visionary thinkers and marketers. Will AI Kill your brand and branding?

Global advertising industry to surpass $550 billion in 2018!

The two monoliths of the advertising world, Google and Facebook, both with massive valuations (>$700 billion, & Facebook >$500 billion.) are about to take a massive hit to their revenues.

According to futurist entrepreneur, Peter Diamandis,  (Best known as the founder and chairman of the X Prize Foundation and cofounder and executive chairman of Singularity University ) “the advertising business as we know it today is about to disappear… Collapse… Dematerialise?” Does this include branding?

The lions share

Today, both Google and Facebook command more of the advertising market than all print media on the planet!  its estimated that together these two giants make up about 25% of the worlds advertising expenditure.

  • Google’s ad campaign revenue – over $95 billion in 2017.
  • Facebook’s ad revenue – over $39 billion in 2017.

(Google and Facebook’s share of ad revenue. Source: Statista)

What will happen to these giants of the advertising world when we no longer buy stuff? What will happen when its our AI devices that buy for us?

The AI disruption technology sliding under the radar

In December last year(2017) Jam&Co published a blog post called – “The undetected grocery disruption technology in 2018″.

In this article I wrote how I saw the grocery sector was being set up for set for massive disruption because of AI technology.  I described  this unseen (by most), technology disruptor which was set to impact how consumers grocery shop in a big way in 2018 and beyond.(Alright maybe I was a little optimistic in my predictions … but not that far wrong!)

The point of the article was to raise awareness that there is a definite risk of AI killing off brands and branding.

We have all been witness to a technology that creeps up on us. Before you know it you’re wondering why you never saw it coming.

Surely we ask ourselves:

  • Why didn’t Kodak see digital photos?
  • Why didn’t Blockbuster see Netflix?
  • Why didn’t Sony see iTunes?
  • How did you miss the massive rise of Bitcoin?

So here’s one…Do we as marketers really see the new advertising horizon. The Voice Activated Device 

AI and Branding…The Voice Activated Device

According to Salmat, almost half (47 %-Salma) of Australian shoppers are already aware of at least one AI, in-home voice assistant device. And almost half (46%) are willing and excited to use an in-home voice assisted devices to interact with and shop from retailers. You can read more about how these VAD’s will disrupt shopping HERE

High-tech Mr Belvedere at your service

For the most part, the whole purpose of advertising is to inform and influence consumers to buy what it is, the advertiser is selling. This is why brands and branding work sol ell. They engender trust. These ads glorify the product/service benefits and implore the viewer/listener to buy because it will enhance your popularity, your success or make you more sexy and so on and so forth…

So here’s the BIG QUESTION posed by Diamandis: “What happens in the future when it’s not you making the purchasing decisions, but your AI instead of you?”  Just imagine your own personal high tech Mr Belvedere (or Jarvis from Iron Man) doing the purchasing on your behalf.

Imagine your’e looking in your fridge and finding you’re low on butter. Now imagine calling out to your high tech Mr Belvedere butler  (Google Home) or your Amazon Alexa – “put butter on my shopping list.”  The question is which brand of butter is likely to show up?

AI and branding

How will that question posed to your AI device affect brands and branding?

  • Does Mr Belvedere get it’s information from ads or seeing big branded bill boards?
  • Does Mr Belvedere watch the TV advertising campaign filled with bright-white smiles?

NO! Of course not. In a nanosecond, your AI unit considers the molecular formulation of all the options, the pricing, the published client-satisfaction reports and finally, perhaps, it also evaluates your personal genome to understand exactly which flavour formulation is likely to excite your taste buds.(Wheres the brand in that formulation?)

AI makes the purchase

Most likely, in the not too distant future you’ll never even have to actually ask your Mr Belvedere to resupply the butter. It is most likely to do it all on its own as it will be tied into the IOT (Internet Of Things). Also being tied into your bank account it will also quickly determine if you can afford the HOME brand butter or if you can splash out on the imported brand butter.

Yes, Mr Belvedere will be monitoring your supply of regularly consumed items, from deodorant to butter, and will simply order them , in most instances even before you even know you need them. So in this scenario, how does that impact your brand and branding stack up?