The New Role of Voice in Brand Storytelling

The New Role of Voice
in Brand Storytelling

MICHELE J MARTIN

Historically when the term voice has been used in business, we have talked about the overall tone and thread of messages across channels. Voice wasn’t literal, it was figurative. The voice-first explosion has changed that.

Until now, it was enough for a brand to consider their words and how they would be perceived and whether they seemed to complement and reflect who the company is. While storytelling is a buzzword that is often overused, when done well, it is a way of taking your audience on a journey with your brand. Each piece of copy and content was a paragraph or a chapter - coming together to make up the larger narrative of the brand story. Over time, with thanks to the advances in different converging technologies, storytelling left the page and went to video, went to music, and now… it has come to voice.

Voice AI is the application of state-of-the-art machine learning to speech blending algorithms to transform human voice recordings into the digital voices brands need today. VocaliD's digital, or ‘synthetic’ voices, have their roots in traditional text-to-speech, but Voice AI isn't yesterday's text-to-speech. Today's voices are expressive and diverse. No longer the robotic speech we’d come to associate with a synthesized voice.

The cutting-edge quality of today’s synthesized digital voices allows brands to extend their reach and be present and voice-consistent in every customer audio touch point... seamlessly.

"Voice AI is not a replacement of voice talent, in fact, it is a way to empower brands and talent to augment their current capabilities in order to meet the changing demands of the voice-first revolution and provide consumers with better Voice Experiences (VX)."

Graphic of sound wave which takes on the shape of a heart before turning back into a regular sound wave patterns

No matter where your brand is, you want your customer to associate positively with each touch point, whether that is written, visual, or auditory. If the digital voice you are using across voice-first devices, in your automated call centers, or in your marketing campaigns doesn’t denote unity, if it creates cognitive dissonance in your audience, you risk losing the attention of your consumer at a vital time in their customer journey.

Many brands today have their spokesperson - Flo, Mayhem, “Do you hear me now?”, and even Poo-Pouri… these brands have all incorporated very specific talent personas for their brands. Voice AI is not a replacement of this talent, in fact, it is a way to empower brands and talent to augment their current capabilities in order to meet the changing demands of the voice-first revolution and provide consumers with better Voice Experiences (VX).

The Possibilities of Voice AI

Imagine having Mayhem deliver real-time dynamic messaging to Allstate customers? Predicting every short script that the actor portraying Mayhem would need to record would be challenging and the delays in recording and delivery of the files would eliminate the ability to make on-the-fly changes. With licensing and royalty agreements in place, brands could now ensure that their spokesperson was available both in human and digital form, ensuring full omni-channel residency and voice consistency.

These technological advances and new products and applications have created both challenges and amazing opportunities for brands today. New roles are being created - Voice Experience Designers and Voice Strategists are two that we’ve seen emerge in the last year. More and more CMOs and other executives are talking about the need for their brand to develop an extensive Voice Strategy. The brands that choose to take control now and design their Vocal Personas to complement their overall story will rise above, their message amplified above the noise as others quickly get in line to join the voice-first movement.

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