Why the sound and voice of your brand is the next frontier to explore. 

What does your consumer packaged goods (CPG) brand look like? No doubt you and your loyal customers could answer that question quickly. Colors, logo, branding, packaging, memorable advertisements and more add up to create a distinctive visual appearance for successful brands. If you’re ordering a Coke, Pepsi or Budweiser at a restaurant, you can still probably recall exactly what the packaging for those products looks like while you sit at the table. In a direct, voice-driven world, however, a new question emerges: What does your CPG brand sound like?

If you’re currently scratching your head, that’s understandable. Technology is once again moving us into relatively uncharted territory, because consumers don’t even need to look at products, or search them visually, to order them… so the “store” shelf is evolving dramatically. That’s why CPG brands need to find their direct to consumer voice as we move to a direct #RetailRelevancy world.

Voice command shopping

Ordering something from Alexa doesn’t require leaving your couch, which means it also doesn’t require consumers to walk through store aisles filled with marketing materials. They don’t need to see the packaging for their favorite products. They don’t even need to shop around on the Amazon website, where they’d be greeted with ads and product recommendations as they look for a product. They just ask Alexa (or Google Home) for what they want, or to simply re-order what they have purchased in the past. Now, a consumer who already knows and trusts your brand likely won’t have trouble finding you in the voice-shopping space. But what about everyone else?

It’s not as if creating a memorable audio-based impression of your business is an entirely new process, but now the stakes are higher than ever. Think back to your childhood or young adult years and try to remember a commercial jingle that you used to hear on the radio or TV. If you’re like many people, there are a few that you still remember and associate with specific local brands to this day.

That doesn’t mean that bombarding people with commercial jingles is the solution to finding your CPG voice, it most certainly is not, but it’s a good, basic example of audio associations with a brand. Today, finding your voice will be more a process of finding what your customers want, and delivering a high quality customer experience through voice-driven services. Alexa Skills already allow you to create a distinctive audio experience for your brand, if you’re willing to get creative.

Removing barriers is the key

While finding your voice may feel like a daunting process, the potential rewards are huge. Voice allows people to shop directly from home without ever pulling out their phone or opening their laptop. It also gives brands a permanent place in the home, especially as voice becomes more ubiquitous. Old barriers like geography barely matter, and even basic barriers like having to type to order products can now be eliminated. There’s very little separating the brand and the consumer.

This is not just an opportunity for big brands, which may even already have a distinctive voice thanks to famous spokespeople or memorable mascots. It’s also an opportunity for small, creative businesses to carve out a space in a new market by getting ahead of the curve. If you want to take a popular, localized product to a larger set of consumers, then voice can get you directly into the homes of your target audience.

As with any disruptive technology it will take some time to see how CPG brands decide to adapt to a voice-driven direct to consumer market, but now is not the time for waiting. The basic blueprint is already there, and forward-thinking brands are racing to adapt. Don’t get left behind! Develop a voice for your CPG brand and create a truly memorable customer experience tailored to a modern, tech-savvy retail audience.

Find out more about the evolution of voice tech and where it’s headed in the future.

Originally posted at RockstarCMO.com

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