The advent of the Alexa Presentation Language (APL) and Google's Action Directory (GAD) allows for a unique branding experience on multimodal devices. With the rapid adoption of voice activated assistants like Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant, and smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home, it's becoming increasingly important for brands to stand out sonically as well as visually.
Essentially, Sonic Branding is the use of audio to distinguish your brand on voice activated devices like Alexa and Assistant. This type of audio branding is referred to as an "Earcon," a play on the Icon (eye-con) based visual branding. Icons convey meaningful visual information. It's why the trash icon on your laptop looks like a trashcan.
Earcons do the same thing, but through sound. The "Crumpling paper" sound that your laptop emits when you "Empty the trash" is an earcon. These type of Audio Logos will soon become essential to distinguish your brand from the competition when users access your content and products over voice activated systems.
1-Distinguish your brand from competitors.
2-Provide a consistent experience across platforms.
3-Create an emotional connection to your brand.
Voice activated content will be just as important as providing a meaningful ear-con to consumers using these devices. Over 53 Million Americans use a voice activated device every day. Accessing content verbally is simply quicker and easier than using a mobile app, an eCommerce website, or email marketing. The technology available for these platforms is improving rapidly and voice activated content strategy will soon be essential for B2B and B2C brands.
In 2020 half of all searches will be voice activated by Siri, Alexa, or Google, thanks to voice driven SEO. A typical search engine results page will give at least 10 options, but a voice search only returns one choice. If you ask Alexa or Siri a question, you don't get 10 options, you only get one, targeted to what the AI has categorized as the most relevant from your history of previous searches. Targeted "Invocation Phrases" are the key to being served as the result of a voice activated search.
Expect many opportunities for engaging content and interactive experiences to open up in the name of commerce. Voice is easy to use and it's effective. Consumers will only be increasing their use as voice activated devices become ubiquitous.