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20 June

"How AI & Chatbots Drive Brand Through Storytelling"

One might think that storytelling doesn’t apply to AI, but as Jesse Damiani believes, it does. Storytelling is the original technology, and conversation is the engine behind this technology. Even though we are seeing Chatbots now, they have been around for more than millennia. Our brains are storytelling machines, and the same had been demonstrated by Heider-Simmel experiment back in the 1940’s. Storytelling is not just entertainment, it’s actually the core-building block of how your mind puts together and process the information. Every memory that one has is a story.

Storytelling through technology

  • ● The bottom line is that ‘technology is meant to save time’, if it is not succeeding
       with that, it’s falling straight on its face.
  • ● The best technology lets us connect with ourselves and each other in
       unprecedented ways.
  • ● Technology creates a story between buyer and seller. So, when you are
       integrating technology, the stories we generate are deepening.
  • ● Storytelling is about business relationships and brand affiliation. So it’s about
       people not the technology, the specs or the hype.
  • ● To get there, one needs a clear brand vision and brand narrative before
       integrating.

The bottom left is a traditional Chatbot, it is a retrieval based model using rules-based flow, that essentially works on a plugged-in bunch of responses in the backend. Hence, it is more on the lines of input-output. There is a lot of advantages to this strategy but it lacks some of the learning that we see with the smart machine in general AI, moving up the highest type of Artificial Intelligence.

The bottom left is a traditional Chatbot, it is a retrieval based model using rules-based flow, that essentially works on a plugged-in bunch of responses in the backend. Hence, it is more on the lines of input-output. There is a lot of advantages to this strategy but it lacks some of the learning that we see with the smart machine in general AI, moving up the highest type of Artificial Intelligence.

Chatbots (Sans AI) Artificial Intelligence
Rules-based / Retrieval models Generative Models
Linear and one-dimensional support NLP = More robust conversational capabilities & context awareness
Automate basic conversational tasks Improves over time, but difficult to require large datasets
Fewer grammatical mistakes Helen Bennett
Easy to use creator platforms More expensive and requires more quality assurance.

AI agents are more powerful, but not necessarily in all situations. Simple input-output queries are best served with Chatbots.

  1. Poncho: (Weather Chatbots) If you input anything that deviates from the weather, Poncho just directs you right back to try to put you in that funnel.

  2. Right-click: It is a website creator and has a little more open framework to be able to respond to queries, but still going to try to get you into that website building funnel.

  3. Mitsuku: It is a general conversation bot, designed to talk about a number of different subjects. It takes a massive data set, so, if this kind of consideration is going to be a problem for one’s brand, they probably don’t want to move this far. It takes a lot of time and money, but it is also much more robust and can learn from the conversations.

Why Automate?
Automation can actually humanize a brand and drive engagement in meaningful ways. Primarily it could be used to:

  1. Solve real problems that make the customer experience more pleasant – including tailored recommendations
  2. Analyze data (i.e. sentiment, trends) to better learn the customer base and deliver to their needs.
  3. Allow customers to get to answer quicker and with less stress
  4. Make customers feel that your company is more available and willing to help.

A word of caution: Don’t automate for buzz, the chatbot hype cycle is down trending anyway. All of this is part of the brand’s story with users, only automate if it deepens customer association with the brand narrative.

When technology saves time it reinforces positive brand association. Certain cues to establish the same could be:

  1. Establish organic introductory conversations and onboarding by internalizing who your brands’ expected users will be and what they need
  2. Tailor the tone of your conversation agent to align with your brand
  3. Be prepared for trolls if there is any error but don’t lose sleep over it

Going by the numbers:

  1. 40% of people believe ‘better human service’ matters most when it came to doing business with companies
  2. ‘Honesty box study’ (2006) revealed that people paid nearly 3x as much for their drinks when eyes were displayed rather than a control image.

Conversations help in 3% - 20% increase in revenue (varies across the different platform like aviation, e-commerce etc.), there is also a 44% likelihood that people are going to speak positively about your brand once they get a response quickly.

These numbers speak for themselves if one has an effective AI/Chatbot.

The rise of VR, AR and IOT are evident, both AR and VR are approaching as computing platforms and with those we are going to have characters that are going to be embodied. These are two examples from this year. Augmented reality has the power of deeply impacting customers. If you have a positive conversation agent paired with AR which is coming, you stand a chance to really capture the audience.

To Conclude:

  1. Humanizing your brand drives engagement, brand association and sales
  2. You humanize your brand through naturalistic conversation agents
  3. Conversation agents deepen the story between buyer and seller


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