Branding
5/10/2023

AI in Branding: A Look at the Best Brand Chatbots

In an era where technology is as ubiquitous as the air we breathe, let's talk about a phenomenon as hot as your freshly brewed morning coffee — the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in branding.

As stylish as a tailored suit and as edgy as the latest fashion trends, AI has strutted its way into the branding arena. With its ability to analyse customer behaviour, predict trends, and even assist in logo design, AI is literally giving branding a futuristic facelift.

Centre stage are AI brand chatbots. They're like the David Bowie of the digital world – ahead of their time, transformative to their industry, and a powerful one-man-show. Just make sure you’re ahead of the trend, instead of years too late!

This guide to AI chatbots will not only help you understand how to work with this technology better, but also give you a glimpse of some of the best brand and marketing chatbot examples out there. You’ll also discover the uses of brand chatbots in today's marketplace.

But first, let's start with the basics.

The rise of AI in branding

Today, AI is not merely a "nice-to-have" element in the branding industry — it's a "must-have". It's the heartbeat of modern branding, with generative AI services like ChatGPT pumping out data-driven strategies and personalised experiences like there's no tomorrow. In fact, Gartner estimates that by 2027, around 25% of businesses will use chatbots as their primary customer service channel.

Chatbot development has seen a huge surge in recent years, with many brands opting to create customised chatbots rather than use generic ones. These personalised chatbots are designed to mimic the brand's voice and knowledge base, offering a seamless customer experience. They're stylish, they're trendy, and they're becoming a brand's best friend.

In the ever-evolving landscape of branding, staying informed and embracing the latest technology trends isn't just a passing fad — it's a crucial component of maintaining a competitive edge. Picture it: you're a surfer, and these trends are the waves. You've got to ride them, or you'll wipe out and watch the competition cruise past you.

Advancements in technology, like AI, are constantly redefining the branding game. It's like your wardrobe – you wouldn’t stick with 80’s shoulder pads today, right? That's why, as a brand, you need to stay as sharp as a well-crafted logo, keeping a finger on the pulse of the market and evolving when necessary.

And AI might just be the way to do that. 

What are AI-powered brand chatbots?

AI chatbot technology is a computer program powered by artificial intelligence that can communicate with users in natural language. Essentially, it's like having your own virtual assistant who can understand and respond to customer queries without any human intervention.

Brand chatbots take this concept a step further – they are customised to represent the brand’s personality, offering branded interactions with customers. These chatbots can have different levels of complexity, from simple rule-based bots to more advanced machine learning algorithms.

Social media platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and even brand websites are popular channels for brand chatbots to interact with customers. They can be equipped with features like product recommendations, booking services, and even customer support. 

Uma Challa, Sr Director Analyst in the Gartner Customer Service & Support practice, states:

“Chatbots and virtual customer assistants (VCAs) have evolved over the past decade to become a critical technology component of a service organisation’s strategy. When designed correctly, chatbots can improve customer experience and drive positive customer emotion at a lower cost than live interactions.”

Another Gartner survey also illustrates that 54% of respondents are using some form of chatbot, VCA or other conversational AI platform for customer-facing applications.

What is natural language processing?

Natural language processing (NLP) is a branch of AI that enables computers to understand, interpret, and generate human language. It allows chatbots to analyse customer queries, extract relevant information, and provide accurate responses in natural or human-like language.

In simpler terms, NLP helps chatbots converse with users as if they were talking to another human being, making the interaction more natural and seamless.

💡 Fun fact: Did you know that NLP is the technology behind voice assistants like Siri and Alexa? That means when you ask Siri to play your favourite song, she's using natural language processing to understand and execute your request. Mind = blown!

Reaping the benefits: how AI-powered chatbots bolster your business

Serving up your customers' needs on a silver platter, chatbot technology is your secret weapon to level up your brand's experience. So, without further ado, let's get down to the nitty-gritty of the benefits chatbots bring to your business.

Efficient data analysis for personalised customer service

AI chatbots excel at delivering personalised customer interactions - they're like a bartender who remembers your usual order, but in the digital world.

Through continuous interactions with consented customer data, AI chatbots can learn and adapt, understanding individual preferences, tastes, and habits. This allows them to offer personalised recommendations, tailored advice, and targeted promotional offers.

Imagine a customer visiting an e-commerce website; the chatbot can recommend products based on the customer's browsing history or past purchases, much like a personal shopper would.

More efficient communication & reduced response times

AI chatbots are the epitome of customer service efficiency, never succumbing to the human limitations of fatigue or the need for sleep. They're the customer service representatives that never clock off, ensuring that your customers are never left waiting.

With the lightning-fast speed of AI processing, chatbots can provide immediate responses to customer queries, keeping frustration at bay and maintaining engagement levels.

Imagine your customer has a query about a product in the middle of the night - with an AI chatbot designed by leading chatbot builders, they can get a response instantly, rather than waiting for office hours. It's like having a 24/7 customer service team, but without the overhead costs.

In the age of instant gratification, customers have come to expect quick and efficient service. In fact, according to a study by Salesforce, 64% of customers want to shop with companies that can meet their needs in real-time.

Cost-effective solution for businesses

AI chatbots are a revolutionary tool that can significantly enhance customer engagement without demanding a big team or budget. For smaller businesses, this is a game-changer. 

Chatbots can handle multiple interactions simultaneously, keeping customers engaged while freeing up human staff for more complex tasks. They use algorithms to learn from past interactions, improving their performance over time without the need for expensive training.

In addition, the automation they provide reduces manual labour, thus saving costs. They're like having a tireless, dedicated customer service rep that doesn't ask for a salary, vacation, or even coffee breaks. 

So, even if you're running a business on a shoestring budget, AI chatbots can help you punch above your weight, delivering a level of customer engagement that rivals the big players in your industry.

Gartner – 2022

Brand consistency and personality

Maintaining a consistent brand voice across numerous customer interactions can be quite the Herculean task, but this is where AI chatbots strut their stuff on the catwalk of digital communication and brand strategy.

Just like your favourite rock band that keeps its signature sound album after album, AI chatbots ensure that every interaction echoes your brand's unique voice and personality.

AI chatbots can be programmed to adopt your brand's tone, language, and personality traits. Whether your brand is playful and quirky or serious and professional, your chatbot plays the part to a T, delivering consistent brand messaging that doesn't skip a beat. 

This allows customers to feel a stronger connection with your brand, as if they're chatting with a familiar friend, rather than a faceless entity.

Moreover, the chatbot's unerring consistency ensures that your brand personality shines through in each interaction, irrespective of the volume of queries it's fielding. This consistency not only helps reinforce your brand identity but also builds trust and credibility with your customers.

Customers appreciate consistency, and by meeting their expectations each time, you foster customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, a better brand experience.

🍕 Brand consistency in AI: Domino’s Bot

While the Domino’s Pizza Bot (aka Dom) isn’t technically a conversational chatbot, it definitely deserves an honourable mention if we’re talking about bots for branding purposes. The bots creative team has this to say on the launch: 

“Dom The Pizza Bot is a truly innovative use of social media to market a food brand. 

Domino's likes to be ahead of the pack when it comes to innovation and this was the first time a pizza brand offered a direct order service on Facebook Messenger. 

Creatively, Dom the chatbot had to be witty and entertaining enough to earn his place in the private realm of people's Facebook channels. And because we know what the internet is like, Dom had to be able to handle all the sass, ironic questions and f***ing swearing that people threw his way. 

The launch of Dom gained +55 pieces of coverage across national titles including The Sun, The Irish Sun, The Mirror, METRO and Daily Star, with a total campaign reach of 10,402,211. Best of all, not even Comedy Central could take him on.”

Learn more about Dom the Pizza Bot in this video.

Lead generation pipeline improvement

AI chatbots are experts at capturing and qualifying leads. By engaging in conversations with potential customers instantaneously, chatbots can collect valuable information about their needs and preferences, directing them to the appropriate sales or marketing funnel.

Moreover, by providing immediate responses and personalised recommendations, AI chatbots can nurture leads and move them through the sales pipeline more efficiently. This helps reduce drop-off rates and increase conversion rates, ultimately boosting your bottom line.

Furthermore, with AI chatbots handling the initial interactions, your human staff can focus on closing deals and building relationships with qualified leads, maximising their productivity and potential.

Who has the best brand chatbots? A look at 5 key examples in action

To illustrate, here’s a look at some of the best brand chatbots in action.

Case Study 1: Adobe Virtual Assistant

With a simple, professional and friendly tone-of-voice, the Adobe Virtual Assistant is loaded with some basic presets to assist with customer service, which will no doubt improve the user experience and brand sentiments for chatbot or website users that require information covered by these presets. 

This AI chatbot technology provides 3 key capabilities:

  • Get help with an existing account
  • Try or buy an app
  • Get sign in support

However, when it comes to brand communication, this chatbot doesn’t have too much to offer. When we tried asking it to tell us more about Adobe, it simply referred us back to similar presets to the initial message. 

From a tech giant, could we have hoped for a little more brand personality in the chatbot? Absolutely. But as a functional AI that assists customers in getting what they need, we give this the thumbs up.

Case Study 2: H&M Chatbot

The H&M Chatbot is a little more friendly and informative. It not only offers basic information about the brand but also shares the brand's vision of creating a better fashion future and brand value of sustainability. 

This level of effectiveness is commendable, also providing key details on the brand such as where and when it was founded. Its ability to converse with a user’s direct input as opposed to only certain presets also provides a strong user experience. However, this bot could definitely benefit from a touch more personality, especially considering it’s such a popular high street brand in the UK.

The addition of a personal touch would further strengthen the emotional connection between the chatbot and its users, making interactions more engaging and memorable.

Case Study 3: TeamSupport Chat

The TeamSupport Chatbot takes things a step further with personalisation. 

Not only does it have a name - Rachel - but it also goes above and beyond by showcasing a headshot image, creating an experience that closely emulates interacting with a real customer service representative. 

Another notable aspect is the chatbot's engaging introductory message, which sets the stage for a more interactive and immersive conversation, rather than just providing basic information. 

It presents detailed and comprehensive answers to the preset questions it offers, ensuring a seamless and informative user experience. All in all, this chatbot impressively combines personalization, engaging content, and informative responses for an enhanced interaction.

Case Study 4: Hubspot HubBot

 

The Hubspot HubBot is where things start to get a bit more exciting. With the personalised name and Bot profile image, alongside the introduction of emojis and multiple short messages just as you might see in a quick text chat, the HubBot quickly bridges the gap between robot and human interaction. 

This chatbot offers up customised information, from industry news to FAQs – allowing users to engage in conversation without feeling overwhelmed by too much data. At the same time, it offers truly detailed responses to user queries, and has lots to say about HubSpot as a brand – which is great.

For an AI bot, it’s a surprisingly human experience. The Hubbot is able to understand natural language inputs, adjust its responses accordingly and remember user data. 

It’s even capable of using sentiment analysis to identify positive or negative emotions in user conversations – providing quick and helpful assistance when needed.

Case Study 5: CareerFoundry Bot

Finally, we have the CareerFoundry Bot. With the opening engaging messages, personalised image and name, use of emojis and engaging, human-esque language – we had high hopes for this AI technology, thinking the detail of asking our name was a nice touch.

However, for user experience in the world of the best brand chatbots, instantaneous communication, customer service and quick response times make all the difference.

The CareerFoundry bot was ultimately a disappointment – as it required a name and email address to access, unlike the other bots in our list. 

While we can see what they were going for with this overzealous customer service tactic, we can imagine that this data hiccup may be a drop off point for many users who just want a quick answer to their questions.

Closing thoughts

Huddle’s branding experts can help you craft a beautiful brand from the ground up, utilising a suite of technology to advance your branding design. Whether you’re interested in refreshing your brand identity, or redesigning your digital channels to incorporate AI-powered technology, we’re here to help.

Ready to launch your own chatbot for branding? Contact our brand experts or brief us today to transform your brand.

AI in branding: Best brand chatbots FAQs

What are some of the best chatbot examples for brands?

Some of the best brand and marketing chatbot examples include: the Adobe Virtual Assistant, H&M Chatbot, TeamSupport Chatbot, and the Hubspot HubBot. These chatbots use AI technology to provide informative and engaging interactions with users. The CareerFoundry chatbot is also personalised and engaging, but requires a name and email to access.

How can AI chatbots improve brand communication?

AI chatbots can improve brand communication by providing quick and efficient responses to user queries, creating a more personalised and human-like interaction, and showcasing brand values and personality. They can also gather valuable data about user preferences and behaviours to improve future marketing strategies.

Can AI chatbots mimic human conversation?

While human beings, chatbots offer access to a huge volume of information. Additional programming offers chatbots a human touch, with the ability to understand natural language inputs and adjust their responses accordingly. With sentiment analysis and memory capabilities, AI chatbots can also adapt their responses based on user emotions or previous conversations.

How can businesses incorporate AI chatbots into their branding strategy?

Businesses can incorporate AI chatbots into their branding strategy by first identifying areas in which a chatbot could enhance customer experience or provide valuable information. 

Then, they can work with a team of experts to design and implement a chatbot that aligns with their brand's values and tone of voice. Regular updates and improvements should also be made to ensure the chatbot continues to meet the brand's needs and goals.