In this year's State of Branding 2017 Report, 72% of marketers responded that they are focused on building their brand audience, and 45% are planning on using customer experience tools. One brand is doing this using new technology that some marketers are still afraid of — the AI chatbot. And one luxury brand is already making it work like a charm.
Given that big brands have greater resources and yet are having a tougher time competing against startups and disruptors, the ability to invest in AI offers a significant advantage to build and engage audiences, and strengthen brand rapport and loyalty.
Equinox is a luxury fitness and lifestyle company with gym locations in major cities nationwide in the US and abroad, and is regularly at the forefront of workout trends (e.g., Soul Cycle). This fall it launched a chatbot, serving to welcome new joiners and encourage on-going involvement in real life. Here's how — and why it works:
With each chatbot conversation, the user should feel a more human connection — not with the app, with the brand itself — and this is a marketer's dream.
The ability to craft interactions based on FAQs and desired behaviors to create new opportunities will help drive repeat use and a better overall product and brand experience. Moreover, AI gives brands fertile ground for testing messages and learning how to deepen relationships.
In this hyper-competitive environment, for any business, especially luxury or mass retailers and fast moving consumer goods brands with digital touch points, AI could turn into a huge differentiator.
Sandra Creamer has spent her career focused on business transformation. She's worked at Fortune 100 technology companies, a top CPG company, and several NYC based consulting firms, doing branding, marketing and innovation for many recognizable brands. In her spare time, Sandra teaches at Columbia University in the MS Program for Applied Analytics.