Speaking About Voice : A Study on Communicating Brand Personality Through Virtual Assistants
Abstract: Problematization: Earlier research on brand communication emphasize the importance of communicating a brand consistently throughout all marketing channels and media. Virtual assistants (VAs) are a new marketing media and a relatively new technology with which a brand can communicate with customers. However, the theory and knowledge about how to use it as a communication tool for a brand is limited. With human communication attributes being a unique characteristic of VAs as a marketing medium, it is suggested that these can be used to clarify and supplement the traits of a brand’s personality. Research Questions: How is brand personality communicated via integrated marketing communications? How does communication with VAs affect the consumers’ perception of a brand’s personality? Purpose: This report investigates, through theories on integrated marketing communication, brand and communication, how brand personality can be communicated through a voice. The study also shows how human conversation attributes are of importance in conversation with virtual assistants, and how these affect brand personality. Conclusion: The study has shown that virtual assistants could provide the opportunity to augment a brand’s personality as a result of their ability to adopt human communication attributes. If the conversational expectations are not fulfilled, the impression of the VA, and therefore the brand it represents, will be negatively affected. If VAs overcome the communication and social obstacles, of which some are presented in this study, they can become a valuable medium for communicating brand personality. Knowledge Contribution: This study has given an understanding for human-to-brand conversation through voice and what aspects that may be considered when developing a VA for marketing purposes. A theoretical model has been developed to show how brand personality and communication attributes can affect the brand communication through virtual assistants.
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