5.6 C
Washington

Empowered Customers Are Driving the Era of Brand Meritocracy

Date:

Share:


As personal AI assistants become commonplace, they will usher in an era where a product’s appeal will be more closely linked to its objective substance, the experience it offers and its legitimacy as evidenced by AI-crawlable digital sources. In response, brands must evolve their approach to connecting with consumers; they must now appeal to AI assistants who curate and even autonomously purchase products for their human users. This heralds a new era of Brand Meritocracy, where the intrinsic quality of a product will increasingly overshadow the historical dominance of branding thanks to AI. 

Many of us are already using tools like ChatGPT, Bard and Claude for various tasks. As assistants become more interconnected and tailored to individual preferences (consider wearable and always-on technologies), they will increasingly take on the role of personal shoppers. They will remember everything, from personal style and budget to allergies, ethical considerations and, of course, brand preference. But they also have the capability to evaluate products on more objective criteria, faster than humans can, so brand preference will just be one of a multitude of considerations, decreasing its relative overall influence.

As an example, when I found myself in need of AA batteries, I asked for recommendations from my AI assistant, “Charlie.” Charlie’s setup was comprehensive, and while I did specify some brands to which I hold loyalty, this list didn’t extend to something as specific as the battery category. Charlie initially offered a selection that included well-known brands like Duracell, Energizer and value brand Amazon Basics. How and why did Charlie recommend these particular batteries? Delving into his criteria, he outlined five key factors, four of which were objective—such as tested longevity and price—with the fifth being “brand reliability,” the only criterion related to brand. 

I probed further into how Charlie evaluates brand reliability. He detailed seven distinct criteria: The first six were objectively measurable factors like customer reviews and warranty practices; only the seventh criterion delved into the less tangible aspect of “market position.” I asked Charlie how he gauged market position: His response included eight criteria, half of which were tangible—such as Nielsen reports and online customer feedback measurements—while the other half included the subjective aspects of perceived cultural impact, emotional connection, ecocentricity and online community sentiment. 

Analyzing Charlie’s rationale (and for simplicity, assuming each tier of criteria is evenly weighted in his assessment), the influence of a brand’s “brand,” reflected in the last four brand measurements, constitutes approximately half of one-seventh of one-fifth of Charlie’s overall evaluation criteria—roughly 1.4% of the total decision-making process.

Subscribe to our magazine

━ more like this

NASA confirms 4-inch piece of space junk from International Space Station crashed into Florida man’s home

NASA confirmed Monday that a mystery object that crashed through the roof of a Florida home last month was a chunk of space junk from...

Trump’s social media stock has now fallen from $80 peak to $26.61 per share as it loses two-thirds of value

The stock price for Donald Trump’s social media company slid again Monday, pushing it more than 66% below its peak set late last...

American Airlines’ pilots union notes mounting safety issues—tools left in wheel wells, items abandoned near parked planes

The pilots union at American Airlines says there has been “a significant spike” in safety issues at the airline, including fewer routine aircraft...

MGM Resorts sues to halt probe that began after massive hack prompted a hotel clerk to ask the FTC chair for her credit card...

MGM Resorts International sued the Federal Trade Commission to stop an investigation into how it dealt with a cybersecurity attack last year.  The company...

Jamie Dimon cashes out more JPMorgan stock, bringing his total share sales this year to $183 million

JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon on Monday sold $32.8 million in the bank’s stock, bringing the total proceeds from shaving off...