How to humanize a technology brand and communicate it to humans

How thoughtful brand strategy helps to make nonhuman products, like hardware speak to humans.

Joined up thinking

There is a good way of doing something and a bad way of doing something. The bad way is all too common nowadays, examples of a lack of joined up thinking are prevalent from the very bottom of society to the very top.  

To take a tiny example. Having arranged through an online chat to spread the cost of my rather large electricity bill over a one month period, the day before I was due to make the second payment I receive a letter that “despite repeated requests for me to pay my bill”, I hadn’t and was now threatened with legal action. So, I contact the utility company (only second tier in terms of ineptitude to telecoms companies) and yes, they had a record of the agreement, and tried to give some ridiculous justification as to why this letter had been sent out. Result? Bill paid on time, and the very next day I changed supplier. Of course, that option wasn’t available to the Iraqi people but I am sure you get my point.

It takes IMAGINATION to predict possible or probable outcomes and plan accordingly for some or all of a sequence of events, so the human being at the end of the chain is treated like a human being and not an object or a series of binary code. In fact, that is quite an interesting point. I assume that some ultra-geeks actually look at people as just a series of genetic code, which in a way there are I suppose.  Mix that attitude with technocrats and box tickers and it is not surprising there are so many examples of this.

Humans. Funny old things, aren’t they?

Full of feelings, irrationalities, rationalities but hey most of us like to be treated well most of the time, a compliment wouldn’t go amiss now and then, as long as it is heartfelt. It isn’t surprising that actors have so many mental problems when they live in a superficial world where the praise of strangers is the main feed to their esteem. Bless their little luvvie cotton socks 😊 But, we shall leave actors and actresses in their little bubble and return to the rest of humanity.

Actually, let’s not leave the world of acting just yet…

As Hamlet said:

“What a piece of work is man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, In form and moving how express and admirable, In action how like an Angel, In apprehension how like a god, The beauty of the world, The paragon of animals. And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; no, nor Woman neither”

And in this context, this is the essential difference between a human and a computer/robotics/AI.

How can we make AI /non-human products speak to Humans?

The question of whether we should or not is for others to decide. I’m not going to go off on a polemic here but in terms of the interaction of humans and machines, there are so many questions. We live in interesting times indeed.

There are Human Questionssuch as What is subjective? What is objective? What is meaning? How important is context? How often do we jump to conclusions? Why do we often make such odd connections?

Then there are questions regarding the interface between the human and the non-human.We get frustrated at those who don’t listen and often just walk away (think automated call centres – and indeed some of the script-reading staff 😊), often the algorithms just don’t work (myriad examples).

How successfully can AI mimic emotions? Not at all successfully it appears. Despite robots now being used to care for old people in Japan there is also the famous experiment where two bots talking to each other, using machine learning soon descended into extreme racist and sexist language and had to be turned off. Well, we just have to accept that this is the way of the world and hope that common sense prevails and that we all don’t get Terminated

Other examples of this include the fact that for some old people, perhaps their little contact with humanity is at the checkout at the supermarket, now we have automated tills these people are left out. It has now been taken one step further in some areas with the actual checkouts removed and replaced by self-scanning. Sainsbury and Amazon, I believe are the pioneers.

It remains to be seen whether this profit maximisation scheme will bear fruit, create some bizarre unforeseen knock on effect, or simply be unpopular (it would be with me, why should I do the supermarket’s job for them?)

And we mustn’t forget dear old Alexa, listening in to people’s conversations, allowing parrots to order goods. And the latest? A British baby’s first word? Yep. “Alexa”

Mountains to climb

Obviously, there are quite a few of these. And the usual trial and error, will hopefully lead to successful outcomes. And how should this be presented?

Take NodePower branding.

nodepower

Vibrations are the essence of the world, different elements vibrate at higher or lower frequencies. This is the absolute basis of the physics and biology of our world so it is no surprise that to communicate some of the higher vibrations (wireless x in this case) that Ester states: “ Through colours, shapes and photos, we show the waves of energy that surround us. Science fiction becomes reality.”

Take a look at the site, and see the seamless juxtaposition of the graphics which at once represent, energy, power, the future, and communication, whilst also demonstrate the natural flows of the biological and human world and landscape, whose patterns are not always as easy to recognise as those from the world of physics.

Lovely logogram too, don’t you think? Connecting two entities, the human and the hardware. Humans are at the top of course.

But for how long…

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