How India’s leading brands are finding a voice on smart digital speakers

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28 JAN 2019 : There is a digital dimension to everything we do today – from travel to food and even relaxation – digital devices have made our lives easier. With this major shift in our way of living, a lot of consumer brands are relooking at the way they digitally engage with consumers.

The most intuitive contemporary iteration of this trend is the smart assistant such as the Alexa-powered Amazon Echo – a device that can let you do seemingly everything – without even lifting a finger!

From letting users order food, to book movie tickets and even track fitness through voice commands, the smart assistant is evolving as today’s definitive consumer-touchpoint. Many Indian brands have developed “Skills” for Alexa, an equivalent to voice apps, to engage and provide users with a personalized experience of its services.

Here are some brands that are digitally staying ahead of the pack across categories.

Food ordering: Fancy a bucket of hot & crispy chicken? KFC has you covered, as it becomes the first QSR brand in the country to partner with Alexa for online ordering. Consumers now have finger lickin’food at their beck and call. Literally. All they need to do is to enable the skill from the Alexa app and say the magic words “Alexa, start KFC”; “Alexa, launch KFC” or “Alexa, tell KFC I am hungry”, place their favorite order, sit back and relax!

Music: Gone are the days when one had to painstakingly craft a playlist for your parties or scroll endlessly for the perfect relaxing beat. Music streaming service Gaana has integrated its catalogue through an Amazon Alexa skill to bring a world of music at the consumer’s command. Now, one has to just say Alexa, play party music on Gaana”, to get the party started!

Kids: India’s favourite hero Chhota Bheem has launched an immersive game that lets kids help Chhota Bheem in exploring the mystery caves of Dholakpur and safely bring his friend Kalia back to the village. A great way to help kids replace screen-time with voice-time and help them improve their analytical skills when having fun. Start playing by saying “Alexa, open Chhota Bheem Adventures”.

Travel and transportation: After completely disrupting how we view travel; cab aggregator apps Ola and Uber have gone a step further in making our daily commute even easier. With both the brands now available on Alexa as a skill, ride-hailing has never been easier. “Alexa, book me an Uber” – you’ll say – and a cab will be there in minutes.

Entertainment: Entertainment without making any effort is perhaps the most fun. Want to grab the latest movie? PVR has introduced its “PVR cinemas” skill,that enables consumers to explore movies and book tickets without any hassle. One can even have a rousing conversation with the lovable Bauua from the hugely popular movie Zero, as the charming character is available as a skill on Alexa!