Productivity, Innovation and Humanity: Framing the Potential of AIGC for Brands
Over the last year, AIGC has gone from fringe experiments to enterprise grade levels of reliability and quality. Not a day goes by without news of major updates to core models such as Stable Diffusion or Midjourney, the emergence of new AIGC products, marquee brand AIGC case studies or rumors of AIGC related layoffs.
We are at the beginning of AIGC’s journey towards large scale business adoption. There is little doubt that future developments in technology and usages will surprise even the sharpest forecaster. However, we believe it necessary to provide an initial set of perspectives and frameworks that can be used as a springboard for brands to think about AIGC and start experimenting in the most appropriate way.
Seeing the Full Picture of AIGC Applications
AIGC refers to all instances of content creation using AI tools. Different use cases will have a different balance between human prompting and AI interpretation. In some cases, AI plays the role of a productivity tool while in others it is used to enable creative exploration. While AIGC is most associated with marketing copy and visuals generation, the scope of content that can be created through AIGC is broad and needs to be considered in its entirety:
- Concepts and stories – AIGC can be used to create mood-boards, visualize hypothetical user experience scenarios, bring data and insights to life through visuals and generally speaking provide depth to any sort of strategic or creative thinking.
- Environments – AIGC can generate high resolution renderings for all sorts of physical environments from entire buildings to hotel rooms or retail stores.
- Visual content – most brands have already started using AIGC at scale to generate basic visual content, such as visuals for e-commerce product pages or illustrations for social media posts. Many are now proceeding to more advanced applications such as virtual influencers, brand key visuals or videos.
- Audio – from music to voice-over or other sound effects, AIGC is democratizing audio branding across the board.
- Text – text editing was amongst the earliest AI applications. AIGC is now becoming an essential tool for all forms of text generation from technical writing to marketing copy and even UX copy such as calls to action.
As we see, AIGC covers a wide range of content formats. Equally importantly, AIGC enables one format to act as input to generate content of another format. Image to text, text to audio, data to visuals etc. AIGC opens a new era of content dialogue and inter connectivity.
Understanding What AIGC Can Achieve for Brands
Framing the opportunity of AIGC requires us to look beyond output and connect technical possibilities to brand functions and business impact. For this, we start from Labtech Venture’s framework for BrandTech application, considering the potential of AIGC for brand culture, brand creative and brand experience. Within these 3 competencies, the power of AIGC can be deployed across 3 dimensions:
- Productivity – Most current use cases of AIGC center on automating, speeding up or distributing different content related tasks. It is our opinion that productivity does not equal replacement, looking back at previous comparable technology revolutions, we expect AIGC to result not in a reduction of workforce engaged in content related work but in an explosion in the quantity and variety of content created.
- Innovation – AI not just enables more efficient content production but can also support creative ideation and provide options beyond the capabilities of human agents. It also allows to enrich business processes or experience touch points through content in a previously impossible way.
- Humanization – Because they mimic human thought patterns, can draw from large amounts of unstructured data and recognize natural language; modern AI models allow combining scale, personalization, and a distinct human touch in content production. The platform and ad-tech age made many brands behave like cold algorithms. AIGC represents an opportunity to re-build brand distinctiveness and emotional resonance.
Overlaying the 3 areas of brandtech applications and the 3 dimensions of AIGC value, we can get to a preliminary representation of the main possibilities of AIGC for brands. While not exhaustive, such a list gives us a starting point to identify priorities and start acting.
Principles for Action
Like all major technology revolutions, AIGC requires a mix of long-term vision and rapid testing and iteration. Throughout this journey, we recommend brands to act based on several key principles.
- Sharpen your brand identity – At their most basic level, AIGC tools use a given model with its own specific rules, trained with a specific data set to turn prompts into content output. All the elements of this equations are deeply connected to brand identity. The personality, tone and aesthetic codes of the brand all need to be baked into the model and the prompts. Brands with an unclear or generic identity will naturally forgo many of the opportunities of the AIGC age.
- Be specific about applications – As this introductory article makes clear, AIGC is not a monolithic block and offers many specific areas of application, some as precise as narrow as the personalization of call-to-action messages on e-commerce sites. We encourage brands to be specific about AIGC applications, defining the most promising areas of experimentation based on their needs and on the availability of mature solutions.
- Be responsible – AIGC calls for a heightened sense of humility and awareness regarding potential misuses and unintended consequences. Intellectual property of training set and output, biases in rules and training data, output accuracy control, user privacy protection etc., all these factors should be considered when considering new AIGC uses. This responsibility imperative re-enforces our view that the proper view of AIGC should be that of a co-pilot for human initiative as opposed to a replacement.
Drawing on its expertise in brand building, commitment to humanity in branding methods and technology resources; The Labbrand Group will keep working with brands to plan and deliver the right AIGC applications.