How Brands can Harness Consumers’ Nascent Optimism Towards AI

To harness and grow this nascent optimism, brands must prioritize empathy by putting people first and focusing their communication on how AI benefits their consumers, not the brand.

The author(s)
  • Emmanuel Probst Global Lead, Brand Thought Leadership
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KEY FINDINGS:

  • Gen Z and younger Millennials are more likely to lean on AI across a variety of applications.
  • There are age gaps in how Americans view using AI in the workplace, and on whether AI-generated written work can be just as good as something written by a person.
  • Brands must prioritize empathy in their marketing and everyday communication with their audiences.

Since the release of ChatGPT, artificial intelligence has become a buzzword dominating online search and business media coverage. Meanwhile, Ipsos has collected data, conducted extensive research-on-research and developed its own AI tools. Grounded in this new knowledge, this paper zooms in on consumers’ perception of AI and provides recommendations on how brands can implement AI to grow revenue while safekeeping consumers’ trust.

Gen Z and younger Millennials are more likely to lean on AI than their older counterparts across a variety of applications and trust the written work AI can generate. Ipsos research in 2023 found that 70% of Americans aged 35-54 say using AI in the workplace can save time and resources, along with 67% of Americans aged 18-34; that compares to 53% of Americans aged 55 and older.

Across age groups, the more personal the task, the less people trust AI. Many say they are OK with AI writing computer code and optimizing logistics and supply chains; fewer are comfortable with AI screening job applicants and reading medical tests. Employers and healthcare brands must therefore prioritize empathy in their marketing and everyday communication with their audiences.

Meanwhile, brands must stress that they implement AI to their audience benefit. For example, to speed up the job application process, and identify patterns from thousands of other medical tests to assist in the physician’s diagnostic.

With that said, people are keen on using AI themselves to research and create content. They also express interest in simplifying their lives by using voice assistants and expediting certain tasks such as scheduling appointments.

Brands can therefore secure recurring revenue by prompting their customers to re-order or even subscribe to their products using voice assistants. Further, brands must double down on their efforts to create educational content that guides people through certain tasks (for example, provide tips on healthy and injury free running) and suggest pertaining products (the best running shoes for the everyday athlete).

While people are still concerned about AI (and will likely be for years to come), they became more optimistic about its capabilities over the course of 2023: Compared to a survey Ipsos conducted in June 2023, polling from December 2023 show that people are becoming more trustworthy of brands that use AI and more positive towards AI-powered products and services.

To harness and grow this nascent optimism, brands must put people first by focusing their communication on how AI benefits their consumers, not the brand.

Other recommendations for brands

To sum up, consumers are increasingly cognizant of the benefits of AI, which presents an immediate opportunity for brands to generate recurring revenue and automate some of the most mundane customer interactions.

While AI can enable brands to become more efficient, the technology lacks human empathy, understanding and originality. For example, brands can use AI tools to automate some creative and measurement tasks, though AI underestimates the impact of fresh creative ideas and cultural understanding. Therefore, marketers can use AI to streamline their workflow, and instead dedicate their time and focus to the creativity that drives breakthrough campaigns.

Finally, brands must commit to transparency before rolling out new AI-powered capabilities in order to maintain customer engagement and loyalty. While the gap between human and AI capabilities is narrowing, it presents a risk for brand perception. Brands must therefore continue to constantly monitor what consumers expect from AI encounters.

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Let's connect!

Emmanuel Probst
Global Lead, Brand Thought Leadership
[email protected]

The author(s)
  • Emmanuel Probst Global Lead, Brand Thought Leadership

Consumer & Shopper