AI’s Impact on Brands and How to Maintain Control

Welcome back to Branded: your comprehensive guide to creative branding.

Today’s episode is a continuation of last week’s AI conversation as technology is changing daily. We’re talking about the rapid advancements of AI technology and how they impact branding strategies. While we touch upon AI advancements such as the latest Chat GPT update, our primary focus is on how brands can maintain control and avoid obsolescence in such a fast-evolving digital landscape.

Recorded on May 16, just days after the release of the new Chat GPT update, we discuss the groundbreaking features of the AI tool, including real-time conversations, emotional response capabilities, and its implications for brands that rely on AI-driven services. We also examine the importance of building and protecting a brand in a world where platforms and technologies can become obsolete almost overnight.

With these fast-paced advancements, it’s imperative for brands and businesses to be forward-thinking and adaptable. We explore the significance of owning your audience and not just relying on third-party platforms to house your brand’s following.

Key Takeaways:

1. New AI Capabilities and Branding: We discuss the latest Chat GPT update and its significant improvements in real-time interaction and emotional responses. These advancements mean brands using previous versions or third-party AI companions may find themselves outdated.

2. Maintaining Brand Control in Fast-Paced Tech Environments: We emphasize the necessity of having a backup strategy for your brand’s online presence. This includes managing your email lists, owning your website, and not overly relying on social media platforms, which can change or disappear.

3. The Role of Social Media and Email Lists: Sara highlights the importance of having a comprehensive strategy for connecting with your audience beyond social media platforms. This ensures that changes in platform algorithms or policies don’t hinder your ability to reach your audience.

4. Adaptability and Forward Planning: We talk about the need for brands to stay adaptable and plan for the future. Larry mentions how AI advancements can make current technologies and platforms obsolete, stressing the importance of building a tech-proof brand strategy.

5. Leveraging Newsletters for Engagement: We underscore the value of newsletters as a more stable and reliable form of communication compared to social platforms. By using tools like Beehive, brands can ensure they maintain direct, unfiltered access to their audience.


Larry Roberts [00:00:09]:

What is happening, everybody? I'm Larry Roberts.

Sara Lohse [00:00:11]:

And I'm Sara Lohse. And this is Branded, your comprehensive guide to creative branding.

Larry Roberts [00:00:16]:

And on this episode of the podcast, we're gonna kind of follow up our last episode a little bit. We're still gonna talk about AI and the impact of AI just a smidgen, but we're going to talk about it from the perspective of a much larger concern or an issue when it comes to maintaining control of your brand.

Sara Lohse [00:00:36]:

We're recording this on May 16 and on, what was it, May 13, they just released the new chat GPT update.

Larry Roberts [00:00:46]:

Yeah, I mean, I'm not real good at math, but today's Thursday and they did it on Monday. But, yeah, man, they just released the latest version of Chat GPT a couple days ago, and it's such an insane game changer. And it's really shocking to a lot of people that have built their brand or built an app or built their platform around the prior release of this application because they've made so many advancements, especially in the realm of voice interaction with Chad GPT. So for those of you that aren't aware, you can speak to chad GPT on both desktop and the mobile version. A lot of people use it. On the mobile version, you can assign it a voice. There are six or seven different voices you can choose from, male, female, whatever you prefer. And you can have conversations.

Larry Roberts [00:01:34]:

You can ask Chad GPT questions and it'll give you this feedback. And prior to Monday's release, there was a bit of a lag in between when you would ask the question and Chad GBT would ponder the response and then respond back. But, and this is just one of the features of the new version is that that latency or that lag is completely gone. So now you're literally having real time conversations with this chatbot and it's mind blowing and terrifying simultaneously. 100%.

Sara Lohse [00:02:10]:

I remember when, like, the most, like, groundbreaking, like, voice technology was when we could change our garmin gps's to sound australian.

Larry Roberts [00:02:20]:

G'day, mate, you're almost there.

Sara Lohse [00:02:22]:

Yeah. Like, that was like, oh my God, this is so cool. And now robots are talking to us.

Larry Roberts [00:02:28]:

And they're talking to us. They're not just talking to us, but they're having conversations with us. I mean, you know, we're used to having Siri and we're used to having Alexa and I don't. For some reason, the Google voice is escaping me on the Android device. What is that called?

Sara Lohse [00:02:43]:

Siri, Alexa, and. And Cortana.

Larry Roberts [00:02:48]:

Cortana. No, Cortana. Is Microsoft's desktop voice. Anyways, doesn't matter. We're used to these things talking back to us, but not in a conversational fashion. And now with the release of Chad GPT four O, and the O is for Omni. That's the latest version of Chad GPT and the latest large language model they're using to power it. That again, that latency is just not there.

Larry Roberts [00:03:14]:

So you can literally carry on these conversations in a way that is just like the conversation you and I are having right now. I mean, you can even interrupt Chad GPT. Like, if you're speaking and I want to interject something, I can jump in there. I don't have to wait for you to finish. And they'll stop. And when I say they'll stop, I mean Chad GPT will stop talking and hear your latest input, your latest response and respond back. You know that. Again, that's just one aspect of this new model and this new version of Chad GPT that's out here.

Larry Roberts [00:03:44]:

But these new advancements with both the audio and the visual, Chad GPT's visual analysis has gone next level as well. You can take a screenshot of yourself, and Chad GPD can analyze that picture and tell you the emotions that you're feeling at the time. So there's emotional, we'll call it intelligence.

Sara Lohse [00:04:06]:

We just, our last episode, we were just saying that the one thing chat GPT cannot recreate is emotional intelligence. And I don't. It doesn't make sense in my brain for it to actually be able to. Yeah, because it's like, humans can't even understand what emotional intelligence is. Like. We don't control our emotions. It's purely, like, chemical. So I don't.

Sara Lohse [00:04:34]:

I mean, I feel like they probably came up with a way to, like, pseudo replicate it, but I doubt it's actually gonna.

Larry Roberts [00:04:42]:

It's emotional algorithms, is what it is. It's algorithmic, but. Well, yeah, maybe. But I mean, if you watch the demonstration, when they revealed this, they literally had Chad GPT read a bedtime story, and Chad GPT started to read this bedtime story, and they went, no, no, no, hold on, wait, wait, wait. Make it more emotional. So Chad GPT changed the tone of the story and made it more emotional, made it more inspiring, more. It just was a tense feeling, and they went, no, no, stop. Make it even more so.

Larry Roberts [00:05:17]:

You would hear Chad GPT each time they stopped and said, no, no, no, more emotion. They'd come back and reread it with more and more and more emotion, and it was just mind blowing.

Sara Lohse [00:05:29]:

Yeah, okay. But that's like, that's not feeling emotion, that's portraying, and that's different.

Larry Roberts [00:05:35]:

Oh, yeah. It's still, it's totally different, but at the same time, it's still terrifying when it's done well. And it's done so well in GPT four o that sometimes we as humans can't really pick up on the fact that it's algorithmic emotion and not real emotion. And what we're seeing, and the reason we're talking about this again today is that with these changes to chat GPT in the speed and the emotional response and the audio response and all these changes that are made, it's, believe it or not, there's a big industry out there for AI companions, and there's been a ton of platforms that came out and they were using chad GPT back ends or using the Chad GPT API or application program interface to drive these AI companion platforms that they wrote. So this third party would come in, they would put chat GPT into a program, and they would build a program around it to make it sound like you're talking to someone. And as of Monday, all those platforms are obsolete. There's zero need for a third party to write additional code to create this AI companion, because with this latest version of chat GPT, it's already there. And here's the real kicker, it's free to everybody.

Larry Roberts [00:06:56]:

You don't have to be a paid subscriber to get the latest version of Chat GPT. So it's totally free. It has the response time that's almost instantaneous, and you can have very conversational interactions with this chatbot.

Sara Lohse [00:07:14]:

What's the difference between, like, because I pay for it, you pay for it?

Larry Roberts [00:07:17]:


Sara Lohse [00:07:18]:

What? Should we just stop paying for it?

Larry Roberts [00:07:20]:

No, not at this stage. And I'll tell you why. Although they're rolling it out to everyone for free, we as paid subscribers get it first. So odds are if you haven't signed on to chat GPT in the past couple of days, you probably already have it. If you're a paid subscriber, if you're not a paid subscriber, they're rolling it out over the next couple, three weeks. So you will eventually have it for free. So that's one of the benefits of being a paid subscriber, is you get first dibs on any of the new releases. But in addition to that, you also have the opportunity for more interactions.

Larry Roberts [00:07:51]:

So they throttle the conversations or the usage on the free version. Now, unless you're just sitting there talking to chat GPT all day long, you're probably never going to reach the limit, even on the free version, and you're definitely not going to reach. There is a limit, but it's literally ten times larger with the interactions and the input and output that you have on the free version for the paid version right now. But I didn't mean to turn this into a chat GPT session. But my whole point here is that these applications that built these AI companions, and on top of that, other applications such as language translators or language tutorial applications, they're gone too. There's no need for them because chat GPT can literally translate on the fly. I could stand in front of someone that speaks an entirely different language, say somebody speaks Spanish and I don't speak Spanish. I could tell Chad GPT right now.

Larry Roberts [00:08:47]:

Go, Chad GPT. Whenever you hear Spanish, translate it to English, and whenever you hear English, translate it to Spanish. And I could sit there then and using Chad GPT as my translator, go back and forth with this individual that doesn't even speak the same language. We could do it in real time, we could do it on the fly. So all these other translator apps, guess what? They woke up Tuesday morning and they're obsolescent at best, obsolete at worst.

Sara Lohse [00:09:15]:

Are those not the same words?

Larry Roberts [00:09:16]:

Obsolescent means that it's going obsolete and obsolete means it's gone, so it's not quite gone when it's obsolescent. So anyways, again, these brands, these platforms, these businesses, even, whether it's an AI companion platform or whether it's a tutorial platformer, and there's countless others that are out there now, I said tutorial, I meant translator. There's countless others out there now that with this one release of this one platform eliminated hundreds, if not thousands, of, quote unquote, businesses and brands literally overnight. And something I noticed just the other day was that I say literally a lot. I think in the last episode, I literally said literally 20 times. So we need to work on it.

Sara Lohse [00:10:00]:

So, Gen Z. So, like, all of these, like, platforms have just disappeared? No, and it's not something that anyone was prepared for.

Larry Roberts [00:10:10]:

Well, they haven't disappeared there. I think they're all still there because it's only been a couple of days now, but they're, they're. Again, they're obsolescent at best. They're, they're dead. They're dead in the water. You know, they're going to have to completely reevaluate what they've done. How they did it. And this is kind of a testimony that, to how we need to look at things going forward because, and you've heard me say this before, that this AI stuff, man, it's literally there it is again.

Larry Roberts [00:10:40]:

It's changing every day. It is changing every day. We wake up and there's something that's evolved, there's something that's different. There's a new platform, or one of the big companies has released their latest version and it's made something else obsolete. And that's the scary component here, is that how do we build a brand that is, well, not just AI proof, but obsolete proof?

Sara Lohse [00:11:05]:

Yeah. It makes me think back with, like, social media platforms, there's been, like, the big ones that have really stayed. Like, Facebook hasn't gone anywhere. It probably won't, but there's so many other platforms that people would build this big following on, and then the platform would either go away or just kind of fade. And for brands, that can be scary because if, like, if you're only building an audience on a platform that you don't own, you have no control over it. And, like, with vine, there are people who are huge on vine and, like, started their whole career as, like, influencers or creators on vine, and then vine doesn't exist anymore, and now it's TikTok, basically. But TikTok might be going away and lock it down.

Larry Roberts [00:11:53]:


Sara Lohse [00:11:53]:

Yeah. So, I mean, I have, like, a little bit of a pr background, and there's NPR. We have the different types of media earned, paid, and owned. And you have to make sure that the majority of what you're doing for your brand is within owned media. So you have to be focusing on things like your website, because you, that's yours. And unless the Internet goes down or something, like, you're like, your website's probably not going anywhere. But even we've seen people have their email list on a certain platform, and the platform disagrees with what they're putting out, and they've shut down their account and they lost their entire contact list.

Larry Roberts [00:12:32]:

Yeah. And they had no idea. They woke up on Monday morning and poof, their entire business is gone.

Sara Lohse [00:12:39]:

Yeah, see, this is why no one likes Mondays. It always happens on a Monday morning.

Larry Roberts [00:12:45]:

Okay, well, for the chat, GPT released everybody. Everybody woke up Tuesday and was like, holy schnikey's. Life is different now. And then to make it even worse, Tuesday Google jumped up and said, oh, well, we see your upgrades. OpenAI. Here's our upgrades. So Monday had all the chad GPT upgrades Tuesday had all of the Gemini and Google AI platform updates, so you got tag team back to back. It didn't really matter who you were with at the time.

Larry Roberts [00:13:15]:

Come Wednesday morning, you were. You were in a world of hurt if you were building everything on the latest version of these AI chat bots.

Sara Lohse [00:13:24]:

Yeah, it's. It's ridiculous. But when it comes, like, protecting your brand from that kind of, like, obsolescence with other platforms, this is why we need to make sure that we're sending them places that we can't lose them. I know a lot of people that they'll go to conference and they'll be like, oh, just like, find me on, like, LinkedIn. It's like, okay, but what if LinkedIn shuts down? Or what if you're, like, they decide to, like, I don't know who decides if people can have accounts anymore, but people have gotten blocked from their facebooks and, like, their accounts have been shut down. So you need to be making sure you're connecting with your audience in a way that's more permanent. Like, I always go for business cards. We just said that someone's whole email list was shut down.

Sara Lohse [00:14:09]:

But you can export your email list and, like, have it as a hard copy in case something happens. And it's so important to have those almost, like, safeguards in place for that. Like, social media. Yeah. Social media is great for having conversations with your audience, but that's not where your audience should live, right?

Larry Roberts [00:14:28]:

No. And you kind of hit the nail on the head there. You have to have backups. You have to have backups for your stuff, man, in case it does get blitzed, you have to own that email list someplace on an external hard drive or someplace that you can back it up. So if these platforms do go down or they do shut you down or they do lock you out for whatever reason, then boom, you still have that. And you can rebuild in a different environment if necessary.

Sara Lohse [00:14:53]:

Mine's in a shoebox.

Larry Roberts [00:14:54]:

A shoebox. Okay.

Sara Lohse [00:14:55]:

I have basically every business card I've ever been given.

Larry Roberts [00:15:01]:

I have notes from my high school sweetheart in shoebox still.

Sara Lohse [00:15:05]:

I'm gonna tell your wife.

Larry Roberts [00:15:07]:

She knows. It's in the closet. It's right there at the top of the closet. It's common knowledge.

Sara Lohse [00:15:13]:

Why do you have those? You're 50.

Larry Roberts [00:15:18]:

Because it's fun to look back, man. It's fun to go. Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah. I don't know why we were ever together. All we did was fight and apologize. Fight and apologize. Every notes, an apology note.

Larry Roberts [00:15:26]:

You know, I still have mylar balloons with, you know, little valentine marlar balloons from, from high school and a plaque that we had made at Six Flags. It had our very cheesy nicknames engraved on it. Yeah, I got all that stuff. So you gotta, I think I still.

Sara Lohse [00:15:43]:

Have baby photos of myself.

Larry Roberts [00:15:45]:

You gotta have backups.

Sara Lohse [00:15:51]:

You've gotta be overly sentimental and never throw anything out.

Larry Roberts [00:15:55]:

Yeah, I'm not quite as sentimental these days, but there was a time, if.

Sara Lohse [00:15:59]:

It doesn't spark joy. Yeah.

Larry Roberts [00:16:01]:

Yeah. There you go. Well, if it doesn't spark dollars, throw it out and back it up if it does spark dollars. So that's kind of the message that we got going here, I guess.

Sara Lohse [00:16:12]:

One thing that if you do anything from this besides panic the way I am, start, if you're, if your audience is mainly on social media, create some kind of email list. I use constant contact. Will we use constant contact? Whatever it is, and start encouraging your audience to sign up for like a newsletter or for your email list in general. So you can start having basically that hard copy of your audience. And you can, I mean, you can use that now to email market and connect with them in other ways. But also, if for some reason you do lose that access, you don't lose access to your audience.

Larry Roberts [00:16:50]:

Yeah. I love the idea of a newsletter. Honestly, they're, they're almost tech proof. You know, you can always send an email and again, if you have that backup, I love using a platform called Beehive to write newsletters and just about every, and I subscribe to a ton of newsletters, several AI newsletters, tons of podcast newsletters, a couple of branding newsletters, all of them that I subscribe to. I'll say all it, maybe there's one or two that are still stragglers, but the vast majority of the newsletters that I subscribe to, they're all written on beehive. And you know, if you guys listening, don't know. I'm also the editor of the Podfest messenger, which is the newsletter for Podfest and it's also on Beehive. I mean, it's just a great platform, relatively inexpensive for what it does, super, super versatile and super easy to use.

Larry Roberts [00:17:40]:

So if you're thinking, oh my God, I don't have time to write a newsletter, it's so hard. I don't have the technical expertise. You don't need it. You don't need it. It's super simple drag and drop type stuff. Use chaggy BT or Claude or Gemini or whatever your favorite chatbot is to help you generate some content though, your words and your spin on it, your perspective, your experience, your stories in there and throw it in a newsletter. Or if you want to do what I love doing, find relevant articles, bring them into your newsletter, send them to those articles to read and just give attribution in your newsletter. So you're bringing together information in one, one newsletter for your audience and you're providing value.

Larry Roberts [00:18:21]:

So it works out well for everybody. But that's a great way to stay in touch with your. With your audience. And I didn't know we were going down a newsletter route here, but neither did I.

Sara Lohse [00:18:29]:

But here we are. And while we're at it, go to work with and sign up for Aria mailing list.

Larry Roberts [00:18:37]:

Yeah, head over there and sign up for our newsletter. So we probably should start a newsletter. So every like three weeks, be on the lookout. We got a newsletter that's coming out in the next couple of weeks. So we're gonna launch that very, very soon. So.

Sara Lohse [00:18:53]:


Larry Roberts [00:18:53]:

Yep, yep, yep. Don't hold your breath though.

Sara Lohse [00:18:56]:

But we're gonna call that a Larry task.

Larry Roberts [00:19:00]:

Oh, yay. Yay. Beehive. Love it. But no, seriously, newsletters, podcasts, websites, everything that you can do to secure your brand on your terms. That's where you need to be. Because you don't want to wake up on a Tuesday morning, find out that a platform that you were on, that you were basing everything on made some changes and now your brand is toast. So.

Sara Lohse [00:19:28]:

And it's not even just changes with, like, the AI stuff, like the changes in the algorithms. Like, you won't. Even if you have like a massive audience on social, they change the algorithm and you can't reach them anymore.

Larry Roberts [00:19:38]:

Yeah, I mean, go to YouTube right now, they literally, there's literally, again, they just changed the figuratively. But really, they actually, they changed it over the last couple of weeks. And there's video after video after video talking about. Here's what you do now. Here's how you address the new algorithm here. It changes all the time. So if you want to take the guesswork out of getting eyes and ears on your content, own the content.

Sara Lohse [00:20:04]:

We love a mailing list. Work with Sign up for us.

Larry Roberts [00:20:09]:

There you go. Another plug right there. So with that, hopefully you got some value out of this. Hopefully you've got to put some thought into how you can secure your brand. Make sure you don't wake up on a Tuesday morning and find out that you're in a world of hot water. So if you did find some value do us a favor. Hit that subscribe button so we can bring you these episodes each and every week. With that, I'm Larry Roberts.

Sara Lohse [00:20:29]:

I'm Sara Lohse. We'll talk to you next week.