Giving Voice to Brands – Tobias Dengel, WillowTree – Voice Tech Podcast ep.056

Tobias Dengel Willowtree

Episode description

How do you choose a voice for your brand? Why is it important for brands to have a voice in the first place? And what are the things you need to consider when choosing a voice?

Today on the show, we welcome the CEO of WillowTree, Tobias Dengel, to answer these questions and give us a deeper insight into what the feeling is amongst the top tech execs about voice technology today. WillowTree is a leading mobile strategy, design, and app development company servicing Fortune 500 and Fortune 5000 clients like Pepsi, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, and Time Warner (to name-drop a few!).

In this episode, we discover the demand, the debates, and the challenges facing the world of voice technology and the importance of using multi-modal interfaces. One of the most fascinating parts of this interview looks at designing the voice identity of a brand and how companies are deciding on the voice they use. Human or robot? Samuel L. Jackson or Angelina Jolie? Male? Female? Or non-binary voices? Here, we get into an interesting discussion on how stereotypes can be perpetuated by using certain voices and the push toward promoting the use of more neutral and non-binary voices in apps today.

We also take a dive into the topic of commerce, looking specifically at voice payments and how it is going to transform the future of mobile transactions. By the end of this episode, you’ll have a behind-the-scenes look at the conversations and questions that top agency and company execs are having right now, and a clearer view of the future of voice.


  • Discover why WillowTree and its clients believe that the next frontier is voice.
  • What’s next? The types of questions big companies are asking about voice technology.
  • Faster, easier, and cheaper: The human need that voice technology responds to.
  • Learn more about the business models that voice technology has permitted to change.
  • Speaking fast, listening slow: The motivation for more multi-modal voice technology.
  • The technologies that Fortune 500 companies are using to convert speech to text.
  • What should the voice sound like? Tips for designing the voice identity of a brand.
  • The Uncanny Valley and why consumers will trust a robot voice before a human voice.
  • The gender of voice and the argument for more non-binary voices in technology today.
  • The real demand for voice apps today and where the big companies are heading.
  • The importance of building a great team and great client relationships as a digital agency.
  • The current developments being made in voice payments and voice authentication.
  • Cloning voices and the fears around the possibility of identity theft using voice data.
  • Tobias’ advice for college graduates and why the future belongs to the Jack-of-all-trades.

Quotes from the show

[04:56] We are disrupting the disruptors.

[36:35] 2020 will be the year of multimodal…

[52:23] The future belongs to the Jack-of-all-trades

Links from the show

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