Can Gen AI copilot your consumer brand?


18 Apr 2024



Ankita Balotia & Vinay Singh

Can Gen AI copilot your consumer brand?

From founder meetings to board meetings, Generative AI has firmly grabbed a seat at the table, in small ways and big. Set to transform how content is created and distributed, it has won the attention – and investment – of companies across the world. 

Gen AI has gone from being the flavour of the month for startups to becoming a true competitive edge, and in many cases, table stakes for large enterprises. 

In the world of startups, we’ve seen many companies, including ones in our portfolio, leverage AI and Gen AI to enhance their marketing capabilities. Perhaps you’ve come across KYRA and NATASHA, the virtual influencers, or maybe many product ads generated by AI. The multicrore budget of celebrity shoots has now been neatly collapsed into a single, highly sophisticated piece of code.

From hyper-personalised marketing, and vernacular communication, to personalised product suggestions, and automated post-purchase query resolution, Gen AI has a crucial role to play at every step. Brands who step up to leverage it today, can build a competitive advantage before the rest of the world catches up, and like automation or cloud computing, it ends up becoming the norm rather than the innovation.

Not to be left behind, India, too, is home to a bunch of companies building Gen AI solutions for Indian and international brands, with over 60 active startups in the space, and a 12X increase in funding over the previous year.

 4 reasons why the timing is right

Time was when Gen AI was only for academia, incubation centres inside large tech companies, and a handful of Silicon Valley startups. Now access is available easily, leading to a wide range of commercial uses, due to:

  1. Access to open source foundation models: Llama, GPT-4, Gemini (formerly BARD) 
  2. Access to cheaper compute: Cloud platforms optimised for AI training 
  3. Ease of use (LLM accessibility, improved UI/UX): Gemini, DALL-E 3, GPT-4
  4. Specific use cases: Multiple business use cases built on top of existing open source infra/ models leveraging proprietary data and business intelligence 
Speed, segmentation, and personalisation through Gen AI

Gartner tells us AI will drive 95% of all customer interactions by 2025, including e-commerce. Gen AI, with its ability to create dynamic, hyper-personalised content, tailored to each customer's profile, behaviour, and preferences, will lead the way in these interactions – elevating customer engagement, and increasing the propensity to buy.


Optimised Top of Funnel

AI-driven insights like customer segmentation, targeting, consumer behaviour, ad optimisation

Personalised shopping experience

AI-powered recommendation engine and dynamic pricing

Improved decision making

AI-driven demand forecasting, competitive intelligence, KPI monitoring


Product design and development, content generation for increased discoverability

Optimised operations

AI-powered automation for inventory management, invoice/document processing, fraud detection, conversational commerce

Improved loyalty programs

Personalised rewards, increased repurchase through analytics

Foundational models for text, images, video, and audio are set to define a new era in customisation and personalisation. 

The Fireside perspective on Gen AI for consumer brands

We believe that new-age consumer brands can leverage Gen AI, and several other complementary technologies to improve their marketing automation, and deliver consumer delight, whether through personalising experiences, generating content and ideas, or even simply improving efficiency. 

We are seeing new-age businesses test a host of interesting marketing tools based on Gen AI. While it’s early days still, here’s what we are seeing in terms of early adoption for each stage of the consumer journey. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, and we’d love to hear from you in Comments about other tools and platforms consumer startups should be experimenting with.

Awareness Building & Education

In this stage, Gen AI and other tools will accelerate conversion through personalised content, enable greater reach and engagement through local language content, and optimise marketing spends across channels. 

How so? 

8 out of 10 YouTube users turn on subtitles while watching videos. Imagine the expanded audience you could reach with vernacular language subtitles. Similarly, with 9 out of 10 consumers preferring to engage with interactive content rather than passive communication, you could vastly improve clickthroughs – some studies suggest as much as 3X more.

We’ve seen businesses use Rocketium, Intellemo, and Zocket, to personalise content. Similarly, Rhym helps brands with interactive marketing. Zocket and Contentful give you a hand with creative operations, and Convosight enables community marketing. Hushl and Longshot are the go-tos for several businesses when it comes to content writing, and we’ve heard good reviews of Dubverse and for vernacular content. The Hypd platform helps with influencer marketing, while and help generate audio and video content.


By this stage, the focus shifts to improving and personalising your customer’s website experience.

We know that chatbots alone can increase sales by 70%, but reducing friction at key points like login and checkout also improve conversions dramatically. A great example is OTPless WhatsApp login, which improved BharatPe conversion by a whopping 25%.

In our own portfolio, boAt used Quinn to integrate videos into the online buying journey to improve revenue per session by 12%. Shoppable videos on Reels alone can boost conversion by almost 70%.

Founders we know have been testing personalisation tools like Personyze and Intellimise as well as marketing automation through WebEngage, Mixpanel, and CleverTap. Shopflo and GoKwik improve conversions at checkout, while Simpl, BharatX, and Razorpay do the same for payments. Similarly, OTPless lowers drop-offs and increases conversions at login. Video commerce tools include Quinn, Instasell, and Baaz, while assistance comes in many forms – ranging from chatbots like Saleassist and BusinessOnBot, in-session marketing with the help of Argoid and Session AI, and sales assistance from Dave.AI, Zevi, Hexo, and Vodex. We’ve also seen businesses turn to Adzis and NeuroPixel.AI for e-comm content.

Post-sales & LTV

Finally, these tools will help manage your customer’s post-purchase experience by expediting issue resolution, and improving NPS and ratings while allowing you to focus on building LTV.

Popular marketing automation tools like WebEngage and CleverTap can help with journey mapping, while Dave.AI, Rezo, and Vodex provide sales assistance. LimeChat and Contlo enable you to provide multichannel support, while specific channels have their own tools like GetResponse and Mailchimp for email, Sendy and SMS Alert for SMS, and Gupshup and Freshchat for WhatsApp. Businesses are also experimenting with call centre platforms like MyOperator and Ameyo.  

Will Gen AI only help marketing?

A hard No. While we’ve called out advantages to your marketing function, the truth is that Gen AI can vastly improve efficiency for your business in other areas. The same advantages of speed and segmentation can help in several other tasks.

Take resume screening, which Affinda makes easy, or social listening, which Hootsuite or SentiOne make light work of. Shopalyst can help your business with insighting, while Zapero can supplement your design team. Crest simplifies inventory planning, while Ecom Express’ and Shiprocket reduce RTO returns. Tools like Logirecon by Logibricks and Peakflo automate payment reconciliation.

Some brands making the most of Gen AI

Shah Rukh Khan starring in local retailer ads for Cadbury

Post-Covid, Cadbury leveraged AI to help local businesses win during the festive season. On, local stores could create their custom advertisement, led by Shah Rukh Khan. The brand used ML and AI to recreate the actor’s face and voice to mention the local store by name.

Ice cream by Baskin Robbins, flavours by Midjourney

Baskin Robbins posted a series of divine and magical images to launch their new flavours, Unicorn Sundae, Mermaid Sundae, Caramel Milk Cake, and the like. The photographs were shared far and wide on social. The twist? Each of these images were created by AI artist Tapan Aslot on Midjourney. 

Fashion AI-dvice from Myntra

Myntra's MyFashionGPT is a ChatGPT-powered feature that saves shoppers time and effort by asking them simple and helpful questions. Rather than carrying out multiple searches for products, they are guided towards what they seek simply and intuitively.

Magic tools on Canva

Canva has integrated some of the latest AI text and image generation technology into its UI, and features like Magic Write allow users to generate words from a prompt, or Magic Presentation, which transforms a prompt into a slide deck. While the platform’s base templates are developed by humans, AI customises the copy, and draws from images that Canva has already licensed. 

A DJ of your own on Spotify

From resurfacing an old favourite you may not have listened to in years, to constantly refreshing your lineup based on music and artists you like, the Spotify AI DJ combines the personalisation expertise of the brand’s music editors, and the power of Gen AI.

Let us know how you are using – or plan to use – Gen AI in your consumer brand startup. We’d love to hear about any ideas or tools we might have missed.

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