06 Nov The importance of getting the right soundtrack for YOUR business.
It’s time to retire the term “background music”.
This phrase – used to describe music played in retail, bars, restaurants, hotels and other business sectors – seriously underplays the importance of how music is used in these environments.
For all involved in these businesses, music is a key instrument to improve your business performance and to deliver a unique experience for your customers.
A carefully created music identity will bring the following benefits to your business:
- Creates a fully branded experience and environment
- Decreases customer stress and improve customer attitude
- Provides cues to customers for how quickly they should move through the store
- Improves employee satisfaction and productivity
- Increases sales
Understanding the science behind music curation is essential in delivering a soundtrack that is a key part of your customers’ full sensory experience.
As with any aspect of the branding/marketing experience, the correct music choices will positively affect the atmosphere, increasing the time and money a customer is willing to spend.
In this blog post, we look at what’s involved in creating the prefect soundtrack for your brand.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING MUSIC FOR YOUR BRAND
1) Does the music fit your brand and customer demographics?
Start by considering your business as a whole. Take into consideration the brand characteristics that define the personality of your business. Then, align it with a music style that shares the same qualities.
Once you’ve identified your unique sound, you must then consider how your audience will feel and respond to the music. Your playlists should include tracks that suit the customer demographics (e.g. sex, age) and preferences (interests, title, mother, father etc) and further exclude songs that dis-satisfy their tastes and go against their preferences.
2) Steer clear of personal choices
Vibing to the background music for your business isn’t a bad thing. You don’t have to stop playing the music that you love. But keep in mind your tastes might not be the right kind for your business or customers.
While it might be tempting, don’t choose the tracks for your business based on personal preferences and avoid allowing others to change the playlist based on their preferences as it’s a brand image not a personal one. The best music should create the right experience for your customers as soon as they walk through the door. Play what they want to hear.
WHAT IS THE RESPONSE YOU WANT TO GENERATE
Once you have chosen the styles and genres of music that are best associated with your brand and customer demographics the next step is to arrange it in the right way to enhance the moods, behaviours and experiences you want to generate for your customer. There are a couple of key components to keep in mind when considering this.
1) Song tempo
Tempo is the speed at which a passage of music is or should be played.
Studies have shown that slower music can result in a more relaxed customer experience thus spending more time in the store. Alternatively, music with a fast tempo causes customers to move more quickly therefore decreasing the time they spend shopping.
Both of these can be used to your advantage.
The PAD MODEL explains that fast music leads to a high level of stimulation which in turn leads to a quicker turnaround of customers. Music with more relaxed tempo prevents these high levels of stimulation and slows down the pace at which shoppers move, leading to an increase in items purchased.
Numerous studies have investigated the effect of music tempo on customers shopping behaviours. In grocery and retail stores, for example, it has been shown that slower music increases time spent browsing and results in an increase in sales.
Research from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland (Caldwell and Hilbert, 1999) examined the effect of music tempo on customer behaviours in restaurants and concluded that the music tempo was found to have a significant effect on money spent on both food and drink at the restaurant.
All in all, these studies indicate that music tempo has a direct effect on how long consumers will linger in the space and ultimately how much they will spend. Brands/businesses must consider the ideal customer dwell time and then use music tempo to manage and achieve that.
There is nothing wrong with bopping to your favourite tune a couple dials higher than it should be from time to time. However, when it comes to the volume of the music in your business it depends on your customer’s preferences. Science can help you make that decision.
Smith and Curnow conducted a field experiment in 1966, measuring the impact of music volume on the amount of time people spent in stores. The results showed that loud music led to less time spent shopping, compared to softer music. However, the study showed that the volume had little effect on total sales. Furthermore, some research suggests that loud music can lead to a distorted perception of how much time has passed, particularly in females, who tend to think less time has passed when loud music is playing.
As mentioned, keeping a close eye on the customers demographics is key. Another study revealed that the average age of your customers should be a focal point when deciding on the volume level. The younger the shopper the more time they’ll spend shopping versus the older the shopper and the lower the volume the longer they spend shopping.
One common mistake business owners make is not adjusting the music level throughout the day. The music level should constantly change to match footfall in the venue. As your store or venue becomes busier, the physical volume of bodies will absorb the sound and therefore the music volume will need to be increased to match the atmosphere.
Keeping a close eye on how many people are on your premises and adjusting the volume to match will boost the performance of you music and the behaviour you want it to generate.
3) The Song Genre and Styles
Whilst a number of different genres of music might appeal to your customer demographics, looking at the behaviour you want to promote can help you to pick the right style.
For example, studies have looking at the effects music in off-licenses have shown an increase in sales of more expensive, premium wines when costumers listened to classical music rather than the most recent pop hits. The conclusion is that customers feel more affluent and more willing to spend when in an environment playing classical music. This style of music is associated with sophistication and status, therefore encouraging the purchase of a higher quality and more expensive selection.
Similarly, another study has shown that customers tend to buy more holiday related products whilst holiday music is playing in the background.
These studies show the effects music has on customers spending patterns and that the genre of music being played can persuade customers to buy specific items.
WHAT ABOUT THE STAFF
A general rule of thumb is: do not let the staff pick your music. More often than not they will do it based on personal preference, rather than, what works for the brand identity and customer behaviour you want to generate.
While one of the biggest priorities is picking a track that your customers will love and result in a feel good experience, you still need to be mindful of your staff’s experience. They are subjected to the music for very long stretches of time, sometimes over a consecutive amount of days. As a business owner you want them to have as much of a feel good experience as the customer as this can have a significant impact on their performance in your business. Music impacts employee productivity and morale. Your business needs the perfect balance of both keeping your staff happy all while abiding by your customers tastes & preferences.
Through our own research the main issue for staff is hearing the same playlists in the same order every day. From their perspective there’s nothing worse than knowing what song is going to play 15 minutes before you hear it.
We all know the customer comes first but it’s the happy staff that complete a flawless atmosphere and experience.
Beatmix specialises in creating bespoke music packages tailored to a venues brand, customer demographics and level of business throughout the week.
It’s a fine balance between picking the right music and then arranging it in the right way. Our algorithm not only picks the right music in the right order, it creates new playlists daily so the staff will never hear the lists played in the same order twice. Our app limits staff access to only preapproved selections.
Our team pre-programs different song tempos and genres to match not only the right customer demographics at specific times but also the behaviour we want to generate from them. Creating a consistent flow and energy tempo to match footfall and trading patterns.
All you have to do is press play.
For more information don’t hesitate to contact us at Beatmix!