What seems the right overhead background music maybe missing the point.
Research exists that can show you how build a more accurate profile of the music that will grow sales in your business.
In this article I will introduce the concepts of using background music in business environments backed by years of quality research and provide you with links to business types that may help you more to define a music blue print that can closely match your branding.
We know music influences our mood which is why many of us enjoy music to help create a good feeling at social events or just as relaxing background music at the end of a hard days work at home.
Now whilst can be easy to turn on the radio and have the idle chatter and popular piece of music playing whilst your customers come into your store and browse, there is an extra depth to music that can enable you to evoke the right mood to communicate a welcome and warm feeling for clients.
Turning on and playing the latest various artists album as overhead music is a bit hit and miss because of the way people can have both very positive feelings connected with well known songs and very upsetting feelings that draw them back to not so good times. So its a bit of a lottery what emotions you can evoke in customers if you are not careful.
This is one of the reasons why quality music produced and licensed for background use in business can make more sense.
The latest music blasting out from a teenage targeted fashion retail store is about foreground music so the psychology of its use is different to the more subtle, partly subconscious use of background music in business environments.
Background music works by evoking emotions we then associate with the environment we are in.
Combining light, colour, smell and sound together forms a fundamental basis for connecting with customers even before your team members raise a welcoming smile and say hello.
Match to market demographics
Of course we all know we have different tastes in music. Research shows our taste in music is not only heavily influenced by the music we discovered and loved in our early teen and twenties influential developing period but also that our music choice mellows as we mature. Added to this of course is the influence that our culture, tribe and nationality can have on our choice of music.
So knowing the age and background of the type of people you are keen to welcome into your business is important but that’s not all.
Finding a good balance across a wide range of ages and cultures means finding common ground that pleases most but more importantly, does not detract from your business objectives. For example, fast pace music subconsciously speeds up people which can reduce the time customers stay in your business and effect how much they spend.
Your overhead music should evoke emotions that drive your business objectives
What music works for your clients? You probably have a good idea of what works based on how you and your team feel, and how you can see your client’s are feeling.
But how much do you have an eye on how your clients are interacting with the music in your business whilst serving them?
Not so good for the poor owners of the Bubba Beach Bar. See the review below.
Not only that, this individual is explaining they had visited a number of times. So the music is actually motivating a regular customer to not return.
This just shows how powerful, and destructive music can be when managed badly in a business.
From a personal viewpoint I enjoyed regular breakfast management meetings in a gorgeous cafe local to our business location yet found the overly regular playing of some of Phil Collins’ not so popular 80’s tracks painful.
Once maybe, but two or three times a visit was telling me this wasn’t the cafe for my meetings as it was distracting our concentration and dialogue.
This one however highlights even more how even if the food and ambiance is great, customers will not return if you get the music wrong for them. In this case it is rock music.
Now, you may imagine that this restaurant maybe full of rock lovers, however it is the Ristoro della Salute which is located in view of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy so really should be playing something relaxing and uplifting for the locals as well as what is possibly a high volume of tourist trade.
So ensuring the music collection you choose is designed for your business objective is key to making the music work for your business.
To give you a basic introduction to choosing the right background music for your business lets run through a few key businesses that can use music to directly support their business objectives.
So if you have a good idea of what music makes your customers happy, that’s great. However, does making your customers happy drive your business objectives?
would it be better, for example, for a spa to have uplifting pop music that helps most feel happy, or relaxation music that helps most feel good and relaxed?
A massage spa needs to welcome and relax a client on their first arrival. They need to feel the music works for them throughout their visit and so help to support the spa’s objective to secure a new regularly returning customer.
As all businesses know, there is a tangible cost to acquiring new customers whilst existing customers can be less of a cost to retain.
So if they return regularly rather than fall off the radar after the first treatment, you have to start again with every new customer that comes through the door.
Consider a medical waiting room. Clients arriving for an appointment may be quite anxious.
They may have had a hard time traveling to the clinic and have some apprehension about the appointment; what will happen if it is an exploratory appointment?
What news will the doctor bring them? Your reception team along with the room ambiance, temperature, lighting, color and sound all have a significant impact on the wellbeing of a client and their ability to be in a better position for their appointment and treatment.
Giving them five to ten minutes to calm and prepare, with relaxing music with warm soft tones and uplifting melodies can make the difference between an unprepared client who needs more work by the doctor or professional or a client prepared as best they can for the meeting.
Background Music For Cafes and Coffee Shops
Additionally, consider the cafe that has too many customers at rush hour times and not enough mid morning and mid afternoon.
Whilst upbeat music can help customers move more swiftly at busy times, down-tempo relaxing music can help to retain customers for an extra drink for example.
Retailers are one of the leaders in designing music brands that match their clients.
For some retail brands, background music is more ‘foreground music’ because it plays such a large part in associating their brand with music styles and popular music brands that their customers want to associate themselves with.
Choosing the right music to draw your customers into your store and influence them to stay longer can increase your sales significantly.
Restaurant music research has shown that classical music can be used to motivate customers to stay longer after a meal, and thus purchase another round of drinks.
However, if your customers aren’t the type that commonly enjoy classical music then this research isn’t going to help you on face value.
What it does tell you however, is that if you get the music right, you can inspire a portion of your clients to stay longer for you to grow your sales per customer.
Hotel music has a similar function to restaurants in that making clients feel great inside your hotel can mean they may be attracted to stay in the hotel restaurant rather than travel out to get their evening meal.
With the hotel market broken into different budget levels as well a boutique hotels there is enough variety for hotels to create music brands that present their brand values and focus on inspiring their clients to spend more of their time inside the hotel.
Music for the fitness gym and health club markets is about providing a great variety of music that again matches your client’s tastes.
So it may not be Ibiza dance music all the time. With clients ranging from their fit twenty somethings to hardworking professionals, and older customer groups including retirees looking to keep fit, it can be hard to work out what music can work for everyone.
In our experience what works at least as a starting point is to offer a general dance music style in open gym areas and create playlists for individual classes that more accurately can match the type of clients who regularly attend.
Making music decisions as a franchise business might not be the first thing on your list as you put together your franchise package and list branding requirements along with services to help each franchisee.
However, working through a music branding process to build your music collection will help your franchisees get going faster from a standing start. Defining the music and even creating those playlists yourself that you manage, or outsource to a music service provider to manage yourself is a great way to continue the continuity that clients love and expect from every one of your franchises they visit.
Take for example Starbucks. Starbucks purchased a record company specifically to define and manage on a regular basis the music that is being distributed to each of their locations internationally.
Contrast this with Costa (UK) who whilst aren’t a franchise, are a competitor to Starbucks. Their team members have told me they get weary of the music that they are told to play as it is regularly repeated, and stays as the same playlist for months on end (just like Bubba’s Bar above, except Costa now has over a thousand locations).
Whilst I admit, grouping supermarket music and convenience store music together ignores clear differences in how these types of business operate they do both have an objective to manage customer flow-through.
So at busy times they really want customers to come and pick their goods, pay and move on. Not that they don’t appreciate their business but if they are at a time of the day or of the year when they are struggling with their own available resources to support such large numbers of customers, keeping clients pace high can make a substantial difference in the sales of goods.
For example Christmas is hard on everyone’s resources. Take a supermarket car park, filled to the max and now finding customers are turning around and looking elsewhere for their holiday season shopping. This could mean loosing a substantial amount of cash per customer that decides to spend their money elsewhere.
A supermarket I know who found them in this situation played up-tempo pop music specifically at this time of the year when usually they actually don’t play background music at all. They increased the pace of clients and gained a significant improvement over the number of customers they could service in the same time than when times were less busy and music was either not being played, or was of a more relaxing nature.
Beauty salon managers are becoming more aware of the benefit of relaxing music for use with clients who are having more delicate treatments that require the client stay still.
For example, eye lash work, eye brows and hair removal. All very delicate work that requires the client to be as still and as relaxed as possible.
Get in touch about your background music requirements below:
Loopsound – Royalty Free Music Library
If you are looking for a royalty free music library that licensed music for YouTube videos, production music for TV and film and background music loops for games and mobile apps then please click the Loopsound link above.