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Does Your Shopping Trip Need Censoring?

posted by Fiona

Two DressesHave you ever tried to create a soundtrack to one of your own events? A kids party, a birthday celebration, New Years Eve or even your wedding. What type of things did you consider? Who will be there? What type of mood did you want to create? How long should the music last? Will everyone like it? Does it need to change to suit the changing mood through the event?

Now, do you take the same care with your music selection for your business? Is it something that you even consider while building your business?

I was recently shopping in a popular shopping centre. The atmosphere in many shops was light and cheery, the half term holidays had brought families out in their droves. Children enjoying being spoilt with toys and clothes from their parents. While teenagers spent their (perceived) hard earned pocket money.

I was shopping for a christening outfit. My head swimming about the new bundle of joy in my friends lives. I spent the obligatory amount of time window shopping, until I was drawn to one in particular. Their windows brimmed with a number of great dresses and even better a SALE. I entered the shop – bursting with excitement about my new dress, the matching shoes, obviously I would have to buy new ones…..maybe a bag too. While mentally spending a fortune I was in my element, the dress, the shoes, the bag. The background music was doing it’s job. Playing away in the background while I mentally spent my money.

In a Sale of Shock

Prom DressesThen it happened. The moment that caused me to gasp. A base beat kicked in, some drums, a strong hook, I recognised this song immediately. I had enjoyed the artist perform at the triangle stage at Glastonbury only a few years earlier. Why were they playing it here, now? It’s the middle of the day and they have children in the store??

There’s a watershed on TV for a reason. Not in this store.

The song in question features no less than 20 of the choicest swear words. In fact it features all of the worst ones. I’ll leave the words used to to your imagination. It wasn’t just myself who was aghast at this stores choice of music. A father was in the store also, along with his two daughters. His teenage daughter was shopping for a prom dress, while the younger daughter tried on shoes that were not only too big for a six year old but also far too high. His face mirrored my sentiments of the stores choice in music.

I have since found out that this is not a one off event. The retailer uses a music provider, who apparently profile the music for their target market. I am bemused at what company has a target market that enjoys the usage of extremely strong language, whilst browsing around the pastel, and crystal covered gowns.

It leads me to ask the questions again. How carefully do you think about your music for a personal event? How carefully do you choose the music for your business? Does the music do its job effectively? Why do you have music in your store? Is it to improve the atmosphere? Does it represent your brand? To appeal to your target market? To promote your products? Is your current music representative of your products or are your ball gowns being serenaded by gangsta rap?

Photo 1 by Jackie Weisberg / CC BY
Photo 2 by moroccogirl / CC BY
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