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The Quiet Power of Background Music

posted by Fiona

His Masters VoiceHow much attention do you pay to the noises around you? A telephone ringing, a police siren, a baby crying. We are all programmed to respond to these audible stimuli, although slightly differently from person to person. For instance a mother easily filters out the cries of her own child in a supermarket while it pierces the ears of the other shoppers.

Can you remember the song you heard on the way to work this morning? Can you name one? Or were there more? Did you hear it or were you listening? Were you paying attention and driving at the same time? If you were in full “car-e-oke” mode – how much attention were you paying to your surroundings? Or were you on auto pilot?

We humans have a great sub conscience ability of filtering out unimportant noises to be able to concentrate on the job in hand. If not there would be more crashes on the way to work as people were getting lost in singing along to Queen than paying attention to the road. But because our conscience mind isn’t focused on the music, this doesn’t lessen its importance. In-fact, the opposite, it heightens it.

Picture yourself in an upmarket Italian restaurant. You and your partner enjoying a romantic meal. What would you expect to hear? Pop hits, smooth Jazz, Classical, Opera? In truth, any of the musical choices would help create an atmosphere.

What happens if the restaurant was in the middle of a busy high street, and had a younger clientèle? Would the music be different if it was in a country location with a older more sophisticated diner in mind?

Now imagine a Japanese restaurant in an authentic setting with chopsticks, bamboos, origami napkins. Visually the full Japanese experience. Would hearing a Mexican Mariachi band in the background improve this vision for you? An extreme example but it shows how the wrong music can create a real conflict in a customer experience.

It’s not just the products you sell that should effect your musical choices. Its who you customer is and what image you want your business to represent that has a strong influence too. I have previously talked about a fashion store playing an uncut version of a chart hit. The song was clearly aimed at the customer demographic for the store, although the swearing may not have been part of the plan!

Now think about the last time you were shopping. What did you hear? Did you get distracted and start “shop e oke” and forget what you were looking for as you were singing to the songs being played? Were you really paying attention? Or was it providing an atmosphere to fill the silence?  Do you feel that your business soundtrack suits the atmosphere you are trying to create?

So think about the music in your business – did you just pick up your favorite CD this morning? Plug your iPod on and press shuffle? Does the music you play represent your business properly? Does it portray your brand? Importantly, does it suit your customer?

It may be one of those things you have started to take for granted in your business – stock – check – staff – check -store styling – check – music – check. How much thought do you put into your business soundtrack – just because its an invisible factor – it can have tangible results. We’ve reviewed and digested a number of scientific reports on the subject to help improve our offerings for clients and found a number of interesting nuggets of information.

Music effects customers perception of the brand. The speed of music can effect the shopping speed of customers, customers spend more time in stores that have music, when new music is played shoppers tend to have a greater sense of product and pricing recall and most importantly in instances where the music suits the environment – shoppers spend more money!!

Think twice before you press play… call Amazing Instore today – we can help you build a better sound for your business!

Photo by Beverly & Pack / CC BY
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