Striking a chord with customers through music

BY Australian Retailers Association
04 November 2018

New commercial music apps are creating memorable and effective in-store experiences for consumers, increasing dwell time and sales.

Retail environments are designed to appeal to our senses. The touch of beautiful fabrics and fit-outs, the aromas in the air and the sight of wonderful design and attention to detail are all carefully planned to create an engaging retail environment for consumers. However, many retailers often overlook one of the most powerful of our key senses – sound.

Of all our senses, sound and our response to music is one of the strongest. Music stirs memories, creates moods, it can raise or lower our energy levels, and the songs we love become the soundtrack to our lives.

A designed environment should therefore take the music played within it into careful consideration. The problem is that background music has become a byword for boring, bland and insipid; it’s often something we’re forced to listen to, not something we actively want to hear.

The music played in-store is an extension of your brand and songs should be selected accordingly - your playlist should not be your personal top 100. Data from the world’s largest study of background music indicated a sales increase of 9.1% where in-store music was curated to reflect the brand values, compared with playing randomly selected popular songs.

Having a highly bespoke and targeted playlist for your brand allows you to play music that ‘feels’ like the brand, and because that sound is unique to the specific commercial environment, it creates a more memorable and effective in-store experience, increasing dwell time and positively impacting on sales outcomes as well as helping to build a stronger and longer-lasting relationship with customers.

Importantly, ‘brand fit’ music stands in strong contrast to ‘customer-fit’ music, which is music that matches the tastes and interests of the customer coming into a retail environment. Marketing Melodies assists retailers, including The Just Group, Grill’d, Optus and Witchery, in creating brand fit music playlists within their stores, to match the brand’s personality.

There is a new world of digital music and mobile apps, providing retailers with the ability to play music in-store and empowering retailers to do so in the right way. Retailers playing a Spotify playlist are inadvertently using Spotify illegally, not realising the platform is a non-commercial service. To ensure you’re providing brand fit music to consumers, retailers need to partner with a provider that can help manage in-store music, legally. Partnering with the likes of Marking Melodies provides retail stores with access to the world's largest music library specifically designed for commercial use.

Recent research published in The Impact of Music in Restaurants, analysed 1.8 million transactions and 2,101 customer surveys. The results were illuminating. Stores playing brand fit music experienced a general sales increase of 6% across all product categories. Stores that played music with no brand fit – that is, a random selection of tunes – actually experienced a drop in sales of just over 4%. Services like Soundtrack Your Brand, which is backed by Spotify and available in Australia exclusively through Marketing Melodies, offers retailers the perfect, brand fit music environments designed to encourage customer dwell time and increased spending.

With the right soundtrack, retail stores can become cohesive environments, creating places customers want to visit, want to return to and want to spend their money in. Brand fit music can become a key part of an organisation’s identity, rounding out the picture they present to consumers and to the world at large. With new offerings such as Soundtrack Your Brand, music is no longer an afterthought, or something that is bland and fades into the background. Music is part of an integral retail experience, just as it is in the other parts of a consumer’s life.

About Dean Cherny, Marketing Melodies

With over 25 years experience, Dean Cherny is regarded as one of Australia’s most accomplished DJs and a stalwart of the music and fashion industries. As the creator and managing director of Marketing Melodies, Dean is currently working with over 4,600 retail stores including Witchery, The Just Group, Grill’d, Kathmandu and Optus. Learn more at marketingmelodies.com.au

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Australian Retailers Association

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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