Our understanding of the world is made up of our own unique experiences. And multiple studies have proven that our relationship with music has a strong impact on how we retrieve our memories of those experiences. Your brain creates pathways through music, that make your memories more readily available, so that when you hear a songs on the radio, or on Spotify etc. you're instantly transported back, whether to a childhood memory, first date, or something completely random.
One study found that music, emotion, and movement are powerfully linked, and that’s why we have those triggers. Proof that we are connected to music through and through.
Despite this valuable insight, music often goes unexplored when it comes to content marketing or interior brand strategies. Visuals take the lead in most disciplines. This could be due to music’s subjectiveness, and sound can quick turn to noise when left unmanaged. There's also limited options compared to visual and interior designers out there exploring music as a brand tool. But despite the fact it’s niche, it's no less important in delivering on-brand experiences. Music could define your brand, if you let it.
Table of contents:
- Conduct an atmosphere audit
- Focus on customer engagement
- Keep your sound consistent
- Create a day parting schedule
- Future proof your brand
Conduct an atmosphere audit
Rather like a brand audit, an atmosphere audit can be quite te-consuming and challenging to conduct (example brand audit). But we have found that it’s the best way to provide actionable insights to help our clients grow, change, and thrive. An audit will help you communicate better with your real customers, and perhaps open up an area of connection you didn’t know existed.
Focus on customer engagement
Remember, it’s not all about you. That message goes out to Brand Owners, who have fantastic visions, but who sometimes forget who’s paying their bills. At the end of the day, the ultimate aim of customer engagement is winning repeat business and customer loyalty, so listen up. Creating a music strategy relies on your understanding of your atmosphere, as well as who’s engaging in them. Focusing on what emotion/feeling that your customers have when engaged with your spaces, this will help focus your efforts. Customers learn about your brand through their experiences, so you need to identify negatives and replace them with positive narratives periodically.
Keep your sound consistent
Inconsistent experiences are one of the most off-putting factors for customers when it comes to deciding whether or not to return to a restaurant. It’s true of your brand, it’s true of your music - be consistent. The most damaging thing you can do when it comes to the music in your hospitality space, is leave it on shuffle. You wouldn’t leave your lighting to chance, or your decor, or your staff, so the same goes for your music.
Music consistency is not an easy task. In fact, knowledge of music is the key factor, as although consistency is key, you don’t want to be consistently average. That’s why your music needs to be updated regularly with new tracks. Many brands make the mistake of creating one playlist, and use that for months on end, reviewing occasionally to add the latest chart hits. This is not only a bad look for loyal customers, but it will also drive your staff mad. Regular updates can positively impact your brand image, and could elevate your brand, with “known-for music” credibility.
Create a day-parting schedule
It could seem like the most obvious must do, but it is a big part of delivering a music strategy. Music has the ability to build energy in spaces and break it down. Music can change the vibe on a dime, so make sure it's playing in your favour. Design a framework that guides the days in your space, from start to finish - Time of year, week of the month, day of the week, hour of the day. If you're a cocktail bar, think about how to create an atmosphere that will fuse with social dynamics, use more upbeat tunes that with stimulate your guests' mood so they come away in a better mood than they arrived. Why not try drinks & music pairings?
Future-proof your brand
Playing the right music at the right time has been proven to increase sales by 9.1% in a restaurant setting. Other research has also shown an 11% rise in dessert sales, just by changing the music at the right times of day. Match the music to the moment in time, the future holds limitless possibilities, and future technology even makes it possible to make your day parting data-driven and could even be automated, based on how busy it is in your space, it could identify subtle changes in number of people, and how guests are feeling based on what is being purchased overall.