“The earth has music for those who listen.” Whilst many brands use music across many channels, few brands capitalize on the true value of connecting with their audience through music. Music is arguably the most powerful tool to connect with or evoke emotions within an individual. Think about how hearing a particular song or sound can bring to memory a whole sequence of events and emotions – and in turn, the effect on our behavior. We hear the song, we want to go out and buy this, or rent that old movie, or go to that place again.
To more in-depth understand how music supervisors work with finding the perfect sound that fits your store, I sat down with Altaura’s founder Doug Marshall.
How come you decided to start a sound agency?
I realised that so many brands and spaces sound wrong. The amount of times I was in a store or a restaurant and the music was terrible, out weighed how many times I was in a space and loved the sound. I wanted to create a company that would think outside of the box and create incredible atmospheres for brands and spaces.
What in your background brought you to this journey you are on today?
I have been obsessed with music my entire life. It started with recording the radio onto tapes at six and moved to becoming a professional DJ and music supervisor. I have also run music collectives, new music showcases and presented radio shows, all under the idea that I wanted to share good music with people.
Passion. I took advantage of being confident to talk to every person I met about how passionate I was about music. Eventually the jobs started coming to me. There is alot of luck in that, but I believe if you put your energy into a passion, they have a way of manifesting into something.
We use a human centred design approach putting the customer at the centre of the process. We will sit down with the client and get to know them and their brand and spaces. From that we can go away and design what we call a SoundAura, this is a doc that includes insights into your brand, what services we propose and what sound, along with breakdowns on how your customers will feel. We also propose the right tech setup, cost and timeline on when we can get the job done.
The easiest part is getting brands passionate about music, because everyone loves it. The hard part is convincing them that sometimes they can be wrong.
I’m proud of all of the projects I have worked on, but most proud probably on our first client. It is run by a business owner who has run the company for 40 years. Winning him over and seeing the benefit it brought his business has been fantastic.
The sales we lose. Anytime something doesn’t work or they don’t agree, it’s the best way to challenge what you are doing and see a different perspective. I always try and think of our service from the customer point of view.
There are a million reasons. The short answer is, better connections with a brands audience which leads to more sales.
Because they underestimate its importance. A lot of people don’t see how negative playing the wrong music can be. We had a client come to us complaining Baby Shark was playing in one of their stores. Hilarious but damaging.
We are constantly talking to our clients and collecting data on their behalf. Analysing this data, gives us insights on how to improve their bespoke solution and show how we make a difference. The best way to test if its working. Go into one of their spaces and see how happy people are. The energy of music carries a long way.
Because people need clarification on their investment.
We design unique experiences. Not playlists.
What is the most fun part of your job and the most challenging?
The fun part is that I get to hunt for music. The most challenging part is finding the right music.
No job is easy. Music is a language anyone can understand, using its full potential is so powerful.
What is the future for in-store music?
There won’t be stores. Only experiences.
What does your brand sound like and how would you like to design your store experience with the power of music? Contact Dough and his team to learn more.