Here’s how it went:
Firstly, I must point out the main focus of our research was brand-fit background music. This refers to songs and collections of songs that match a brand’s identity. It involves using processes to define a sound that matches a brand’s values in order to curate playlists with brand fit.
In our first study with fashion brand GANT, we asked: “How does matching background music affect customers’ emotions, brand image, and reaction, and does it lead to an increase in sales of consumer durables?”
Our results showed, that although the visual identity of the brand is crucial, the right music has to be designed in the same way to have a long-term emotional impact on the customer.
We discovered that matching background music played in GANT:
This demonstrates that a store’s brand value and equity increased with strategically curated brand-fit music.
For this study we asked “Does the presence and choice of music have an effect on the restaurant’s KPIs?”.
Our results showed that it is better to play no in-store music, than to play radio music or music with no brand-fit. Sales decreased up to 5%, compared to the stores that played curated brand-fit music, increasing sales with 9.1% during a research period of five months with 2 million transactions.
It proved that architectural design strategies are crucial for any successful restaurant. By combining and matching visual design with sound design, brands can create the ultimate customer experience.
Not enough. Companies invest millions in graphic identity programmes and hire consultants to help communicate their visual brand to their customers, but they still overlook sound, and continue to play random background music in their stores, unrelated to the brand’s identity.
Lack of evidence-based research. And that’s where we came in. Our studies have contributed to increased awareness in how a wrong choice of in-store music may damage brand image and reduce sales. These studies were the first in the world to be conducted on a large scientific scale, able to prove these hypotheses. Brand-fit background music is a vital part of the brand and store experience.
But to further prove these results to brands, there is a need for an innovative analytical platform to optimise in-store music’s impact on the brand KPIs that can be measured in real-time.
It is time for brands to wake up and invest their marketing budgets towards creating the most memorable store experiences ever. They should look towards online consumer behaviour first. All the success of Twitch, Tik Tok, Triller and the entire gaming industry, shows a change in how people consume experiences. People are easily bored and are seeking out new ways to get excited, even in traditional offline brick-and-mortar stores. I see a future of gamification and a “concert effect” entertainment experience. I believe this kind of interactive showrooms or flagship stores will keep retail and restaurants alive.
There are definitely ways you could use sound to your advantage: