Think about every employee who works in a store. Think about their unique likes, opinions and general preferences. Now consider this: what if each of them could control the music style, volume, and what plays over the in-store speakers? Liz loves Taylor Swift but Jessie can’t stand that music and only likes pop-country like Luke Bryan. Every time Liz turns up Taylor, Jessie quickly moves to the back to change it to her style. Similarly, some employees like to have music turned up all the way while others like to keep it a bit lower, which soon turns into a constant volume war. Sound familiar?
When it comes to music style and preference, store owners can attempt to get it right by identifying their target audiences and matching the in-store audio style to a particular demographic. But, it’s hard to stay consistent if employees can change the station based on their liking—especially if the owner isn’t there.
Finding ways to control a store’s atmosphere is hard enough as it is—particularly when working within a franchise or part of a chain. The music style and messaging needs to fit the geographic area, but also remain consistent across the brand. In addition, there needs to be room to consider dayparting and appropriate tones for local in-store announcements. At the very least, having a uniform playlist from franchise to franchise or location to location will reinforce that brand consistency, no matter where the store is located.
While in-store audio may not be the first thing that an owner considers when it comes to controlling their brand, it’s an easy one to implement that can also make a significant difference. Controlling audio ensures that everything playing over the in-store speakers is creating just the right atmosphere.
Ensure Music Reflects Style
When it comes to controlling the brand identity through audio, the first topic to consider is the style of the store. Is it a low key sports bar? Or a higher-end electronics shop? Or a dance studio? Whatever the style of the store, it should be reflected in the style of the music and other in-store audio.
Keep in mind that 67% of shoppers who recall hearing music during their most recent shopping trip identified the music as being programmed specifically for the retail location as opposed to the shop simply blaring a local radio station that can easily be changed based on employee preference. Custom-selected background music for the store, alongside tailored overhead announcements, can promote and control the brand identity. It can also serve as a control point for the target audience.
Think about it—if a middle aged woman walks by a skateboarding store and hears heavy metal blaring loudly, she’s likely not going to go in. This scenario is fine as she isn’t the target audience for the store’s products. But that teen walking by a few feet away? He is just as likely to be drawn in by the same music and much more likely to walk out a satisfied customer.
Control the Mood
If lines are long or the flow of the store isn’t quite ideal, music can help impact both the length of time that customers will linger as well as how long their perceived wait times are. Imagine waiting in a long grocery store line in complete silence. To most, that atmosphere would seem off-putting and even awkward. In this case, music can play a dramatic role in controlling the mood of the store. For example, if the business is overly busy, the in-store audio system can help to move people in and out quickly. Or, if it’s a slower time of day, the playlist can reflect the mood with more mellow tunes to encourage people to take their time and shop around.
Find the Right Resources
Once the right audio brand identity is honed in on, owners can put certain mechanisms in place to make sure that the identity isn’t compromised. Having playlist and announcement outlines available in a centralized, easy to access location can eliminate the potential for confusion or for an employee to take the in-store audio too far off track.
Franchises or independent store chains have easy and quick access to effective audio marketing tools that can be utilized without managers having to spend time hoping that it’s on-brand. These solutions allow the overarching brand guidelines to be followed, while also providing the freedom to personalize when necessary, controlling what is played, when customers hear it, and even how often.
While maintaining brand guidelines can be tough, it certainly isn’t impossible. Finding the right resources to build custom playlists and announcement scripts for the target customer groups can make staying on brand easy and fun. When stores control the audio experience, that can also mean control over sales, customer experiences and employee energy.
Interested in learning more? Request a demo of Vibenomics today and learn how you can start creating on-brand music and messaging for your in-store customers.