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Why Your Business Background Music Matters: An Ultimate Guide

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Go on. Jump ahead to read how your business background music impacts:

Getting started: what’s the big deal about music? 

Music has a powerful way of getting under our skin.

Ever found yourself humming a jingle incessantly? Or getting oddly emotional over a certain song on the radio? Or recalling every line to a teen anthem you haven’t heard in decades? 

Music subconsciously affects our mood, energy levels, memory recall and even behaviour. It can heighten our sense of connection to people, experiences and spaces – even businesses. 

It’s this effect that researches have been measuring for the past two decades.  The bulk of research shows a clear connection between soundtrack and a business’ performance. And yet, music remains one of the most underused tools for business success. 

Here at Ambie, we’re determined to help business owners understand the real value of music for their brand. That’s why we’ve sifted through the mountains of research to lay out the facts straight.

Now, whether you’re an Ops Director or self-appointed store DJ, you can fully understand – and capitalise – on music in your business.

Restaurant background music

Background music can impact how a customer feels, thinks and even spends in your venue

How background music impacts your customer experience

First impressions are lasting impressions.

In his famous TED talk, Daniel Kahenman (the Nobel-winning rockstar of behavioural psychology) explains how it only takes one negative event to ruin a person’s perception of an entire experience. (We dig into this more in our Why music matters blog post).

Kahenman’s words are powerful motivation for businesses to ensure every interaction with consumers is a constructive one. From the moment a customer walks through the door, to the moment they leave – every step of the customer journey should add value.

Music is essential to this process. 81% of consumers say that business background music lifts their mood, while 71% say it creates a better atmosphere overall.

From the moment a customer walks through the door, to the moment they leave – each step of the customer journey should add value.

And when customers feel good in a space – they act different within it. Did you know that simply playing music that consumers enjoy makes them 24% more likely to buy a product?

It’s no wonder why 84% of organisations who focus on improving customer experience report increased revenue

How is your business background music building a positive customer experience?

 
Business background music and the customer experience

FAST FACTS: How music impacts customer experience (Source: BrandChannel, MarketingCharts and PPL. Links in text to full reports)

How business background music builds your brand identity 

It’s a tough market. E-commerce is ever rising, the High Street ever crowding. Businesses are looking for new ways to amplify their brand in order to stand out. And customer experience has become critical.

In 2013 a Walker Information study predicted that by 2020 customer experience would trump price and product as the key differentiator between brands. We’re now seeing that reality. 

Music is a direct and cost-effective way of establishing mood and building rapport with your target market.

Often when we think of the components that build a brand, or customer experience, we think of the visual elements – signage, decor, logos etc. We forget the vital role of sound in establishing identity too.  But according to Brand Channel, 96% of brands who use music that fit their identity are more likely to be recalled by consumers.

This makes music a direct and cost-effective way of setting the tone of your brand and building rapport with your target market.

On top of this, a HUI Research experiment concluded that simply playing brand-matched music over a generic mix of songs could see sales increase by 9%. (Which we unpack more in this How background music can boost your business post).

How does your sound identity help you stand out  from competitors?

 
music and branding

FAST FACTS: How music impacts your brand (Source: BrandChannel, Sounds Like Branding and HUI Research. Links in text to full reports)

How background music fosters customer loyalty 

A happy customer is a returning customer.  

Did you know that acquiring a new customer costs around 6X more than keeping an existing one? And you’re 50% more likely to make a sale to that existing customer.

So a ‘sticky’ customer base can be an easy way of maintaining sales volume. But securing the ongoing the trust of these customers requires more effort.

The right soundtrack can ‘speak the language’ of your customer base; resonating with their values, tastes and aspirations.

Music can be a meaningful layer of this strategy. The right soundtrack can ‘speak the language’ of your customer base; resonating with their values, tastes and aspirations. It can increase a person’s sense of belonging to a brand, plus their likelihood of returning. 

In fact, a study from Music Works found that 31% of consumers said they would return to a business if the music was right. 21% said they would also recommend that business. This explains why over two thirds of business owners claim that music encourages repeat business.

It’s not all about loyalty cards. Music makes your ideal customers feel welcomed when they enter, understood once inside, and so more likely to return when they leave. 

Does your music match the taste and values of your customers and clients?

 
Music affects customer loyalty

FAST FACTS: How music impacts client loyalty (Source: Music Works. Links in text to full reports)

How business background music maximises sales revenue 

Your business background music brings many intangible benefits – increased brand awareness, customer experience, loyalty. But when it comes to the lifeblood of your business – sales – is there a measurable difference? 

You bet. In a landmark Milliman study, he proved how playing slower music reduced the speed at which customers moved through a store. But the most interesting take away? He also recorded  this change in customer behaviour led to as 38% sales increase. (If you’re curious, we look into the Milliman study in our Matching music to your trade patterns blog piece). 

Millian was one of the first to connect music to customer behaviour, but he was not the last:

  • Cain-Smith and Curnow demonstrated how music volume could affect traffic through a shopping centre.

  • Caldwell and Hibbert connected a slow tempo to increased dwell-time and drink purchases.

  • Knöferle revealed how minor musical keys could drive additional spend in some contexts.

  • HUI Research found that brand-matched music in the food and beverage sector could boost sales by 9%. 

  • Texan study found certain genres could trigger more expensive purchasing decisions.

(And if you’re a numbers person, we cover more in our How background music can boost business post).

Phew! The numbers are as illuminating… and overwhelming. But if you’re scratching your head over whether Tchaikovsky or Beyonce will generate more sales, keep the words of Milliman himself in mind:

‘The exact figures are not important…what these findings say is important: It is possible to influence behaviour with music, but this influence can either contribute to the process of achieving business objectives or interfere with it’

Unfortunately  there’s no universal musical shortcut for securing skyrocketing sales. But when music is coupled with your overall goals for a space (whether increasing footfall, encouraging dwell or even boosting drink purchases) it can have a quantifiable impact.

How can music better help you reach your sale targets? 

 
Music affects sales revenue

FAST FACTS: How music impacts sales revenue (Source: Milliman ‘Using Background Music to Affect the Behavior of Supermarket Shoppers’ (1982), HUI Research report and Knoferle ‘It is all in the mix: The interactive effect of music tempo and mode on in-store sales’ (2011). Links in text to full reports)

How background music enhances staff productivity

There’s another group of people who your business background music will impact even more than your customers – your staff members. And while there are many strategies to improve staff productivity, music can be one of the simplest changes to implement. 

A recent MusicWorks and Mindlab study found that a whopping 81% of staff performed better when listening to music. Here’s what else they discovered. 

Did you catch what MindLab neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis said?

‘Music is an incredibly powerful management tool in increasing the efficiency of a workforce. It can exert a highly beneficial influence over employee morale and motivation, helping enhance output and even boosting a company’s bottom line.’

The cause for this productivity boost, according to additional studies, is attributed to the mood enhancing properties of music. This explains why 74% of employees who like music enjoy going to work when good music is played. And why 75% of business owners believe allowing staff to listen to music helps with team bonding.

How does your business background music keep employees happy and hardworking?

Music affects staff productivity

FAST FACTS: How music impacts employee happiness and productivity (Source: Music Works and MindLabs. Links in text to full reports)

Tuning in to the importance of your background music

It’s hard to argue with numbers. And the data paints a convincing picture of the bottom line value music can bring to businesses. Are you seeing the results you want from your music? 

Here at Ambie, we’re all about helping businesses achieve more through music. Our unique mix of playlist curation, smart technology and human expertise means your business music can be fully managed, continually updated, and – best of all –hassle-free. 

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