The summer is here, and many hospitality businesses are in full swing welcoming the influx of new and old customers and guests; and are therefore, always looking for ways to enhance their overall experience. There is a buzz in the air as many offices are working summer / flexi-hours, the weather is warm, bars and pubs are heaving especially those with beer gardens and outside terraces. Restaurants are launching their summer specials, from lighter foods to delicious cocktails. There is a lot of local and international travelling on the go, be it for weekend getaways or mini breaks, with tourists in and out.
This all presents a massive opportunity for hospitality businesses to refresh themselves, their offerings and their tunes for the summer season and accommodate their customers and staff in every way possible, yet still remaining loyal and aligning with their brand identity.
At Ambie, our curators are here to find music for every occasion, and that means selecting the music for every season too. In the run up to and during the summer months, we’re often called on to provide something with a seasonally appropriate focus in careful co-ordination with new product lines, seasonal menu changes and newly opened outdoor dining areas. Providing a seasonal music change can improve top-line spend, re-excite regular customers and help brighten the mood both in indoors and outdoors retail or hospitality spaces.
Refreshing your playlists
Music is an impactful resource for hospitality spaces who wish to stand out in the market, to engage their customers and shape the experience they have in your establishment – be it a hotel, restaurant, bar, pub or shop. By choosing the right music to be played at the right time (seasonality and trading patterns are important too), venues can boost their profits, create retention as well as maintain their brand identity and personality.
Fresh music plays a significant role in shaping a space and creating a mood, which is why many hospitality businesses put a great deal of emphasis on the brand sound and personalised playlists, as well as a great effort into seasonal changes, especially over the Summer and Christmas. When refreshing the tracks, some just add more and more songs to each playlist, however this runs the risk of diluting the brand, and causing curation drift. The quality of playlists should not be jeopardised by just bulking them up, but rather all the chosen tracks need to compliment the overall experience, trading patterns and seasonality.
An evolving soundtrack can be an economical way to keep the customer experience current and fresh.David Wright, Head of Guest Delivery at All Star Lanes.
It may all sound obvious, but the song numbers are astounding. Gideon Chain, Ambie’s CEO, elaborates that “our average customer playlist has between 300-400 songs in each playlist which equates to +-20-22 hours each, as well as has between 5-7 different playlists changing throughout the week depending on varying factors such as trading patterns, ambiance required and the target audiences.”
Further to this, Ben Yates, Head of Curation at Ambie, recommends that “playlists should be updated every month with 15-30% new content to each. Track removals are also important, so we take out tracks that have been in the playlist for a long time or are getting stale.” In addition to these regular music refreshers with new songs and playlist shuffles, there are up to 20% of customers who request additional bespoke summer playlists, and the demand is growing.
Music is central in building positive guest experiences. According to research by MarketingCharts, 81% of consumers say that business background music lifts their mood, while 71% say it creates a better atmosphere overall. And when guests feel good in a space – they act different within it. It’s no wonder why 84% of organisations who focus on improving customer experience report increased revenue.
Expanding your music this summer
It is a strategic approach take into account the season. Spring and summer are the perfect times for more upbeat, happy, and dancing tracks, while autumn and winter may be best suited for singers, jazz, symphonies, or more subtle styles.
Once the decision to refresh your music on a regular and seasonal basis is in place, there are some key considerations to take into account:
- Sound systems: With an overwhelming choice of speakers on the market, venues need to take into consideration whether they will now be playing background outdoors, as well as indoors for example. In addition, the placement of speakers is also critical so there is equal distribution of music, rather than blaring areas versus muffled areas. Here is a brilliant read – 5 ways to get the perfect sound in your hotel, restaurant and bar.
- Connectivity: Check that your WiFi connection is strong and stable enough if you’re moving your sound to new areas. What works well in a small indoor section may not translate well to tables now placed on the pavement for al fresco dining. Often venues may connect via an Ethernet cable as they are more reliable, yet a plan B needs to be in place, before pushing play.
- Noise: With more outdoor areas in use, there is always the worry of the noise levels getting too high for neighbours, as well as noise after 11PM. It’s better to manage noise levels before they become unacceptable, and you fall foul of the law, which can lead to your licence review and potential penalties and fines.
Installing an appropriate sound system can really help to maximise the entertainment offering of a venue. Getting it right will help contribute to a great atmosphere that will help a venue stand out from the crowd, attract customers, increase time spent in the venue and encourage repeat business.Loud and Clear Audio Visual Installations
We asked our Head of Curation, Ben, to provide three top tracks that go perfectly with different Summer music refreshes. Enjoy!
1. Dawn Penn – You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No)
Dawn Penn is a longstanding reggae legend, and here the Jamaican star re-worked one of her earlier tracks into a dancehall mega-hit in the early 90’s. Ever since, it’s become the staple of barbecues, beer gardens and festival DJ sets and is perfect for creating an instant feelgood atmosphere in any casual hospitality environment.
2. Silk Sonic – Skate
A track that could have been lifted straight from the middle of a mid 70’s Summer, this Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak penned disco tune is a rare example of a chart track that crosses multiple hospitality and retail verticals – equally at home in cool craft beer yards as it is in teen-focused clothing brands.
3. HNNY – So
For luxury brands looking for something contemporary and bright to match the weather and customer mood, they could opt for tracks with a sophisticated, easygoing electronic feel that provides just the right dose of seasonal contrast.