music

Music for Business: Because not everyone loves Beyoncé

I love Beyoncé. Like worship-level love. But I have come to appreciate that some people don’t. Why? Well I have no idea because she’s basically a living goddess, but for whatever reason, some people don’t like her. Why am I telling you this? Because there’s a lesson to be learnt here!

If I were to walk into a store playing Beyoncé, subconsciously I’d want to stay a bit longer. If I were in a café, you better believe I’d order another long mac and hang out for another half hour. It’s free Beyoncé! My boyfriend on the other hand would be outta there before I could drain my first cup. Why? Because he’s a Beyoncé non-appreciator. Beyoncé is not enough for him to stay in a store or café, in fact she’s enough to make him want to leave. And that’s terrible for business!

When choosing your music for business, you’re basically taking a punt on the tastes of your patrons. The problem with playing commercial music or radio in store is, not only is it expensive, it’s also hugely divisive.

There’s a particular café I am sometimes forced to visit because it’s local, but under normal circumstances I avoid it – specifically because of the owner’s infuriating music choices. If it’s not blaringly loud club bangers at 9 in the morning, it’s dreary post-rock which forces me to try and stay awake while I’m gulping down my flat white. Everything else about the café is great – good spot, coffee’s nice, the staff members are efficient, but the music, urgh. Just the worst.

This café has fallen into the music for business trap of trying to force the mood or they just straight up don’t care about their customers. Like the Beyoncé predicament, they’ve set themselves up in a tight spot because if their patrons don’t happen to like David Guetta or Mogwai they won’t want to stay longer or perhaps won’t even go at all.

The music for business problem – fixing it

How to fix this problem? Play nothing at all? Yeah, maybe if you want a hollow room with no atmosphere. If you’re going to take away anything from this article I want it to be this – set the mood, don’t force the mood. Create an environment your customers will enjoy, never force it. When considering your playlist, you might like to choose:

● background music which is unlikely to offend.

● something pleasant under 120 BPM

● songs with no lyrics

● tracks that set the mood you want to create, without the headaches which come with playing artists patrons hate.

And don’t you ever EVER think about playing commercial radio in your store. It’s bad enough you’re making your customers listen to songs they dislike, but you also run the risk playing ads for someone else!

Another key here is volume – if your customers can’t hear themselves think let alone their companions, you’re doing it wrong. And as much as you probably don’t want to hear this, in-store music is less about the trendy tunes you want to listen to all day, and more about creating the right ambience for the retail environment your customers are going to enjoy.

Ambient, lyric-free music really is your best music for business option. But don’t just pick whatevers available. Invest in music that adds to your customer experience. Use it in store. Use it in your marketing materials – your YouTube videos, your On Hold messages, your training videos, seriously wherever! Once you’ve invested in this music, use it. Use it to your advantage to subconsciously build your brand (yes, people will notice) and use it to make sure next time I walk through your door I’m happy to pull out a book and order another drink.

– Sophie

Is Your Music Driving Away Customers?

Music is amazing. We use it to enhance the mood, bring back lost memories and even form new ones. But one thing I’ve discovered is that music can be extremely effective in driving away customers.

That’s right, driving away customers. I was in the city and a lifetimeaway from my favourite coffee shop. With a pocket full of change and a head full of ache, I would have given my money to just about anyone for a cup of brown liquid that even resembled coffee!

Then in my coffeeless desert, an oasis appeared. An oasis in the form of a cool coffee cart outside a music shop. The girls behind the cashier were gorgeous and pierced. The menu was scrawled on blackboard surrounded by cargo timber and posters of bands I’ve never heard of. However, as I approached, something strange happened. The closer I got, the less I wanted their coffee.

They had two speakers either side of the register, blasting customers with a face full of high tempo prog rock. I was instantly repelled. But I still soldiered on, grabbed a fistful of change and asked for a flat white to go. “What?!” yelled the cashier. I repeated my order. “You’re going to have to speak up!” She couldn’t hear me over the music. I could feel my face flushing with frustration.

Years ago, I would have grit my teeth and sucked it up. But on that day, I jammed my coins back into my pocket and stormed off without another word.

I’ve noticed this more recently; restaurants, cafes and retail stores all playing music just loud enough so that customers are made to repeat themselves. Is this because the store managers don’t know any better? Does the loud music help keep them awake? Or is it a ploy to move customers through the store quicker? A quick Google search for Millman retail music research will reveal that individuals tend to stay longer when listening to slow tempo tracks when compared with the fast tempo alternative. Food for thought.

– Lachy

Going The Extra Mile (or 23.5 Miles!)

There are customers that come into a store, buy a product, and leave… no questions asked. Then there are those kooky characters who make some of the most bizarre requests you’re likely to hear. But sometimes, the most amazing thing about a customer request isn’t the request itself, but a company’s response.

“GOING THE EXTRA MILE… LITERALLY”

Take this business consultant in the United States, who before departing on the last leg of a particularly tiresome series of work trips, tweeted at his favourite steakhouse “Hey @Morton’s – can you meet me at Newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, thanks. :-)” Whether he was being serious or not is beside the point.

Going The Extra Mile

The point is that Morton’s turned this tweet into a PR extravaganza. When the tired businessman reached the arrivals terminal, imagine his face when a tuxedoed Morton’s waiter greeted him with a 24-ounce Porterhouse, shrimp, potatoes, bread, napkins and silverware. This extraordinary response to a mere social media post demonstrates a few things about Morton’s, and paints a picture of a business that thrives on going the extra mile, or speaking literally, the extra 23.5 miles!

“THE SITUATION STARTED TRENDING WITHIN HOURS”

A team member was monitoring social media – that’s a given. Up the chain, superiors were willing to approve the idea, then a cook had to make the food and time it for the traveller’s arrival, someone needed to track down flight information to ensure the waiter was at the right location, and the food had to be driven, you guessed it, 23.5 miles. Needless to say, the situation started trending within hours, giving Morton’s a huge amount of exposure for relatively little expenditure.

Next time a customer asks you something strange, don’t fall back on policies or common sense. See if you can take advantage, surprise someone and see where it takes you. Never be afraid of going the extra mile!

– Magnus

The Tills Are Alive With The Sound Of Music

More and more businesses are realising that having the right music playing in their retail space can make shoppers linger longer and purchase more. But can it really have an effect on someone over the phone? The answer may surprise you.

TasteInMusic

A lot of thought and research goes into selecting the right tracks to play to customers in retail environments – the same amount of energy should go into selecting music to play to waiting callers.

No matter how great your taste in music may be, it may vary wildly from what your target market listens to. Even if you go middle of the road and play something that’s as inoffensive as possible (commonly referred to as “light and easy” music) you’ll never be able to please one hundred percent of the people, one hundred percent of the time. Savvy business owners accept this fact. They also realise they need to dig deeper and ask themselves a few creative questions in order to find out what music will keep callers not only holding for longer, but willing to spend more.

If you’re in the same boat, you might ask yourself:

● What do my customers listen to?

Your target audience may prefer music that’s very different to your personal preference.

● What do I want them to think and feel about my business?

Do you want them to think you’re a big time corporate outfit or energetic & young.

● What do you want them to do?

Do you want them to stay on the phone until you can reach them, etc.

When a new client comes on board with us, the Creative Coordinator arranges a phone consultation between the client and one of our copywriters. This phone consultation is key in determining what will make their audio marketing effective.  During the conversation, the writer will focus on four key areas: tone, content, voices and music.

Now some customers have a good idea of what kind of music will suit their brand and listeners. Others are happy for our expert team to recommend tracks. Recently the CEO of a commercial steel barn manufacturer sent us his latest radio ads featuring country-style acoustic guitars. We browsed our extensive music library (1600+ tracks and counting!) for background music tracks to match the radio ads, and then made recommendations which the client happily accepted.

Sometimes, determining which music is right goes much deeper than simply ‘matching’ tracks. A study conducted by Milliman (1982) exposed restaurant patrons to fast (90BPM or higher) and slow tempo music. Milliman observed that individuals tended to stay longer when listening to the slow tempo tracks compared with the fast tempo alternative.

On Hold, however, we’ve found mid-tempo music (approximately 100BPM) to be most effective at keeping callers happier to hold longer. Our ambient music tracks, which range from 60- right up to 130BPM, are produced in-house by The Groove Gallery. What makes these tracks unique is that they’re composed specifically to comfort listeners, not distract them. Another few things to consider, in addition to BPM, when choosing the right music tracks is what your callers’ average wait time is and what their music preference might be.

To bring us back full circle, it’s no longer satisfactory to simply play radio or CDs to waiting callers. There is a real science behind the music you select, and those businesses that invest a little time and thought into what they expose their listeners to bank the benefits.

– Lachy

Tune Your Message To Match Your Audience

Each year towards the end of May, I begin the search for a humorous birthday card for my friend. I know him well and we have a similar sense of humour. So instead of giving him a standard birthday card, this year I opted for a “Commiseration” card. After signing it with a line about losing his youth to the hands of time, it’s good to go. Now, I wouldn’t dare do this for my mother – but that’s because I know how to tune my message to match its audience.

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When a new client first joins us, the first question we always ask is “who are your callers?” For instance, I recently spoke with the owner of a vacuum cleaner wholesaler. With some probing he was able to inform me that the majority of his callers are small business owners (usually vacuum cleaner retailers), male, over 40 and always excited about the latest new model.

To make sure that I tuned his messages to match his audience, we agreed on the following. The voiceover artist would be male and sound of a similar age to his callers to convey expertise and trustworthiness. Because callers could be on hold for as long as two minutes while staff investigated stock, it was important the wait felt as short as possible. Messages would therefore be scripted of varying length, some shorter and some longer, to make it harder for the caller to discern how long they’d been waiting. The music would come from our Blues & Country collection (see here) as the client felt this genre best suited the musical tastes of his listener. And the tone of the scripting would be authoritative. Facts and statistics on performance would be littered throughout the scripts as this was what his audience responded to.

If you find yourself needing to write a promotion or put together a customer profile, here are some of the questions that I recommend asking yourself prior to writing:
• Is my audience predominantly male or female?
• Old or young?
• Who are my competitors marketing to? What kind of customers are they targeting?
• What do my customers like to do in their spare time?
• Which industries are they drawn from?
• What type of language will they respond best to? Formal or casual?
• Are they driven by rational or emotional motivations?

By understanding who your audience is, you’ll be better positioned to make a connection with them and hold their attention. You might even like to put together a short survey to give to your current customers in order to understand them better!

Music To Your Ears

No matter which way you look at it, music plays a massive part in everyday life. It’s a universal way of communication and has the power to alter the mood of the listener like nothing else can.

But every music genre is different. Each one carries its own meaning so you have to be careful when attaching it to your business. Think about it, you wouldn’t play Death-metal to your Nan, Gangster-Rap to your baby or Shannon Noll’s music to anyone because it would simply send the wrong message. The same applies with your business. You need to choose a style of background music that is a true reflection of your business.

Remember – the wrong choice of music can send the wrong message about your business and nobody wants that.

Our team of composers in The Groove Gallery have been producing a library of world-class ambient music across a variety of genres; it’s just a matter of finding the one that’s perfect for you. It’s not difficult and will only take a few minutes of your time.

First of all, take a minute to think about how you’d like your music to represent your business. If you’re in the Finance or Law sectors, then often a more corporate feel is required which is why we have our ‘Corporate’ genre available. For trade based businesses with a large male caller base, ‘Rock’ or the lighter ‘Acoustic Rock’ is often a popular choice. Or for a general relaxed and unobtrusive feel there’s the ever-popular ‘Light & Easy’ genre which can cover a variety of industries. The choice is literally endless and choosing is as easy as logging on to The Groove Gallery website and listening to the free samples we have available.

Once you’ve decided on the genre or specific tracks you’d like simply let your Creative Coordinator know and that’s what your callers will be hearing on your next production. And why stop there?

The Groove Gallery’s world-class licence-free ambient music is also perfect for playing in waiting areas, retail environments, gyms, hotels and even lifts. This will continue your music branding across even more areas of your business.

So rather than just ticking one of the music boxes for your next update, take some time to think about what your music should be saying about your business. And remember, if you’re still having trouble deciding, we’ll happily pick one for you.

– Dave Roberts

Music to Your Ears

No matter which way you look at it, music plays a massive part in everyday life. It’s a universal way of communication and has the power to alter the mood of the listener like nothing else can.

But every music genre is different. Each one carries its own meaning so you have to be careful when attaching it to your business. Think about it, you wouldn’t play Death-metal to your Nan, Gangster-Rap to your baby or Shannon Noll’s music to anyone because it would simply send the wrong message. The same applies with your business. You need to choose a style of background music that is a true reflection of your business.

Remember – the wrong choice of music can send the wrong message about your business and nobody wants that.

Our team of composers in The Groove Gallery have been producing a library of world-class ambient music across a variety of genres; it’s just a matter of finding the one that’s perfect for you. It’s not difficult and will only take a few minutes of your time.

First of all, take a minute to think about how you’d like your music to represent your business. If you’re in the Finance or Law sectors, then often a more corporate feel is required which is why we have our ‘Corporate’ genre available. For trade based businesses with a large male caller base, ‘Rock’ or the lighter ‘Acoustic Rock’ is often a popular choice. Or for a general relaxed and unobtrusive feel there’s the ever-popular ‘Light & Easy’ genre which can cover a variety of industries. The choice is literally endless and choosing is as easy as logging on to The Groove Gallery website and listening to the free samples we have available.

Once you’ve decided on the genre or specific tracks you’d like simply let your Creative Coordinator know and that’s what your callers will be hearing on your next production. And why stop there?

The Groove Gallery’s world-class licence-free ambient music is also perfect for playing in waiting areas, retail environments, gyms, hotels and even lifts. This will continue your music branding across even more areas of your business.

So rather than just ticking one of the music boxes for your next update, take some time to think about what your music should be saying about your business. And remember, if you’re still having trouble deciding, we’ll happily pick one for you.

– Dave Roberts