I’ve always been a music maven. Well, not always. But I’ve always searched out unique music from a lot of different genres. In music stores (when we used to have music stores), I’d play for hours, moving from headphones to headphones, category to category sampling a variety of music that was unparalleled. Then buying unique compilation CDs from Brazilian music to Lounge music.
And then came iTunes and iTunes playlists. I was addicted. I would put together dinner parties and cook up a meal straight out of France, complete with the appropriate French soundtrack with everyone from Serge Gainsbourg to Henri Salvador and Patricia Kaas.
I created iTunes Playlists titled Sunday Brunch, Pool Party, Margarita Sunset, African Safari, and On a Plane – they all had a purpose. But more importantly, they all set the stage. They created a mood.
With so many people having access to so much music, in-store music has become marginalized, just like retail experiences themselves. We walk into stores and hear the same types of music, if not the exact same songs. That coupled with merchandise that’s pretty homogenous makes us forget which store we’re actually in.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
Music should tell stories about your retail experience.
Can you recount an experience where you really enjoyed the music? There’s a great hotel in Palm Springs called The Parker Palm Springs which has a restaurant called Mr. Parkers. Mr. Parkers plays an eclectic soundtrack of interesting music. But the standouts are the R&B/Soul songs that are part of the mix. From old school – Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy, Mercy Me” to Hall & Oates’ “Sara Smile” to new school – Robin Thicke & Mary G. Blige’s “Magic Touch”, the songs make you “feel.” And feeling something creates an emotional attachment.
Pottery Barn allowed their customers to “feel” through music – Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Darin, Sara Vaughn and Nat King Cole all epitomized the sounds of Pottery Barn. How many CDs did you buy in the late ‘90’s, early 2000’s from them?
The point is that music can create a bond with your customers. It can make them linger in your store longer. It can make them more loyal. It can make them be evangelists for your brand.
In this world of all-too-similar retail, you need to create a store with music that makes you “feel.” But make sure it’s not so obscure that it will turn customers off – music after all is epitome of individuality.
How are you making your customers “feel” your store experience through music.
Want more great retail info? Follow me on Twitter.