Gaining Brand Loyalty Through Brand Experiences
Providing multi-sensory experiences has become a profound way to strengthen the relationship between the brand and the consumers.
Music influences our perceptions, feelings, even motor responses, so it’s no surprise that it also influences behavior. Still, the studies done on the topic of music’s effects in retail and other in-person environments can yield delightful surprises.
Music influences sales
Background sounds and music are picked up and processed by the brain even when the customer isn’t paying attention. This is what a study conducted by Dr. Adrian North in a wine shop in Edinburgh precisely demonstrates. The shop alternated playing French and German music. On days it played French music, the wine from that country would outsell the other. Same trend when German music played, German wine would outsell French wine. When asked, the customers could rarely remember that they even heard music.
Infusing your brand into audio experiences
Music delivers a message without needing the listener to actively engage with the content. And for Katharina Schultz, Marketing Consultant at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership, customer experiences need to involve an audio component. “In today’s visually driven world, we are inundated with videos and images constantly. We are so accustomed to the ever-replenishing stream of visual media that we often overlook the importance and versatility of audio content.”
A study by AEG & Momentum Worldwide found that 83% of Millennials leave with a greater trust for brands that support a live music experience. “Everybody is looking for a way to make the customer experience more enjoyable because itʼs becoming less and less about the products and more about the experience,” Matt Hazelton, an investment analyst in Minneapolis, told brandchannel.
Target is joining the world of environmental sound design
Following this trend, Target stores will start playing background music to create a unique, relevant and enjoyable in-store customer experience. Although they score commercials with very lively music already (they have partnered with artists such as Taylor Swift), Target now wants to incorporate a soundscape to their customers’ shopping experience.
By the end of the year they hope to implement it in 10% of their stores. The playlist will be “upbeat, positive and with a playful personality”. The goal is to retain their shoppers who are slowly migrating towards online shopping by providing a unique, relevant and fun in-store experience. For Andrew Watson on NPR Music, playing the right music in-store “can bring home the culture of a business and psychologically affect a customer in a way that doesn’t feel pushy”.
The power of sonic branding
“[Audio branding] becomes a reflection of the brand itself: congruent, distinct, flexible, recognizable, likable and ownable. When that happens, audio doesn’t just start a conversation. It drives it” says Jo McCrostie, Creative Director at Global Radio.
For Colleen Fahey, US Managing Director at Sixième Son, “Audio branding is how you sound to the world. It’s both a system and a discipline. You want people to recognize your audio brand, no matter where they hear it, whether their eyes are open or closed, whether they’re listening to a radio spot, visiting one of your locations, waiting on hold with your customer service center, or watching a how-to-video.” Brands and agencies should think of audio from a process perspective, the same way they do for their visuals. It is a process that involves design, creation, implementation and management.
Audio Branding Using Sound to Build Your Brand by Colleen Fahey & Laurence Minski
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