Study illustrates the danger of retailers leaving the sound of their brand to chance
Half of Britain’s shoppers have left a store because they were annoyed by the music. This is the result of a study carried out by Immedia Plc, which develops music strategies for retailers.
The findings illustrate the danger High Street brands face by not developing a suitable ‘sound’ for their brand.
1,000+ shoppers were asked both about their attitude to in-store music, and about how music affects them psychologically and emotionally.
Key results are as follows:
* Three-quarters of shoppers (73%) will notice the music playing in-store
* Out of those that do, 40% will stay longer in a shop if they feel the music is well chosen for the environment. Conversely, 40% will spend less time there if they feel the music isn’t suitable
* In fact, 49% of all shoppers said they have stayed longer in shops because they like the music vs 45% that don’t
* Excluding don’t knows, half of all shoppers say they left a shop because they didn’t like what was playing or because it was annoying
* Overall, a quarter of shoppers (23%) say they would be less likely to return to a retailer if they don’t like the music it plays
Commenting on the results, Immedia Plc CEO Bruno Brookes said:
“Brands currently spend upwards of £25 billion a year on visual point of sale material (source - Institute of Sales Promotion).
“However, while the retail, hospitality and FMCG industries take great care in thinking about what customers see, nowhere near the same investment goes into optimising what they hear.
“In fact, audio is the single most effective way to capture the attention and imagination of people who are on the move inside your shop or restaurant. This is supported by numerous scientific studies that demonstrate how an effective music strategy does everything from improve staff morale to enhance the customer experience, to crucially increase sales.
“Especially given the challenging economic environment, it is important to optimise every element of a customer’s sensory experience. As a result, we are working with an increasing number of high street names who want the competitive edge that a well thought out music and sound strategy will give them.”
According to Immedia’s scientific advisor Dr Vicky Williamson:
“Music can profoundly affect our mood, emotions and energy levels. Studies have shown that we naturally exploit these effects everyday by using music to optimise our state of mind.This new survey demonstrates how similarly important ‘background music’ is to our shopping experiences. Music is no less powerful just because it is chosen by someone else.
“In specific terms, in-store music should be chosen with care and attention to the brand or product identity. Studies have shown that a poor degree of fit between brand and music can result in negative customer feedback, lower sales, and fewer customer referrals.
“Capitalising on the general effects of music will only get you so far in boosting a shopping experience. Maximising the positive impact of in-store music requires an understanding of how to match sound and brand.”
This includes a blog about retail engagement and music psychology, links to research about music in retail, and a music-themed social area where consumers are invited to engage with Immedia.
Research Now surveyed 1006 UK shoppers in the week of 26 September
For further information contact the Immedia team at Rabbit - tel 0208 123 9541, firstname.lastname@example.org