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How Does Music Affect The Consumer - Brand Relationship?

Every business works hard to stand out from thousands of others brands out there. A lot goes into attracting a certain demographic of customers and establishing a strong consumer-brand relationship. Atmospherics are use to reinforce and enhance your brand and positively affect the behaviour of your customers in store. Atmospherics refer to the look of your store, lighting, temperature, scent and of course, the music. All these elements come together to help welcome customers in store and convince them to stay that much longer, creating a sense of invitation and ultimately a positive shopping or dining experience. Out of all these elements, music is the atmospheric that will have the most direct emotional connection with your customers.

Customers depend on music as a cue to determine whether the brand is a good fit for them. It also builds up expectation on the quality of the product that is sold there.  For example classical music played in a store with soft lighting suggests a prestigious brand with quality goods. This sort of combination of atmospherics could work well in a retailer specialising in antiques or luxury home ware. A hip fashion retailer targeting men in their early 20's, might go for energetic, charting urban and pop music to attract their customers. The character or personality of each of these retailers is apparent in their respective music choices.

Music - brand fit is a relationship that deserves much consideration. A misfit in the music - brand relationship could lead to brand confusion and diminished customer acquisition and customer loyalty. If the music does not align with the customers expectation of the brand it could be detrimental. For instance, if you were to enter and sportswear store, you would not expect to hear slow jazz music. This music does not live up to the customer's brand expectation as it is a genre that you would not associate with being active and energetic. A selection of relaxing jazz music would be better suited to an upmarket restaurant where jazz suggests sophistication and might encourage customers to stay longer and purchase more expensive items such as wine or desserts.

When the music is selected perfectly it enhances the in store experience of your customers, sometimes blending so well into the environment that is becomes an elusive quality that customers might not even be able to pin point as the reason for their enjoyable shopping or dining experience. BUT when you get the music wrong, boy do people notice! It is clear as day light when the music does not match up with your expectation of the brand. It brings to mind a recent experience I had in a fashion retailer targeting women of 40+. Charting pop music with a plethora curse words played and it was laughably distracting to my shopping experience.

It's about strengthening your brand in the mind of your customers. It's about creating the best on brand in-store experience you can offer. The better you know your target demographic, the more you can cater the music towards them.  An atmospheric as influential as music should not be an after-thought. SBA Music has over 25 year's worth of experience in helping retailers, restaurants and hotels find the best music solution that fits the characteristics of their brand and is attractive to their target demographic. Speak to us to find the best music - brand fit to enhance your consumer - brand relationship.

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Beverland, M. et al. (2006, 1 July). In-store music and consumer-brand relationships: Relational transformation following experiences of (mis)fit [Article]. Retrieved from

Turley, L. W. & Milliman, R.E. (2000). Atmospheric Effects on Shopping Behaviour: A Review of the Experimental Evidence [Article]. Retrieved from