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Some facts you should know about sound in retail.

Some facts you should know about sound in retail.

Most brands use their retail spaces to appeal to their customers visually. Strong brands use their retail spaces to make visual references to brand identity through architecture and interior decoration.

But how do things look at the audio level?

Is music necessary in stores or other public spaces?



Here are four facts about music in public spaces:

  1. It is harder for people to live without music than without sports, films or newspapers.
  2. Playing the right music makes customers stay longer.
  3. Music that is played in a brand space affects customers' opinions of the brand.
  4. Music makes employees feel and work better.

Muzak? Background music? A constant stream of indiscriminate tunes?

Common in-store music is often played indiscriminately, in an attempt to please customers’ musical taste. There is nothing new about having in-store music, but brand store music is not just any music! 

“Everything goes best with Robbie”

According to a study by the service provider Mood Media, British pop songs were heard most frequently in German stores in 2012. Seems plausible at first sight, after all, Robbie Williams is an international pop star and a favorite for a wide-range of audiences. The prevalent idea behind this use of British pop, is that by using chart hits and mainstream music, one avoids polarization and therefore one cannot go wrong.

But is this the right way to create store sound?

NO! Why?

Most customers do not care whether the music played in a store or restaurant is familiar to them. Two-thirds of surveyed customers have stated that it is not important for in-store music to match their own musical taste.

It is import, however, that the music being played… fits the brand space. 


How important is it that the music being played is popular and recognised from the radio

How important is it that the music being played fits the brand



Here is an extreme example: Imagine a baby apparel store. Would you enjoy shopping there while heavy metal music was playing? Would you not find the music inappropriate, inauthentic or even annoying? Whether you are a fan of heavy metal or not, there is no connection between the music and the brand.

Another statistic shows that a large portion of customers would leave a store if they perceived the in-store music to be “wrong”.


The result of these surveys show that the selection of in-store music should not focus on the personal taste of your customers, but should rather fit your brand. That is why the idea of simply avoiding polarization by using mainstream music is not always the best idea. To set a brand apart and put it in a unique light, polarization, differentiation and intentional specialization can be advantageous and strengthen your customers’ brand awareness.

The goal of in-store music should be to convey brand values. amp cooperates and consults with your brand's marketing departments to ensure a holistic audio concept


“With the help of acoustic brand spaces, it is possible to create an atmosphere, generate awareness, as well as associations and feelings, which are beneficial to the brand image. This is, after all, what makes for successful marketing.”




 "Uncovering a Musical Myth." Der Handel. 2011 Heartbeat International, Mar. 2013. Web. Survey about Music‘s Impact in Public Spaces

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