They're vital to our everyday decision-making process. Your customers rely on their senses to make choices about how to dress, where to eat, what to purchase, and more. And if you're like many retail and hospitality owners, you’ve probably given great attention to the visual aspects of your business. You've taken great care with regard to how your food tastes, or the tactile quality of your fabric and furnishings. And you probably keep your front of house smelling fresh and clean- maybe even delicious.
And yet, many businesses fail to give the proper attention to their sound. Perhaps this is because of the misconceptions surrounding background music and audio: Individual music opinions, lack of audio tech knowledge, and a desire to cut costs can lead to careless management decisions, such as plugging in an employee iPod and calling it “good enough”. While almost everyone has personal 'taste' in music, that taste is highly subjective and situational. That fresh-faced intern you just hired might be an aspiring DJ in their spare time, but are they really the seasoned audio expert to whom you should entrust your bottom line? Remember: The music that you don’t select is just as important as the music you do. Allowing your staff, or even management, to control your musical identity opens your enterprise up to a myriad of problems. Putting aside personal taste is one of the key aspects of music programming. A wise business owner must be able to see the big picture, and make choices that are based on their customers' demographic makeup, the image the brand is trying to project, and other profit factors, such as product mix, time of day, etc. When it comes to music selection for a business, you need a professional audio/music programmer who has the necessary experience to make targeted, market-aware music selections with your customers firmly in mind.
Case in point: Depeche Mode – Enjoy The Silence. The last 2 minutes of this song is mostly comprised of dead air (silence) and sparse, ambient sounds. Some tracks may be much louder or softer than others, or have abrupt endings or profanity. Do you really want that playing in your establishment? That’s one of the things we look out for at Auratunes. Our professional programmers scrutinize every song for undesirable issues like this, and we’ll correct these issues, find a radio edit, single version, or make a custom edit on our own that's right for your space.
A professional can also bring tech skills into the mix to enhance and monitor the quality, volume and flow of the sound. Having the “right sound” is comprised of multiple facets, such as the quality of the audio system, the acoustics of the space, the quality of the audio files, and ultimately, the actual selection of music itself. Making rushed or uninformed choices, or cutting corners in any of these areas can cause your customers to have a poor sensory experience, which can ultimately translate to lower sales. So why not hire an expert? An initial investment in a music programmer with the right experience, tools and philosophy can give your business the competitive edge.
There are many times during programming music for a client that I’ll have to pass up a song I love, simply because I know it’s not right for them and their environment. Is your cook, assistant manager, or lead waiter able to make those decisions properly? Probably not.
It’s all about quality control, critical listening, and good decisions. Your customers are making decisions based on their five senses, and professional music programming can help you make a great impression.