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The Sound of Retail - Retail Focus

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The Sound of Retail Playing background music that is a good fit for the brand can increase customer well-being and hike sales, according to a new study by HUI Research and Spotify- backed company, Soundtrack Your Brand. By analysing a pool of nearly two million unique transactions at 16 restaurants of a major chain over a five-month period, the researchers found that playing a carefully selected mix of music increased sales by more than nine per cent, compared with playing random popular songs. 'When done right, music has a major positive effect on sales, largely stemming from guests purchasing more items such as desserts and sides,' says Professor Sven-Olov Daunfeldt, who led the study. 'Play the wrong music and you just might find that you're alienating that very same customer and selling significantly less.' Background music that reflects a brand's values evokes a wide range of positive emotions among customers, and increases overall satisfaction not to mention sales, finds Retail Focus. Just like any interior design component, music can improve and alter the shopping experience. Of all sensory inputs, humans are found to respond quickest to sound. 'It's the sense that reaches the brain first and functions as an organiser for the rest of our senses,' says Ola Sars, CEO and co-founder of Soundtrack Your Brand, which counts Aesop, TAG Heuer, Wagamama and GANT among its clients. 'We think music is often overlooked as part of brands' design strategies. As much as music can improve an experience, bad music can ruin that same experience and alienate customers, so one has to work hard to get it right.' The company has developed its own model for matching individual brands with music, called Soundscan. 'Typically, we don't want to tie brands to specific music genres, rather we attempt to find a unique sound for each brand that spans across several types of music and genres,' explains Sars. 'The essence of our model is how we translate brand attributes into specific musical keywords. It's equally important to decide what the brand is as to decide what the brand is not. 'Sometimes, playing no music at all is better than playing random popular music, argues Sars. In 2016, M&S announced that it was switching off background music in a number of its stores in response to feedback from customers and staff. Waterstones has a similar policy,

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