Some Music Can Sell You Short

Have you ever wanted to flee a store because the music being played is just not doing for you, or found yourself having to talk louder than might wish in a restaurant because the entertainment on stage has set the microphone and drum machine levels too high?

It happens to me all the time, and I’m not alone it turns out. UK retail giant Marks & Spencer has pulled the plug on music after unsatisfactory sales results.

The accepted truth is that music can motivate impulse buying and play an influential role in buying behaviour--but my experience in Shopper’s Drug Mart and Loblaws is that I don’t want to hear the same bracelet of songs every radio station plays 24/7 from here to Hell and back.

I never want to hear Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey ever again. Same goes for Journey. Same for “Lay It On the Line.”

Is there no intelligence out there?

Is there no range of choice?

Does the entire retail world have to wallow in tunes cranked out by a coven of spendthrifts who may not be able to sing in key?

Is there really that great an appetite to hear a blight of ‘80s hair bands repeatedly, forever?

Can't someone hire a Greg Torrington, a Ross Porter, a Bill King or an Alan Cross and replace the canned jukebox spam that makes CHFI the number one station in Toronto forever?

Must we all suffer because conglomerate chains operating in Canada are micro-managed out of Someplace USA, right down to the thermostat and audio controls?

Music in the retail environment can make customers happy, it can make them want to linger, it may even move them to feel like dancing in the aisles.

It can also make people go ballistic, piss them off, send them to a competitor--or push them to shop online.

Smart Company has some research that explains that there’s good music, and there’s bad music and then there’s knowing who your customers are.



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