An awesome colleague cohort, and client of mine recently emailed me this great question and I just had to share it with all of you!
I, myself, haven’t read a whole lot of research. In fact, I don’t think there’s a whole lot out there. But I do think that the study you read is among the most accurate.
If you choose music that your target market or core customer likes the best, they will linger longer. It’s also important to have music that doesn’t drive you or your staff members crazy! If you’re on edge, your customers will sense it.
The truth is a happy customer and a customer who is in tune with the environment buys more, so don’t worry about what the malls are doing because your customers don’t shop there all that much. The reason we see malls choosing the music they do is that they’re generally trying use top 40 type music to appeal to the masses. There are also often loads of stores in the malls that appeal to teens and young adults and that is the music that they like best.
If you really want to focus on choosing music that your customers like best; you could try creating a survey monkey survey (or use a similar software or system) and invite them to complete it or complete it with them at the till! It could be fun and customers get to feel involved. Also, I’m sure most branding gurus would say that the music you choose needs to fit with your brand. If your brand isn’t a super young, high octane brand... I wouldn’t worry about pushing the high speed music.
Last, but not least, we come to holiday music... I know it's not everyone's favourite, but it’s an absolute must. That’s where most of the retail studies pertaining to music have been done and it’s proven to drive sales up quite a bit! Usually, the chain stores start weaving in the odd quiet holiday song about November first, then after Remembrance day, you’ll hear it every 2nd or 3rd song (you may have to make custom CD’s or playlists for your store). As of December first, it should be all Holiday, all the time! You will get the odd customer that may complain about it, but even they will be more likely to pick up a couple of Christmas gifts (should that be applicable) because it’ll be top of mind.
Here are some links to research I've found!
Association for Consumer Reasearch - Using Store Music for Retail Zoning
Michael Morrison, Monash University - The Power of Music and its Influence
Live Science - 7 Holiday Marketing Tricks Retailers Use
And here's a little bit on the Shoppers Drug Mart Holiday music "controversy"
Canadian Retailer Puts Christmas Music on Pause
Shoppers Drug Mart Hits Mute on Christmas Music
I gladly welcome all of your questions and comments! If you have a question that you would like answered in the blog or would like to know more about our services, leave a comment or contact us here.
This week’s tip of the week was about reminding your customers of important dates approaching in a relevant display. This creates a sense of urgency and gets customers in a frame of mind where they will begin to consider everything that they’ll need for that approaching date.
For example, a simple sign that reads “Mother’s Day is May 13th” on a display of ideal Mother’s Day gifts will get the customer thinking “What do I need for then?” and “What can I pick up here?” It not only gets them looking through the gifts for the perfect one for Mom, but also has them consider other items that could be in-store that would apply!
Do ensure that the sign is professional, simple, easy to read, and attractive and that it is displayed in a sign holder or a pretty frame (whichever is consistent with your usual signage). Some might prefer to give customers a gentle reminder that a holiday is approaching by having the merchandise tell them, such as the photo below. Just make sure everyone working at the store knows the date for inquiring customers!
Remember, by doing this you’re not only increasing sales, but also doing a service to your customers! Sometimes we need a reminder to not leave things until the last minute. And… in the case of our example date, Moms probably appreciate it, too!
My clients often ask me "why should I choose a specific target market?"
Imagine trying to hit a target with an arrow... If you shoot a bunch of arrows up in the air and hope you hit something, you're far less likely to hit the right target than if you take aim directly at the target you desire and fire away!
Getting your message to the people that will buy your product works the same way. If you hope to get the message out to all different people of all different age groups, with all sorts of different experiences, you're far less likely to get noticed by anyone than if you identify your target market and ensure you create a message that speaks to them directly.
If your store is already established, it pays to take a look at your most profitable customers and identify who they are. Who spends the most money in your store? Who buys at the highest margin? Do your customers live nearby or are they willing to travel to get to your store? How old are they? What inspires them to buy? What life stage are they at?
If you're a new retailer, just establishing your store, this is where it pays to do some research. Check out your city's website for census information, visit your local business link for help researching, and see who shops with your competitors to help you establish your target market.
Once you've established your target market, you can create advertising that will appeal to them, advertise in the mediums they use, and creat a store environment that will make them feel welcome. There are all sorts of things you can do to draw the right customer to you once you've established your target market!
If you need help establishing a target market or creating a store environment that will appeal to them, call us today!
Melissa Mainville is the owner and operator of Flourish Design & Merchandising. She has a passion for retail and tons of experience in the industry. Learn more here.