OnBrand Group had been asked to evaluate the current in-store music experience at one of the UK’s leading fashion chains.

They had been using commercial music for many years, but had yet to find a playlist that suited their target audience, staff and branding image. Our team visited several stores in the South East of England and the feedback from the in-store evaluations had been very interesting. We interviewed a number of staff, store managers and customers and thought we would share our findings here.

The Experience – The feedback regarding the current music was fairly unanimous. Everyone felt that it was very boring, not uplifting, repetitive and didn’t suit the brand at all. One member of staff said: “We have no idea who these artists are so dislike them even more.”

The main criticism with the music was that it was far too dark and underground and not what customers would expect to hear when walking into this trendy fashion store. When interviewing customers they generally thought it was fairly inoffensive, but perhaps it could be a little more current with artists such as Florence and the Machine or Beyonce, etc. One customer questioned actually went so far as to say: “It’s really gloomy and it would make me want to kill myself if I worked there.”

We find that whilst people will always have their own perceptions of music there was no consistency for the brand in question. A customer said that “If I had a blindfold on, I wouldn’t know what kind of shop I was in.” At one store the staff kept having to come off the shop floor to keep changing a CD and then repeatedly back to the system to keep skipping tracks that they disliked saying “This music is a balance of coolness, but there are some weird remixes which is annoying” and then said they argued with other members of staff about whose turn it was to skip these tracks!

Finally we asked customers the question – If there was bad music or no music playing, would it make you leave quicker? Two answers to this question were very telling: “If the wrong music was playing I would probably just go elsewhere” & “If a song irritates me it puts me in a bad mood, then I’ll leave the store.”

OnBrand Music Solutions

Being a solution provider rather than a product supplier enables OnBrand Music to tailor relevant music and maximise the customer audio experience. As we spend time on site getting to know the brand and people we gain an insight into the frustrations of staff and management too. This helps us design the right music profile and work from a selection of tracks that we put on an auditory mood board, which are eventually worked into a non-repetitive and profiled playlist. We are proud to be working with many leading retail and fashion brands and theme our playlists to each brand according to events and can schedule genres at specific times throughout the year depending on their needs. This ensures that the audio experience is always personal and up-to-date.