Face the Music


Face the Music


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Prior to an opening, retailers and restaurant owners will happily splurge on fitting their outlets with the latest whiz-bang gadgets. They’ll pay a small fortune for an architect, fork out for graphic designers and fret over the smallest details of their logo. They conduct a brand analysis, launch a social media campaign and tick all the Marketing 101 boxes.

Too often, though, they overlook one key detail: The music. This integral component reflects your brand identity. Are you trying to create a laidback, leisurely environment? Is it chic or cheeky? Modern or mysterious? Music conveys these moods and your selection sets you apart from your competitors.

Recently, I’ve noted a few jarring examples:

1. A boutique hotel playing Madonna’s greatest hits in the foyer (and, no, they weren’t aiming for ironic nostalgia). Instead of positioning the property as stylish and contemporary, theMaterial Girl’s tunes made it feel dated and geeky.

2. A luxury retailer, known to spend millions on branding initiatives, would shudder to know that one of their outlets is playing The Carpenters through their speakers. As you scan the bling-studded watches and diamond-encrusted rings, tunes that epitomize retro-bland dowdiness play overhead.

3. A chic restaurant whose musical menu included one-hit wonders from the 80s. It’s hard to enjoy a meal when Toto Coelo’s insidiously inane ‘I Eat Cannibals’ is playing in the background.

Am I alone with this gripe? Am I being overly sensitive? Does music even register with you?

What cringe-inducing tunes have you heard? Any examples of where music is in harmony with the brand? Which stores are striking a chord with you?

Chime in below.

Jenny Lo

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