In-Store Music – What’s Your Problem?

8 June 2022

Every music service we’ve ever provided has come about because our partners had a problem with their current in-store offering that needed addressing. The sound of their stores had become a pain and they wanted to use our expertise to make that go away.

They’d spend a lot of money making sure their stores looked right, from the colour schemes to the layout. Everything you saw in-store drove the brand image. Everything you heard? Not so much.

What were those problems, and how did we address them?

No music at all

A financial brand approached AVC Immedia as they had no music at all in their branches. This brand had warm and welcoming values, but their branches felt cold and unfriendly without music. They also realised that people having sensitive conversations at the counter kept their voices low so as not to be overheard.

We worked with this brand to create a music service which enhanced their values and their branch atmosphere. We brought together a broad playlist of classy music with a modern sound and inclusive feel.

Not only that, but we ensured the speaker systems installed gave the privacy desired at the counters without everyone feeling like there was “too much music”.

The feedback has been great. From anecdotes about people tapping their feet in the queues, to the staff who greatly appreciated the better working environment with added music.

The wrong music

A high street retailer engaged with us as their current in-store music was miles away from their brand image. While their in-store displays and social media posts featured the stars their teenage customers identified with, their music centred around the stars of Britain’s Got Talent and your cheesy local nightclub.

This led to a jarring clash between brand and sound. They were working hard to gain credibility with their desired customers, but when they came into the stores, they were treated to the music their mum’s listened to.

Our priority was to bring this brand’s visual credentials into their music. We established a set of standards around their music, and held many passionate conversations about which genres and artists made the grade.

The result? This brand is now famous for their in-store music, and their customers are on social media trying to second guess which new music will be heard in their stores.

Their visual marketing and music now co-exist in harmony.

Inconsistent music

If you have no music provider and no music policy, things can get really bad. That was the case for one client who turned to AVC Immedia when their in-store music became a major headache for the company.

The music in their stores was in the hands of the store manager. This meant you could go into one store that would be playing the explicit versions of a rap-based YouTube playlist, then across town another store could be playing the pure pop of Heart FM. Nearby, a store would be playing a Spotify playlist of their manager’s favourite dance anthems.

The result was total inconsistency. The brand was paying hundreds of thousands of pounds on promoting a bright and positive image, but whenever you went into one of their stores, you didn’t know what it was going to feel like.

As well as the randomly inexpertly selected music and the swearing, each of these stores could also be playing adverts for this brand’s rivals. Imagine walking around Sainsbury’s and hearing an advert for Tesco. Our client was having their own version of that playing out every day.

We could hear why it was a real problem.

We created a music channel for this brand which encapsulated the brand’s vibrant and upbeat feel. Furthermore, we guaranteed songs with no bad language. With this channel, the brand could now promote their own products proudly.

Within months of engaging us, the brand had turned their major problem, into something that enhanced their store environment and gave consistency across the country.

Beyond problem-solving

In each of the cases above, we didn’t stop at solving the client’s music issues. We created an asset for them which didn’t just transform the sound of the store, but enhanced how people felt about them away from the store too.

Once the issue is “solved” our work doesn’t stop. The world moves quickly and brands evolve regularly. We’re there on that journey to ensure new problems don’t arise. But, that’s the subject of another post.



Written by Euan McMorrow, Content Director at AVC Immedia.

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