Should the music you play in your retail business be familiar to your customers? Yes! or No! or maybe or definitely or never…  There is no right answer to that question. A Music Designer considers that question – a lot – when the original Music Design plan is being considered.

Right now, I have several customers who would like to have an atmosphere with the very best of classic rock, the songs that make you pump your fist in the air and think, “Party!” The trouble is, to the baby boomer business owner, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Led Zeppelin should have a prominent place in the program. The on-site manager, 30 years younger than the owner, wants Chumbawumba and the Cranberries to be included. The marketing people may feel that it is Jimmy Buffett or Justin Timberlake that represents a party atmosphere.

Many of the favorite songs that have been hits through the years have memories and connotations built in for the customer. Good or bad, the songs can evoke feelings and emotions. That can be a great advantage for a business. You want the customer to feel comfortable, welcome, and eager to stay a little longer. Playing songs that can bring out those feelings of high school parties and road trips will favorably match up your restaurant or store experience with those good memories. On the other hand, hearing that bass line and cash register at the beginning of Money by Pink Floyd, a classic rock staple, may be the song that has been heard too many times, used to manipulate the customer into feeling nostalgia for an era a bit much, and that’s the song that makes him roll his eyes and signal for the check.

A Music Designer can pull songs from a wide range of eras and include songs that may not have the strong memories or associations, but still provide the feel, the beat, the style, that bridges between the familiar songs of different eras and can evoke the emotion and nostalgia without specific memories.

– Submitted by Janice Williams, Music Design