7 Steps to Create the Perfect Background Music for Business

The Best Background music for your business. Here’s seven steps to master your brand sound and build the perfect playlist

Here are the seven steps to create the perfect background music for your business! Master your brand sound and build the ideal playlist today.

Posted on April 14, 2023

7 Steps to Create the Perfect Background Music for Business 

How do you create the right sound and perfect playlists for your business? It’s an important question that can make a significant difference to your brand, business experience, and bottom line. 

Music is an integral part of any business environment that can make or break a brand experience. Today, businesses across industries are fine-tuning their sound, ensuring their playlists are properly licensed, and leveraging the best background music as a powerful branding tool. Some large retailers and hospitality chains that understand the power music plays in building atmospheres and brand images occasionally enlist  experts to create a sound that aligns their core brand image and target audience. But creating the right brand sound should not be a luxury only afforded to large companies. Even a small brand can build a unique identity through music and reach the next level of growth. 

Research shows that the right brand sound increases sales, clarifies messaging, and enhances brand image.  Consistent positioning is critical to building a strong brand and music can play an important role. Customers connect with music that aligns with a brand - both inside and outside their conscious awareness - even if that music is not their expected genre of music or typical style. 

The human brain likes harmony (as proven in classical psychological congruence theory) and that can influence the right overhead music in businesses including retail stores. For example, when a youthful and modern brand like H&M plays youthful and modern music in-store, a customer's mood is not only affected but they connect with the brand and often spend more money while shopping. The bottom line: brand-fit music matters.

How can you create the right sound for your brand and build the perfect playlists for your business? We’ve put together a seven-point checklist to help you create the ideal atmosphere for your brand that improves customer experience, keeps your staff happy, and helps boost sales.

1. Know your brand identity.
Your brand identity sets the stage as you refine the soundtrack for your brand. Start with your brand promise, identity and voice - the same ones you would leverage to communicate through advertising, communications, and marketing. Find the adjectives that describe your brand (are you going for ”expressive”, ”contemporary”, ”active”,  “upbeat” etc. ?) and plug those terms into your business music streaming platform to help develop your unique brand sound.  

2. Analyze your audience.
Next, connect your brand identity to your customer. Their demographic, psychographic, lifestyle, and motivations are the cues that define their favorite type of music, artists, and expectations as they enter your business. Focus less on specific songs your customers like (it’s hard to find a song everybody likes) and focus more on the music genre and style that best fits your brand. When guests relate to the music streaming in your business, it helps them connect with your brand in a visceral way. Finding the songs that trigger those connections helps create the perfect soundtrack for your brand. 

3. Define your music identity.
Every day, brands express their identity, personality, and brand promise through the music they choose to play in their business. Starbucks, for example, identifies their brand with core values including being welcoming, warm, easy going, and human which is the reason you may often hear music featuring acoustic genres such as singer songwriter and jazz, so that customers can associate with them while sipping a triple mocha Frappuccino with oat milk. Similarly, you can create your own brand sound, starting with the songs that connect your brand image and target audience. Focus on playing the right music, while keeping inappropriate or otherwise irrelevant music out of your playlists, and putting your personal preferences aside. Remember that a “current or popular” song to you could register as something completely different in someone else’s mind. 

4. Adapt the music to your business.
Every business is different and connects differently with their guests.  For example, a customer's mindset and mood while frequenting a bar differs from the way they think and feel while working out in a gym, drinking coffee at a café, visiting an office lobby, or shopping at a boutique retail store. Different styles, genres and music options can influence the way customers engage with a business, including how much they spend. 

Tempo, for example, plays a role in creating the right atmosphere and sound aesthetic. Customers tend to do things faster with fast paced music playing in the background. We eat faster, drink faster, and move down the store aisles more briskly - in the same manner that we do things slower with slow paced music playing in the background.

Research also shows that music tempo impacts our perception of time. Faster tempos signal our brains that more time has passed while slower tempos signal the opposite. The impact of tempo on the human subconscious can be a powerful branding tool in many business environments. 

Music familiarity also drives customer behavior. Songs we recognize distract us from the here and now, stealing the attention from our cognitive brains. Distracting your customers with music could be good for your business or bad - it’s all a matter of context. The right music mix may work best pending your objectives, but the power to influence customer behavior through music is key. 

In our subconscious minds, the music we recognize helps us keep track of the number of songs played, which in turn can help us keep track of time. If you want your customers to glance down at their watches and wonder where the time went, then play something familiar. If you want them to slow down or make the time feel as though it’s not passing as quickly, hit them with something unfamiliar.

In a café or a restaurant - with the exception of a rush hour - you typically want customers to settle in, enjoy the ambiance, strike up a conversation, and order a bagel with an extra cup of coffee. So your goal is to play something slow paced and unfamiliar. When rush hour hits - with a limited number of open tables - you can speed up the dining process and cut down on wait time for impatient customers with a fast paced and familiar playlist.

In a shop, you want to avoid disturbing your customers, disrupting their shopping experience, and rushing them out the door. So stay away from tracks that are too fast gympaced in your playlist.

Nobody likes to wait in line, so do your loyal customers a favor by distracting them from the wait as their favorite, familiar songs play in the background. Just remember to keep the pace down to shorten the perceived wait time.

In a gym, turn up the energy with familiar and upbeat music or perhaps a new hip-hop track to give customers a boost and distract them from their sore muscles. In a spa, do the opposite, dial the energy and familiarity down to a minimum and no lyrics helps your customers indulge in complete relaxation.

For some businesses, the right tempo and style of music adjusts throughout the day and week. That’s all the more reason to invest in playlists curated for your specific type of business and schedule them for the hours, days, and weeks ahead, taking your brand sound to the next level.

5. Select the perfect music, playlists, and schedules.

Once you identify the ideal sound for your brand, target audience, and atmosphere, you’re ready to select and customize the perfect playlists for your business.

Simply search and select from Soundtrack’s vast music catalog to access a range of options including business type, atmosphere, genre, time period, and more. You can set and forget your selected playlists, saving you the time to focus on important things like running your business and creating a world class experience for your customers. 

The right collection of playlists and scheduling features can help you plan for the week or month ahead freeing your staff from the stress of updating any off-brand music

For example, you might run a hotel that demands a different music style and atmosphere across the lobby, bar, restaurant, shop, poolside, and more. Whether you need to find the right sound for morning rush hour or evening happy hour or select new playlists for holidays from Cinco de Mayo to Christmas, there are easy options to customize your brand’s experience and sound with the perfect music,  playlists, and schedules. 

6. Remember your staff.
Speaking of your staff, do you know if any off-brand or repetitive background music creates an unnecessary challenge?  If so, elevate the mood in your business or refine the mix in your playlists, particularly before and after business hours. Pending your business operations, you could choose to involve them in the process and invite them to help select the right mix. As members of your front line, your staff may be able to provide insight on what might resonate with customers and guests.  Just remember to share the guidelines that have been established to create your brand sound. 

7. Never stop evolving your sound.
With a sensory input like music - where trends fade and new songs are released - you’ll want to remember to switch things up in order to keep your brand sound fresh. Streamline your process to find new, high-quality music, explore new (or old) tracks from the genres and artists who made the first cut in your playlists. Discover artists with a similar sound or browse professionally-curated playlists for inspiration. Music is an integral component to your brand sound and image, so choosing the solution with the largest licensed music catalog and made for business tools is key.  

No matter what type of background music represents your brand, you can leverage the power of music to improve your customer experience, keep your staff happy, boost your sales, and grow your business.

With Soundtrack Your Brand, you have the flexibility to customize the perfect playlists and required lengths to minimize repetition, curated especially for business use, and take advantage of our advanced scheduling tools, so there’s always something fresh on deck. We deliver the finest music streaming service for businesses that want it all. We deliver the largest selection of overhead music licensing needed to help avoid copyright infringement. 

Get to know Soundtrack Your Brand:

  • Soundtrack Your Brand offers thousands of playlists

  • The largest music library cleared for business use. With a Catalog of over 90 million music tracks, where business owners and leaders have the control to play the right music at the right time.

  • Most streaming services such as Spotify, Youtube, and Apple Music are not licensed for businesses.  

For U.S. and Canadian customers, music performance licenses via Performing Rights Organizations including ASCAP BMI, GMR  licenses are included, so that you can save as you play with Soundtrack Your Brand.

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