All the components of a brand work together to create a complete experience for customers. Most brands focus solely on appealing to consumers visually with colorful logos and imagery and ignore other opportunities to improve how the market perceives them. Developing an auditory identity is an incredibly powerful tool companies can use to stand out, yet it is often underestimated. 

Sounds spark powerful emotions and evoke sentimental reactions. People are often moved by music, which stimulates parts of the brain, provoking physical reactions. Multi-sensory stimulation allows customers to develop a deeper, emotional connection with the brand, increasing loyalty and ultimately your bottom line. 

How Music Choice Contributes to Your Brand

Music is an important branding tool that is underutilized, which allows it to create an even greater impact when used properly. It elicits emotions in unique ways, giving it a powerful place in marketing. The right music choice can elevate a brand in several ways.   

Sets the Right Atmosphere

The right music creates a mood in many businesses, such as stores, restaurants, bank branches, model homes, and anywhere customers congregate. If customers walked into a retail store and were greeted with complete silence, they would leave fairly quickly. 

The wrong kind of music reduces dwell time and could even scare customers away. However, when a brand chooses the right music, potential customers are engaged by an inviting atmosphere. A recent study revealed that shoppers purchased more expensive wine from a wine shop when listening to classical music instead of current hits. The right music can influence customers and increase profits. 

Aligns with Business Goals

Just as logos, imagery, and messaging must align to create a cohesive brand, so should music choice. Customers connect with brands on an emotional level, and the right music creates and reinforces that emotional connection with a target audience. Music can make customers take a desired action while enhancing a brand. Choosing the right music is a matter of determining what connects with a brand’s demographic in a way that encourages an intended outcome. 

Slower, more soothing music may create a relaxing space that makes people want to browse longer, while something more upbeat could lower perceived wait times. Customizing music choices to align with a company’s brand identity and business objectives is a smart move.

Promotes Recognition 

Sounds become an integral part of a brand’s identity and promote recognition even upon hearing only a few notes. Easily identifiable examples include McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign or the T-Mobile chimes. Popular songs or genres used in ad campaigns also become synonymous with the brand if they make a significant impression. Many people hear Sarah McLachlan’s “In the Arms of the Angel” and think of the ASPCA, which immediately evokes images of sad puppies longing to be adopted. Recognizable music quickly becomes a part of a brand’s DNA.  

Speaks to Target Audience 

Just as the right imagery and messaging speak directly to a target audience, the right music for a business will increase sales. When a brand selects music that resonates with their target demographic, they can further personalize the user experience. For example, classical music may not be the preferred music choice for a business catering to pre-teens. Instead, Top 40 tunes allow them to connect.  

Encourages Engagement

Music positively impacts cognitive performance, which can benefit brand engagement. When a consumer hears music, their focus quickly improves, and memory becomes enhanced. This elevated focus allows customers to engage with products and services more effectively, especially in a world full of distractions. Additionally, enjoyable music promotes the release of dopamine, the chemical responsible for pleasure. In a recent study, 81% of customers reported that background music boosted their mood. 

Supports Brand Experience

Brands aim to provide customers with a specific and consistent experience. Music should be incorporated as an important element within that brand identity. Auditory sensory stimulation contributes to the emotional journey of a successful brand.  

Promotes Staff Productivity

Music is not just for customers; it also has positive effects on employees within the workplace. Background music can improve productivity, concentration, creativity, speed, and accuracy of work. Not only that, the right playlists can reduce signs of anxiety by decreasing blood pressure and stress cortisol levels. Listening to music at work resulted in 61% of employees reporting an increase in energy, happiness, and productivity. 

Cross-Cultural Appeal

Deemed a “universal language,” music has the ability to communicate across cultures. Although each culture has innate musical preferences, everyone can appreciate the emotional meanings of certain tracks regardless of language. The powerful addition of music to a brand’s identity can help contribute to international appreciation.  

Define the Sound of Your Brand’s Heartbeat

A brand’s music choice should be as unique as its business. The ideal music for any business should portray brand values as well as speak to their ideal audience. Whether companies use music to build their brand’s image, influence customer behavior, or boost productivity, it is an extremely powerful tool for branding strategy. 

Mitch Bishop is the CMO at Cloud Cover Music, a fast-growing Los Angeles-based streaming music service for business. Cloud Cover Music is the #1-rated digital music service used at tens of thousands of locations every day to delight customers, soothe frayed nerves during the COVID-19 epidemic, and energize employees. Mitch has held executive marketing and sales roles at CloudPassage, Moovweb, iRise, Sybase, and other fast-growing start-ups and is a published book author (IMSA 1969-1989)

Music stock photo by carlos castilla/Shutterstock