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Choosing Music for your Brand

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Choosing Music for your Brand

Soundscapes and music can trigger an emotional response, so a well thought out music plan to support your brand identity can help create stronger emotional connections to your brand. Stronger emotional connections stay top of mind and you want your customers and community to keep you top of mind! When that happens, the value you offer is easily accessible when the need for your solution arises. 

In this article, you’ll work through how to decide on the soundscapes of your brand.

3 Tips to Using Music for Your Branding and Marketing Strategy 

These three tips dive into client point of view and holistic brand alignment. You’ll  explore how those factors apply to creating and choosing unique music for your brand. By going through this process you’ll have a sound music planning strategy so that customers can’t get you out of their heads. 

Tip 1: Put Yourself In The Clients’ Shoes

Sebastian, the singing crab from the movie The Little Mermaid, was on to something. Remember the scene where Ariel and the prince were floating on a boat in a lagoon? Ariel needed a kiss from her one true love to become human again. So Sebastian set the mood with—music of course! 

To get your customers to buy, you’ve got to set the mood. 

Music influences our mood for better or worse. You can support your target audience, influence their behaviors, and their perception of you with music. That is why it’s vital to get this part of your branding and marketing strategy tuned in. (See what we did there?) 

Scientific studies have shown the validity and importance of choosing appropriate music for branding to influence the behavior of your target audience. It’s no secret that background music influences how long patrons linger in your brick-and-mortar store. 

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And if you’ve ever watched a webinar, you know that music changes how you feel about the presentation. If the music was upbeat and lively, you would probably give positive feedback. If the music was more like house-meets-hold music, you probably wouldn’t give more than a 3-star rating.

Tempo Shifts Shopper’s Energy

One study, from the University of Phoenix, explored music tempo and its effects on shopper responses. The researchers focused on high density retail shopping areas. What did the savvy researchers find? Contrast music to the general “vibe” of the place to keep customers happy.

For example, in a very crowded shopping mall people may become uncomfortable or stressed out. Calming music can balance that energy and keep them shopping longer.

The musical genres most aligned here would be classical, soft pop, smooth jazz, certain types of world music or folk music. The general idea can work the other way around, too. In a less crowded space you may want to keep the energy high to promote excitement, good feelings, and impulse buys versus creating a calming atmosphere which may put your guest in a sleepy or tired mood. A tired customer is probably going to head for the door to take a nap instead of finding more things to purchase after a long day of shopping. 

For many this idea is intuitive, as we’ve all been conditioned to have certain expectations in various environments. You’d never attend a gym that blasted lullabies over the PA system. Of course, if you did that might be your last time at that gym! However, in a yoga studio for example, you’d expect a more relaxed playlist of ambient music. 

Another study of theirs explored the correlation of background music volume and the effects on restaurant patron mood, which was found to influence their food choices. A study found that when customers are relaxed by low volume music, they are more likely to buy healthy foods. High-volume music, however, contributed to changes in customers’ levels of excitement, which enhanced their likelihood of purchasing unhealthy foods.

Tip 2: Be Authentic With Your Music Choices 

It’s important to consider your brand identity. Your brand’s identity is made up of all the various elements to attract your target audience. Most companies have a solid visual brand identity i.e., logo, color, design etc. and either a non-existent, unaligned, or most commonly the cookie-cutter audio identity which is not too different as having a non-existent soundscape. 

People accompany their lives with soundtracks either intentionally or unintentionally. We’ve all heard the cliche “they are playing our song” in some movie or even in real life by associates or close counterparts. This cliché confirms and perpetuates the point that music, certain songs, become so ingrained in our experience, contributing to the memories we develop, either positive or negative. 

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As such, if your company uses a particular tune as part of a marketing strategy for branding, you’re in luck if that tune has either no sentimental value to anyone or positive association for many. The other group of people may have an association with a tune so dreadful it may produce a visceral repellant to your brand. You could have the best product or service in the world but if your best customers have an emotional aversion to your brand well you’re out of luck.

Music branding can promote an association with certain values, as often seen in political campaign advertising. 

Tip 3: Be Innovative 

Considering your brand identity, it’s advantageous to use unique music over stock music or overused samples. You want to create a new experience that only your brand provides. 

One big why, is simply claiming firsts. Everyone likes to be a first or only to something, the novelty and bragging rights gives people a sense of importance. Afterall, only the smartest and brightest can claim first rights, right? 

Companies who apply this idea to the music of their brand come away with unforgettable jingles that people automatically associate with your brand. 

The music of these brands is not pre-created, it’s created for you. You can do the task of creating music yourself with the help of educators on places like Masterclass or specialized interactive online courses. It helps to have someone with a background and knowledge in technical music to add that touch of expertise to your project to help elevate your brand or project. That is what you get at WorkFlora.

The theory at WorkFlora is that the best commercials and advertisements are treated like mini movies. Music is composed and orchestrated to provide that unique sound environment in which you want to invite and nurture your client. Those memorable magical musical moments that provide the foundation for a positive brand association. 

One of the most important and overlooked components of getting unique music compositions created for you is that these musical works can add revenue to your brand with intellectual property buyout agreements. 

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Without boutique music created just for you, you can utilize certain royalty free music, from places like YouTube Audio Library which gives you a free license to use its music, so long as you follow its rules. The drawback to using the library however, is that you have to know the rules, and many people either don’t read the rules, misunderstand the rules or perhaps just ignore the rules. 

Sometimes, it’s just a case of too much to remember especially for independent owner operators who must make so many decisions in any given day. The ones for whom standing out in a sea of noise is imperative to one’s success. For large enterprises and small shops alike, attention to the audio signature of your brand provides that unforgettable factor. At WorkFlora we help brands of all sizes have one less thing to worry about by specializing in helping you be memorable. 

WorkFlora helps you realize your brand’s unforgettable potential with original music created to help you realize your customer journey with innovation and authenticity. 


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MARKETING

Build-A-Bear using data to make itself into an all-ages brand

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Build-A-Bear using data to make itself into an all-ages brand

Build-A-Bear is remaking itself for the 25th anniversary of its founding this year. This means using its experience and its data to appeal to older customers and create stronger online connections.

“The goal that was stated for us was to diversify our brand, evolve our retail portfolio and build stronger relationships with our consumers,” said Ed Poppe, Build-A-Bear’s vice president, loyalty and performance marketing for Build-A-Bear, in a presentation at The MarTech Conference.

That’s why they launched HeartBox, an e-commerce play which the company says will let it move into “the adult-to-adult gift-giving and gift box market which has been meaningfully expanding over the past few years.” This goes along with its new Bear Cave line of “adult” bears (in this case adult means they have alcohol in hand). The brand has also expanded through partnerships with film, entertainment and streaming TV properties like Harry Potter, Pokémon, The Matrix and the Marvel series WandaVision.

These efforts are designed to give more options to customers who buy online, and increase options for engagement. This has required integrating new teams and new sources of data.

Connecting customer data and teams

“Over half of businesses now say that they expect the majority of their revenue to come from digital channels,” said Loretta Shen, senior director, product marketing, marketing cloud intelligence for Salesforce. “To meet changing consumer behavior, marketers are adopting digital channels like video, social media and digital ads across search and paid media. But it’s not just adopting these channels, but how you use them, and in particular how you use them in tandem.”

Build-A-Bear adapted to customers’ increased digital use by adding new digital experiences while also reorganizing customer data to better understand what customers want.

“We have to understand our guests at Build-A-Bear,” said Bryce Ahrens, Build-A-Bear’s senior analyst, CRM, loyalty and performance marketing. “How do they engage with our email, our websites, our advertising and, of course, how do they engage and experience our in-store environment?”

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They keep a large CRM database made up of loyalty program members, website customers, retail customers and sales prospects. Additionally, through access to the CRM, the organization is pulling together different teams: web development, analytics, marketing and also data privacy people.

These teams have to remain connected because data is coming through different systems. Build-A-Bear has a first-party data warehouse, a commerce cloud storefront, an order management system, marketing cloud, an email platform and different analytics solutions, not to mention ad platforms for campaigns.

“We need to be able to bring this information together, prioritize what we look at, and identify strategies to move quickly,” said Ahrens.

Read next: What you need to know to grow your e-commerce business

Count Your Candles

Data and digital experience come together in an ongoing Build-A-Bear effort called “Count Your Candles.”

The promotion is a special offer for customers to order a discounted bear (regularly priced at $14) that costs a dollar amount that matches their age.

The dedicated webpage for this promotion also allows customers and gift-givers to buy gift cards and become loyalty members. Additionally, there are a number of other ways that customers can celebrate birthdays, including in-store birthday parties and special birthday gift boxes that can be ordered and delivered.

These strategies came from marketers looking at the data and seeing what sparked their customers’ interests. In this case, it was birthdays.

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“We’re lucky to have a team up here who wants to jump in and help drive our business forward,” said Poppe. “But it also brings us back to where it’s important to aggregate data, identify patterns, see your opportunities, and pick your path forward.”


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About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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