Sound Communication: The Holdcom Blog

How to Choose Appropriate Overhead Music

Store at the mall using business music servicesMusic has endless variations—genres, tempos, time periods, instruments, vocals—all of which appeal to different people and have differing impact. When deciding what kind of background music to play in a retail store, fitness center, hotel, or other property, it’s important to keep in mind that not every song is right for every business. By defining your brand, audience, marketing messages, and industry, you’ll be able to easily select appropriate overhead music.

  1. Define Your Brand. What words would you use to describe your business and brand? Maybe you’re “youthful and energetic,” “serene and reassuring,” or “hip and trendy.” Whatever the case, the words you use to define your brand are the same words you can use when selecting background music. 

  2. Consider your audience. Maybe you and your customers are a lot alike, and you eat the same kind of food, talk the same way, and listen to the same radio stations. Or maybe you are very different, and you prefer Opera while they love the new Lady Gaga album. The key to choosing the most effective music is knowing your customer base and understanding what they want to hear.

  3. Match your marketing messages. Do you play overhead announcements that are interspersed between music selections? Are you considering it? If so, you should first consider pre-recording announcements for clarity. Next, decide what your messages will be so that you can choose complimentary music. Holiday messages? Use Holiday Music. Springtime specials? Pick something light and fresh. Listen to a demo of your voice talent, and match their style, age, and tone, so your music is consistent and seamlessly blends with your message.

  4. Check out what music is popular in your industry. Define the genres, styles, and tempos that are working for other businesses, and use this knowledge to select the type of music that will also work for you.

  5. Ask. If you're just not sure what's right, you can always ask around. Ask your staff, because they'll be listening to your ambient music all day long. Ask your customers, because overhead music contributes tremendously to the in-store experience. You can't go wrong if you choose music that your employees and customers agree upon. 

Background music is part of an overall overhead marketing program. When added to marketing messages, overhead music can increase efficacy and improve customer satisfaction. It’s an important step for a business trying to increase sales and establish itself as a brand.


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Tags: overhead announcements, tips, music