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Choosing Background Music for Your Venue

Selecting background music for your business can be a tricky and time-consuming task. Unless you’re someone with experience in music for business or you have a particularly creative flair, it can be hard to know where to start; should you have vocal or instrumental music? Catchy and energetic, or subtle and soft? And where to even begin with BPM!

Realistically, music is a key component that venue managers can’t afford to ignore. Just like the decor and lighting, music is essential to building the ambience and, if not kept consistent to the brand, could be harmful to your business’s reputation and sales.

To help business owners understand the art of achieving a great music solution for their venues, Startle’s 360° Profiling Manager, James, has given us an insight into how to create playlists and achieve well-profiled music for a variety of businesses.

What’s the first thing you do when creating a playlist for a brand?
The first thing I do is thoroughly read the brief provided and have a good, in-depth discussion with the customer about their requirements. Clarity is crucial to ensure that I fully understand their expectations, can provide the best possible playlists, and am not at risk of misinterpreting any information.

What do you need to know about a business in order to create them a bespoke catalogue of background music?
Most importantly, you must find out how a business wants to be perceived. What kind of message do they want to portray to their customers? What is their goal position within the market? Where a company is and where a company wants to be are always two different things. For me, Startle is there to assist our customers in reaching that vision.

How do you manage the music for businesses that have varying clientele and trading patterns?
Startle’s music profilers discuss varying clientele and trading patterns with our customers early on to provide a much more tailored soundtrack. Music is split into several parts depending on time of day, day of the week, seasons, special occasions and desired dwell-time. We work closely with our 360° Profiling clients to really identify the finer details of a venue’s trading, and do everything we can to ensure that the music is perfect at every possible moment.

How do you work with customers to ensure they’re happy with the music you’re providing?
Before committing to our playlists, all of our 360° Profiling customers get the chance to sample and review their music. This provides the opportunity for a customer to make any desired changes and ensure that we are on the right track.

Regular communication and feedback are also key. I maintain a great relationship with my clients, providing them with opportunities to discuss any problems or new ideas!

Why is it so important to get in-venue music right?
Music has much more of an impact on customer behaviour than you would think. Creating synergy between the goods and services offered and the environment in which they are sold is where music comes in. Getting it right creates a seamless, memorable customer experience.

What's more, the wrong music in a venue is very easy to spot and can be unbearable! Recently I was in a branch of a large chain of coffee shops and upon the first few seconds of entering the store, I knew the music was mismatched. Upbeat, synth heavy, instrumental house was playing, creating a complete discord between the environment and what you heard. As a result, I didn’t stay long - I got what I wanted and left to enjoy my coffee elsewhere!


Visit Startle's new 360° Profiling page to learn more about how professional music profiling can be the difference between 'good' and 'great' music!