Using Music To Build Customer Loyalty

Music is powerful. It connects with consumers to create unforgettable experiences, generates customer loyalty, and enhances a brand. For years, retailers have used in-store music to make customers feel comfortable and spend more time and money in their stores.

But in today's saturated marketplace, brands are paying closer attention to their core customer and focusing on building that relationship -- both inside and outside the retail environment. Branded music strategies are perking the ears of shoppers and changing people's perception of what a retail brand can be and how a brand is an integral part of their lifestyle.

Savvy retailers know they can reach their customers by providing both in-store and other lifestyle-oriented musical experiences. When retailers align their customers' music preferences with Web sites, social media, and special events they create a consistent strategy and experience across a variety of touchpoints, thus increasing the effectiveness of the message.



When consumers can personally relate a brand to their lifestyle, they are more likely to become loyal shoppers. According to a report in the Journal of Marketing, 70% of 560 retail customers said they preferred stores where music was playing, and 63% said they either "purchased more" or "probably purchased more" in stores with music.

One recent example of a successful branding music strategy comes from an interactive campaign by one of our clients, a major clothing retailer, that resonated with its customers by tying together fashion and music. The retailer produced four promotional events in connection with SXSW, Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza music festivals.

The multifaceted approach also tied the events to our client's Web site and social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter. Online streaming video, VIP event updates, performances, interviews and online blogging were also incorporated to further enhance their exclusive experience.

Many variables are constructed to produce an interactive campaign, including customer demographics and their general likes and dislikes, brand values, current pop culture and media trends. Music designers and marketers work together to study a brand in order to define the right music experience; tempos, textures, styles, lyrics, and attitude are all essential considerations.

A thorough strategy also incorporates various ways to interact with the consumer, whether via Web sites and social media sites or through text messages, concerts and other traditional outlets. A complete music branding strategy ensures that both the in-store and out-of-store efforts are consistent and convey the same message. Done correctly, this impact can enforce the consumer's loyalty and perception of the brand.

Incorporating music into a branding campaign is challenging because of licensing and copyright restrictions. Keeping up with complex music licensing requirements is nearly impossible for today's retailers. But noncompliance means a risk of legal action in federal court and potentially costly penalties.

This is why a brand should work with a company that already has licensing capabilities to achieve a fully interactive campaign. The right strategic music partner can ease the way for a brand to incorporate music into their marketing campaigns.

Fully integrated music strategies and execution, including both in-store and out-of-store campaigns, are developing momentum. Brands are gaining an understanding of the value of reaching their customers in new ways such as interactive content and lifestyle events.

The possibilities are endless, and with the right partner to bring the content together with licensing approval, a brand has the ability to differentiate itself and drive customer loyalty in an increasingly competitive market.

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