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    The impact of music on businesses in public places #1

    Music is important for businesses in public places such as shops, restaurants and more. However, it’s not only important to play music. It’s important to play ‘the right music’, i.e. music that fits the brand or business profile, at the right volume. Then consumers will stay longer, re-visit, recommend your business to others as well as buy more from you. But music is not only of value for businesses in public places, it has a positive impact on workplaces as well; it makes workplaces more relaxed and your employees more productive.

    These are some of the results our survey reveals, conducted on 1000 Swedes between the ages of 16-64. The respondents in the survey have been asked questions about the impact of music on their everyday lives, public places and at work (public places is used as a generic term for businesses such as shops, shopping malls, supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, transportation services, sports stadiums, gym and workplaces).

    The results from the survey are published in a report in Swedish, Myten om musik besannad: En undersökning om musikens betydelse för verksamheter i offentlig miljö (Uncovering a musical myth: A survey on music’s impact in public spaces). Below are some of the results.

    The importance of music for people in their everyday lives

    As regards the importance of music to people, music is ranked as more difficult to live without in everyday life than sports, movies and newspapers. Music also beats TV, radio, arts and literature. Only Internet and mobile phones are ranked higher.


    More than 6 out of 10 say that music is important or very important to them in their lives. As for 16-24 year olds, that figure rises to 74%.


    The impact music has on businesses in public places

    As regards businesses, the survey reveals that ‘the right music’ makes almost 4 out of 10 stay longer in a business in a public place. That figure rises to 50% when it comes to 16-24 year olds. Further, 31% of all people return to a business in a public place which plays music that is appreciated by the visitor, or consumer. 21% recommend the business to others and 14% also say they buy more.

    What music is it that is appreciated then? Which music is ‘right’, from the consumers’ point of view?

    First and foremost, the music that is played in a shop or a restaurant for example, has to have the right volume. Secondly, it has to match the business’ profile, or brand. It is less important that the music corresponds to the consumers’ personal taste or that it hits the radio charts and they recognise it.

    It’s important or very important that the music played in a shop or at a restaurant…


    The survey further reveals that ‘the wrong music’, as in noisy or irritating, makes 44% of consumers and visitors leave a business and 38% wont come back. Almost 4 out of 10 also say that ‘the wrong music’ makes them buy less.

    The impact music has on employees and workplaces

    As regards music in workplaces, more than 6 out of 10 people and as many as 8 out of 10 16-24 year olds listen to music everyday, or at least once a week when they’re at work.

    66% of those who listen to music everyday, or at least once a week, think that music affects them in a positive or very positive way at work. Almost 50% of the 16-24 years olds say they love to listen to music at work, and just as many say that music makes them more productive while they’re working. Further, 43% of all people say that music makes the work environment more relaxed. As regards 16-24 year olds, that figure rises to 56%.


    You find more results here.

    Download full report

    (Note: the full report is in Swedish)


    Coachella Top Lists

    Eric Welles Nyström, member of the Heartbeats Movement and our man at this year’s Coachella, gives you his ‘Top Lists’ in regards to bands and brands performing at the music festival in California.

    Best Brand Investments

    • Adidas & Jeremy Scott… Following last year’s success at Frank Sinatra’s old house in Palm Springs, this year’s party was by far the most anticipated and desired of all offsite events. Starting with a secret shuttle transportation from Palm Spring’s Museum of Art (another renown piece of architecture in the city) the party was hosted at Elvis Presley’s old estate (!!!), the night went down with Robyn DJing, Kanon Organic Vodka drinks and an installation of Jeremy Scott’s Teddy Bears that made people go nuts at the end. In short, the perfect brand event, put together by LA agency People’s Revolution.
    • teddys
    • The Creator’s Project, sponsored by Vice and Intel… By far the biggest and most complex initiative of any brand-related events at Coachella, it was executed just as well onsite as it is communicated online. Besides numerous impressive art installations across the festival grounds, the initiative also featured onstage collaborations with Animal Collective, Interpol and Arcade Fire, and incredible visual work beside the stages. On top of that, they even booked a number of young and yet equally cool bands from China and Brazil.


    3 Best Performances

    • Robyn and her non-stop, breathtaking live performance… robyn.com
    • robyn
    • Nosaj Thing and his incredible visual show… nosjathing.com
    • Magnetic Man, who’s tight video and audio performance blew everyone’s mind away (including bystanders), in similar style to Nosaj Thing. myspace.com/magneticman

    3 Best artist styles

    • The one and only Erykah Badu…
    • erykah61
    • Twin Shadow’s George Lewis Jr…
    • Chromeo and their backup singers, in wonderful Robert Palmer tradition…
    • chromettes


    3 most interesting new products

    • IMakeMyCase and their futuristic, on-demand case-making robot… custom.case-mate.com
    • Mutewatch and their touchscreen watch, which saw love from a number of DJs, stage engineers and artists stylists… mutewatch.com
    • mutewatch
    • Native shoes and their perfect festival shoe, which was as light and comfortable as the so hated Croc, but as elegant as any sneaker… nativeshoes.com


    3 not-so-surprising surprises

    • Kanye West and his ego, which harshly cancelled all rumours of Coachella finishing in an epic manner of guest appearances by Daft Punk, Jay-Z and Rhianna. Alone onstage for almost the whole performance, Kanye’s show also lacked live instruments and live back-up vocals
    • Ariel Pink and his mental state, which lead to a break down at the end of his set…
    • Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig popping in on Chromeo’s show, to perform their great new track ‘ Wouldn’t It Be Nice’



    Verena Dauerer, who is a member of the Heartbeats Movement, divides her time between Tokyo and Berlin. She works as an editor at the intersection of technology with design/art/fashion/film. She is also freelancing for the Japan Times and BBC Radio. Read about the latest marketing trends in Tokyo, the Japanese ‘keitai’, innovative and memorable campaigns from 2010, and much more.

    Get your copy of Heartbeats Trend Report : Tokyo


    10 Most Read Articles on Sounds Like Branding in 2010


    We welcome 2011 by giving you the ten most read articles published here in 2010. Enjoy reading!

    1. The Manual - How to build a successful strategy to interest brands

    2. Heartbeats in conversation with Gerd Leonhard

    3. How to use social media in the music industry

    4. Marketing with a higher purpose

    5. How to turn a customer into a fan

    6. The Sounds like Branding beta version is yours for a tweet

    7. Lady Gaga - living proof of music branding

    8. A new marketing mix for the 21st century: 4Es (with audio)

    9. Heartbeats Trend Report : New York

    10. The philosophy of the four Es – why brands need to embrace this model in their marketing


    British Indie Musicians Depicted on Building Walls

    Footwear company Converse is well-known for its projects focusing on art, music and culture. This time they pay tribute to influential musicians by promoting indie music genres with street art.


    Recently Converse partnered with graffiti collective Monorex to paint the city walls of the UK, paying tribute to influential British musicians such as Bernard Sumner and Paloma Faith, amongst others. London, Brighton, Manchester and Glasgow are getting their murals done.

    Converse also got indie artists to record four versions of the song Didn’t Know What Love Was. As well as that, they are putting on a series of free parties throughout the UK. The parties take inspiration from iconic genres of British music, from punk to Britpop to dubstep, with support from Vice.


    Marketing with a higher purpose

    Not so long ago, brands wanted nothing but the big bands – to promote their (often big) brands. Today however, global companies such as Diesel, Mountain Dew (Pepsi) and Converse have adopted the ‘exploration strategy’, to reach the crowd and build their own fanbases.

    Many things have changed within the music industry during the last fifteen years or so. The business is growing increasingly diverse as music fans enjoy a wide range of platforms to consume music. In the 80s and 90s most brands strictly wanted the big bands to promote their brands, because only they would generate the desired customer attention and raise sales (brand managers thought). Now however, brands have started to adopt what we at Heartbeats refer to as the ‘exploration strategy‘. Instead of spending loads of money on our time’s counterparts to Michael Jackson, Prince or Madonna, brands choose to promote new and up-coming talents, the superstars of tomorrow.


    An early adopter of this strategy is fashion brand Diesel, with Diesel:U:Music (D:U:M), launched 10 years ago, as a yearly unsigned music talent award and a worldwide support network with new artists, labels, radio stations, journalists and producers across the world. Recently D:U:M partnered with Sonicbids, a music gig discovery and booking website, to launch Diesel’s Stupid for Music World Cup in celebration of D:U:M’s 10th anniversary. In World Cup style, indie bands battle for a chance to win not only prizes from Diesel, but a professional PR campaign, music video production and recording session as well.

    Another brand that has adopted the ‘exploration strategy’ is Mountain Dew (Pepsi) with record label Green Label Sound, where the brand gives away free downloads and promotes new artists and bands - giving their audience something more than just a soft drink.


    Yet, another example of a brand exploring undiscovered artists and musicians is Converse with its Get Out Of The Garage contest, as well as its global creative project ‘You’re It’, launched earlier this year.

    New technology has definitely opened the door for these kind of marketing strategies. However, it’s not enough to only be present at places where the audience is, or own a platform. Rather, marketing needs a higher purpose. A number of brands have understood this, and they are now building the fanbases of tomorrow, yet there are many that still have a long way to go… The ‘exploration strategy’ is one proven path to take.

    Written by: Sara Zaric


    Brands playing with original music to engage customers

    More and more brand marketers are playing with original music to engage their customers. Our last example was Coca-Cola and how the beverage company successfully used music (K’Naan’s Wavin’ Flag) during the World Cup.

    This summer we’ve also noticed Levi’s Pioneer Sessions, Nike’s remake of Umbabarauma, aka 1976’s Ponta de Lança Africano (Umbabarauma) by Jorge Ben, and Converse’s original All Summer tune, to mentions a few interesting cases.