Music is important. “Music caresses our soul”, is sometimes said. Many business leaders underestimate the effect that music can have on the brand identity or your business. But how do you make sure that music can indeed strengthen that direct connection?
Music stimulates different zones in the brain. It creates a direct link with our emotions. Music that we recognise also evokes associations with the past. In our brains, these memories make us feel happier because of the security of feelings we know. When we hear music from our childhood, researchers have found that the listeners had less awareness of waiting, which means that music can literally “enrapture” us.
When our brain recognises the rhythm in music, it stimulates the part that controls our movements and speed of movement. In 1922, the American general George Owen Squier observed that his workers were more productive when music was played. So, music makes us move. A study in the Rituals shops showed that the higher the rhythm of the background music, the busier the shop was perceived to be. When the music was slower, customers had the feeling that there were fewer people in the shop.
What do you do in a hair salon? With music, you decide whether you want to be a relaxing haven for your customers, or rather a dynamic environment. With quiet music, clients will feel that there is a more individualistic approach. If we play music of 60 beats per minute, this corresponds to our heartbeat, we come to rest. With up-tempo music, you create more of a community feeling. So, you can very clearly use music to communicate your mission and even your target group. You can perfectly programme music that says to certain target groups “This hair salon is not for you” or even better “Listen, dear customer, if you like this music, we understand each other”.
An important additional factor for hairdressers is that music can “mask” silence and unpleasant background noise. When nobody is talking and there is a silence, this can be experienced as uncomfortable by some customers. When customer and hairdresser are having a conversation, music can ” isolate ” their dialogue. When hairdryers are running at full speed, music, at the right level, can make these sounds less prominent and less disturbing.
The fact that Starbucks offers special music programmes to its customers, that Pepsi Cola already did business with no one less than Michael Jackson years ago, was because people were already convinced then that music creates a very strong emotional bond between your “brand” and the customer. Perfectly programmed background music in your hair salon creates a stronger bond with your business, good feelings in the customer’s mind, and your own.