Establish your brand and enhance the customer experience using the power of music

From branding to sound systems - New World Trading Company gives us their top tips on how music can change your business

We’ve recently teamed up with Start-Up Donut, a website designed to help businesses succeed, from the initial idea to the grand opening. Donut have a number of successful podcasts that are aimed at business owners and those looking to start up their own business and provide advice and guidance to operate successfully.

Our recent podcast with Donut was led by Liam Wood from New World Trading Company (NWTC) who are known for several well-known brands across the UK including the Botanist which currently has 29 venues nationwide. Liam discusses how they use music to enhance the customer experience and develop their brand by carefully selecting the right music for their customers. Using years of experience, Liam shares the important elements of creating a good customer experience and advises businesses to ‘set the stage’ for their brand.

The power of music.

Music can have a significant impact on enhancing your customer experience, from retail to restaurants and beyond. It acts as a powerful tool that can influence your customers mood, behaviour, and even spending habits. By being strategic with your playlists, you can create an atmosphere that complements the brand identity, enhances the ambiance and gives your customers a memorable experience. Music has the ability to set the tone and impact the overall satisfaction of guests.

The elements of a good customer experience.

Liam believes that the customer experience is the sum of all parts and its important how you consider it. Firstly, think about how you want your customers to view your business, brand or product and consider every single touch point that a customer may experience from the moment they walk into your business to when they leave. Consider covering all the senses a customer will experience, such as what they see when they walk past, the smell, the lighting and what they hear and how it makes them feel.

Why is having the right music important in my business?

At the Botanist venues, music plays a huge role in providing a great customer experience and it helps underpin and tell the story of their brand- “it sets the tone for you in such a powerful way that imagery doesn’t always do on its own, so it can really change your position”. Liam also mentions that they use music to re-position themselves by emphasising that they shift the music throughout the day which means they can capture different customer types by doing so.

Liam’s advice to businesses looking to play music in their business is to have a strategy and carefully select the music they play. There are several things you could consider before mastering your playlists to tell your customers the right story and enhance their overall experience.

  • Consider your brand or product- what is it you want to do?
  • How do you want people to perceive your business?
  • What are you trying to say with your product or brand?

Once you’ve identified your messaging, then think about your audience:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What’s your customer base?
  • Who is it you’re trying to target?
  • What do they want to see?
  • What do they want to hear?

Once you’ve identified the above, you could research your competitors or brands you’re aspiring to be to see what kind of music they’re playing, then once you’re a more established brand you can begin to get customer feedback about the tracks you play. Ultimately, you can connect the music to the product or experience you want your customers to have.

The next steps: sound systems

Once you’ve attained your music licence, the next thing you’ll want to consider is a sound system for your premise. Depending on your business, you’ll want to ensure you have a good sound system located around the store or venue that allows your customers and colleagues to enjoy the music from all areas. Although buying a sound system for your business to play music may seem expensive and daunting, Liam assures that “you don’t have to have loads of stuff or spend loads of money on it either. As we’re hospitality venue’s we are very budget conscious, so we have a balance between getting decent stuff for not a huge amount of money”.

Once you’ve identified what music you want to play in your business, consider the placement of the speakers so it fills the space nicely and is right for you and your customers. For example, if you’re a café or small restaurant, you could have a stand-alone speaker.

Hosting live music in your business

Live music can be very emotive and can help connect the music to all of your customers senses. Live music for the Botanist works really well and ties nicely into their brand, “it’s dialled up to 10 when you’ve got live music, people absolutely love it, and it can add so much more”.

Not only can hosting live music events in your venue encourage customers to show up, stay longer and return, but it also allows you as a business to make great contacts in the music industry. By giving local artists the opportunity to perform at your venue, you’re not only aiding their career but utilising a talented artist as part of your brand, and if your customers respond well to them, you could have the artist as a regular performer which will give them a fan base- which in turn will mean repeat customer visits.

If you’re a new business or a venue celebrating milestones, you could use live entertainment as a means of celebration as it adds that extra something special to your big night, such as a launch party!   

The Botanist’s Liam Wood’s comment on TheMusicLicence:

“It’s really important that you do the research properly and have a little look. If you play any kind of music or you’re performing you’ve got live performances or whatever, generally you are going to need a licence for it. Not just because the record labels want you to because they want to, it’s law. There’s a copyright law that says you have to do it and it’s just to make sure then whoever has the rights to that music and whoever created this piece of art essentially, gets the recognition and the rewards to do it as well. I think there’s a perception that the music industry is just full of money but actually there’s plenty of artists, even artist you might know that don’t always get you know the recognition or the money that they deserve for the art they produce. 

Good news, it’s very straightforward, so there’s a company, PPL PRS, they look after licensing, the two companies joined forces and there’s some very handy called TheMusicLicence, you can see where they got their name, so that’s what we have and that allows you to legally play music for various things, you know, if you have the radio on, a TV in the background, it covers all of these things for all of that so you can do it legally and make sure everyone is represented.

They make sure that all of the bit of the other end of making sure artists are looked after, they do all of that for you, you’ve done your bit there.”

Liam’s 3 takeaway tips for using music successfully in your new business:

  1. Remember the subtle power of senses that can influence your customers decisions, particularly sound, meaning music is one of the most powerful tools. However, take into account all of the sights and the smells as well.
  2. Know your brand and your target customers, and with that, be very deliberate and join those dots together to get the right kind of music to match your customer experience.
  3. Do it right. Do it with integrity. If you’re playing repertoire music or hosting live events, ensure you have your music licence from PPL PRS. Invest in the right equipment, and if you’re doing live music, make sure you look after the artists as part of your team.



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