Shop local: Using music to highlight store types and local culture

Now that you know how music acts as a design element in your space and have the basic framework of your Music Position, let’s talk about Store Types and Regional influences. No matter the type, stores should actively seek to heighten Brand Awareness, provide Clear Market Positioning, and create a Memorable Offline Experience.

A flagship store is usually the most extensive splendid brand environment, with a highly curated range of products. Since a flagship is the grandest expression of the brand story, this is where you want to express brand mastery and experiment with bold music statements. The music should be expressive with a range of tempos and intensities to cater to swells in foot traffic. Flagships are great places for additional music initiatives, like events with live performances and DJs.

Showrooms are generally focused on presentations to smaller groups or even one-on-one. The music is calmer, and the nuance is more perceptible and softer in a less distracting setting. This is an excellent opportunity to express the lifestyle that the brand espouses.

Pop- Up Store is a quick gesture of the brand story. The music has to capture the brand in a few broad strokes! These spaces are usually smaller with less product and design detail, so the music can be more intense, take the reigns as a solid focal point, and create a sense of excitement. The pop-up may have a topic or theme since this store type is closer to an advertisement and an experiential marketing exercise. This is a time and place to experiment or make a focused brand statement. The playlist can be shorter and more concentrated on hyper-current or cutting-edge artists. 

Outlets can range in size, so we want to know the store’s size and the foot traffic. The music in larger stores should pick up the pace, and vice versa if you have a smaller floor plate. Music can make an outlet feel like a more upscale location by playing the same music as in prime locations; this makes the entire brand feel more elevated. 

Franchise locations need to have an easily digestible music program. There’s no room for experimentation at the franchise level; you need a confident music position with simple gestures and no surprises or sudden moves. While the franchises aren’t making brand decisions, the music is where a brand can learn more about its audience. Once open, franchises provide valuable feedback about what works or doesn’t work at the store level. This is a place to include more perspectives, broaden the brand message and be inclusive.

Regional musical highlights are essential for all store types, so consider how regional favorites will fit your overall Music Position. However, playing local hits can throw your Audio Branding exercise to the wind. Be aware of the tempo, intensity, and market position of the tracks; careful not to be kitchy because authenticity is golden, and make sure it fits with the store size and product density. 

More from our blog