To better understand sound masking, imagine you’re looking at a playground through your office window.
Let’s face it, if you’ve been to a chain restaurant in one city, it’s going to have the exact same interior and menu when you visit its sister restaurant a few states over. However, while the facilities themselves may appear similar, the guests at their tables can look very different.
Background music is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Every business is different as are the customers they serve, and choosing the right music—or unfortunately the wrong music—can have long-term consequences in terms of consumer behavior. In fact, according to The Gallop Organization, 86% of customers say overhead music reflects the atmosphere of a retail outlet and impacts their purchasing decisions.
From mixtapes in the 80s to the personal streaming radio playlists of today, people curate what they listen to based on certain attributes. Sure, they may like a song because it’s catchy, but more often than not, there’s a more cerebral element to it—a song may remind them of that college bar they always went to or its beat propels them to run faster on a treadmill.