Four years ago I was staying at the Sofitel Brisbane. I walked in to the room and a song was playing on the TV – “Life is magnifique”. I actually left the song on the TV for much of my stay. I loved it. It fit perfectly with the ambiance and brand values of Sofitel which is as a French luxury hotel where “life is magnifique”.
I tried to get the song, but found it was recorded specifically for Sofitel and wasn’t publicly available. The other day I stumbled across a video clip of it, and I’ve played it over and over again.
Together with my background as an event manager it has always been important for me to understand how, during the customer experience, we reach out to all of the senses.
1. Have ‘some’ audio at the right level
Now it’s not just about having the right music to connect, it’s about having ‘some’ music. I’ve been in to stores where there is NO music. It feels stark. It feels uncomfortable to talk in. Any sudden sound from dropping a plate too heavily to having the phone ring can instantly startle people. No one likes to feel like they’re the only noise in the room. Unless you’re a library, you’ll at least want some ambient sound (it’s not enough to really notice, but it takes the chill off the silence). You might have it at a level where it’s noticeable but doesn’t interrupt conversation, then of course if you’re an entertainment venue you’ll known where your sound levels need to be at.
2. Get the right music
We all have iTunes. Make up a play list that suits the right times of the day, and fits with the values of your business. As yourself, how do I want my clients to feel? Think of your business as a movie scene…you want the right mood to set the scene.
3. Get coverage correctly positioned
You may have areas of the customer experience where you want your audio levels to be quieter (like service areas) and louder (like on the street to get the vibe). But I’ve seen some businesses that are too loud in one area and almost silent in the next.
4. Don’t promote your competitors
Don’t use a radio station if your competitors advertise on it flat out. The last thing you want to do when you’re trying to immerse customers in your brand is to have your competitors name bouncing in!
5. Make a memory
I’ve stayed in a lot of different hotels, but as soon as I heard the Sofitel song again, I immediately remembered the time I had in Brisbane, what the room looked like, the lounge on the top floor, the gym, the restaurant for breakfast. All of that experience was aligned too – Magic and magnifique. The sensory experience of my time at Sofitel came flooding back to me. So understand that music takes people back to memories so make sure the experience they remember is good enough to have them raving about you.
Now…here’s the song if you’d like to listen. Still not available other than on this clip:
If you enjoyed this blog, you might like to read ‘Is your brand on the nose?‘