Sound track: Using audio to enhance customers’ perception

The Financial Times has  a review of The Sonic Boom, a book that examines "How sound transforms the way we think, we think, feel and buy. The article points out that "the power of a song to transform emotional texture is what Joel Beckerman, a composer who founded Man Made Music, a sonic branding consultancy, calls a “boom moment”: when the right sound played at the right time creates an emotional connection with the listener".  Beckerman explains how marketers and businesses can use sound to influence consumers’ perceptions and behaviour" while noting that "sound is really the emotional engine for any story.”

How music affects for the better productivity in the work place has been acknowledged for some time. A scholarly examination of that was done nearly a decade ago by a Canadian professor, Dr. Teresa Lesiuk who found that those who listened to music completed their tasks more quickly and came up with better ideas than those who didn’t, because the music improved their mood.

Recently, Fast Company ran a story  headlined "How Music Affects Your Productivity". The article mentions a series of experiments that investigated the relationship between the playing of background music during the performance of repetitive work and efficiency in performing such a task. The results give strong support to the contention that economic benefits can accure from the use of music in industry. Yet, a visit to the core operating of areas of many service industries reveal little if any evidence of the lesson being learnt.  Kitchens, with kitchen stewarding in paticular, and other prep areas frequently have a clamor coming from work and the processes therein that are utterly repetitive. The same holds true for most front office operations of hotels which could benefit at two levels where the front desk associates have a fair number of repetitive actions and for the customer as she/he awaits the check-in process.

A hotel company that is considerably ahead of the curve in tuning into the audio needs of customers is the W chain which has a "Global Music Director" whose job includes the  compilation of a collection of songs that is "extremely upbeat, with a relaxing vibe that transitions from bed time to spa time". As the W chain's website notes the "music playing in the background of hotel lobbies, elevators, spas and gyms contributes in a major way to the ambiance of the entire property". 

Published by

Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.