What not to play on your in-store audio channel

05Aug10

For the most part, the music that you hear in retail stores, restaurants and other venues tends to skew towards the conservative side of things. After all, why risk pissing off the majority of your shoppers just to have a small segment of customers think you’re cool? But sometimes a store decides to throw logic out the window, and creates a playlist that has everyone shaking their heads.

I saw — or rather, heard — this exact scenario last weekend. Despite being in a fairly sophisticated store, someone decided to replace the usual in-store audio tracks with a series of rather questionable songs. How would I describe them? Let’s just say the songs would be a good fit for one of the love scenes in an “Austin Powers” movie.

This leads me to a few recommendations about the types of songs to avoid within a public or semi-public environment:

– Songs that are obviously about sex or violence

– Songs that are filled with explicit lyrics

– Songs that make you feel like you just walked into a funeral

Anybody with the tiniest shred of common sense would already to know to steer clear of this type of audio. But if venues are going to put totally clueless people in charge of in-store music decisions, it might serve them well to give these recommendations to their staff, and remind those employees that bad music really does drive customers away.



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