Sonos Pro Editorial Team
Quality products and services aren’t enough to set your business apart from the competition — the modern customer wants quality experiences. Filling your space with consistent sights, smells, and sounds helps amplify your brand and drive strong emotional connections to your business.
As a restaurant, retailer, hospitality, or fitness franchise owner, you know how integral sound is to establishing an atmosphere: the inviting hum of music that fills your locations, sets the mood, and helps customers connect with your brand in a more intimate, emotional manner.
Now the question is: how do you get it right? Music streaming for businesses is more complex than it is for individuals. You’ve probably noticed difficulties in these key areas:
- Integrating different tools and devices
- Inconsistent brand experiences
- Lack of cross-location oversight
- Distracted employees
Each of these factors has a negative impact on your business through unexpected costs, reduced employee productivity, and, most importantly, indirectly by the experience you strive to provide to your patrons.
Streaming music for businesses — bring together company, customer, and culture
The impact of music on consumer decisions in restaurant selection and retail purchasing behavior is profound. A two-part study of 550 shoppers found that the presence of music increases the amount of time and money spent by customers. These findings have been replicated across both the retail and hospitality industries.
So, whether you run a chain of luxury fashion stores or are looking to successfully scale a trending taco spot, creating a consistent sound experience within and across each location is the key to creating an atmosphere that drives more sales.
In the same breath, many businesses still treat music as an afterthought — relying on makeshift sound systems and playlists.
How businesses get caught up in the noise
Creating a consistent atmosphere is not as simple as setting up a few speakers and pressing play on your favorite music app. Not only can this lead to inconsistent customer experiences and reduce your ability to efficiently manage the sound of your brand, but the reduced foot traffic and sales can actually impact your bottom line.
Here are some of the key contributors to poor music streaming experiences for retail businesses and restaurants.
Inconsistent sound systems lead to inconsistent experiences
Inconsistencies in the atmosphere of a restaurant or retail store can be jarring for customers, who then don't know what to expect when they walk through your doors. Will the music be too loud for conversation? Does the tempo feel too rushed? Is there going to be any music at all?
These inconsistencies are typically the result of one of two things: businesses using different hardware setups across locations or locations not using the same music catalog and settings.
By now you’ve probably realized that the hardware you use in your business — the speakers — are fundamental to the quality of your sound experience. Even the most meticulously curated playlist is going to fall flat for customers if the pieces aren’t integrated with the architecture.
Finding the right sound system is especially important for growing businesses. You may have a setup that works well for a flagship location, but how are you going to replicate that experience across two, five, or even a dozen different stores with different spatial constraints?
Managing a jury-rigged sound system may be sustainable for your first few locations, but it’s a lot more difficult to provide consistent sound beyond that.
Finding the right sound system is just step one. Once all the speakers are set up, you still need to find the right music. For most business owners it comes down to this question: What type of music are you going to play in your space — and which app will you use to stream it?
You have to consider whether you have the rights to the music you stream in your commercial space. Playing music in your place of business is different from listening to music in your home. Generally, playing music in retail, hospitality, and restaurant environments requires commercially licensed music.
Commercial music streaming services offer a turn-key solution for business owners by providing pre-licensed music that is legal to play in commercial spaces like retail stores and restaurants. Investing in a catalog of commercially-licensed music for your business means worry-free streaming across all your locations.
Maintaining oversight across locations
As your business expands, it's not just product and service quality that you need to maintain, but experiences as well. Creating a uniform atmosphere across locations is key, but to achieve this you need to be able to monitor and manage your sound.
If you run multiple retail stores or restaurants, you likely check in across your locations to ensure the quality and consistency of your products and services — whether it's the taste and presentation of your food to the packaging and product displays of your merchandise.
Well, you need to do the same for your music.
But with all the other things you have to manage, visiting each location to ensure the volume, playlists, and sound experience match is time-consuming.
Employees spend too much time managing
An improvised setup not only disrupts the ambiance of your locations but can directly impact the customer’s experience by consuming valuable employee time. Instead of focusing on key tasks and providing the best customer service possible, your staff finds themselves running back and forth to manage the sound.
The best music streaming solutions for businesses alleviate your staff from the administrative burden of managing your brand’s sound — freeing them up to support your customers and provide a better experience.
Take control of your brand's sound
So, now that you know about the common pitfalls of business music streaming, it’s time to learn how you can take control of your brand’s sound — whether you have five locations or 500.
Crafting this consistent brand experience across multiple locations might seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.
You need a unified music strategy where your hardware, music, and system work in harmony to provide consistent, quality sound. The best practices for curating playlists and music selection involve understanding your customer demographics, the desired atmosphere, and the brand image you wish to project.
Streamlining music management with a centralized platform is a game-changer. It eliminates inconsistencies, reduces the management hassle, and ensures a seamless brand experience across all your locations.
Choosing the right sound solution
By now you’re aware that creating a complete sound experience for your business — one that drives purchases and keeps customers coming back — involves a lot more than just streaming music.
Sure, you need a catalog of commercially-licensed music to create the perfect vibe, but a lot more than music goes into maintaining and evolving a sound experience that amplifies your brand across multiple locations.
When selecting the sound solution for your business, be on the lookout for these four benefits:
Remote monitoring and management
You’re running a multi-location business, the last thing you need is to spend valuable time physically checking in on each store to ensure the sound is right.
Content access and system control
For most business owners, getting access to a catalog of music that can be legally played is priority one. You want access to licensed music from indie artists or top acts who can help define your brand sound.
But to provide that truly great ambiance that keeps customers coming back, you need a system that lets you limit access to only your most trusted employees and even gives you ultimate control over everything — from volume levels to start and stop times. The best part? You don’t need any technical experience.
Premium product support
If you’re in the middle of a dinner rush or holiday sale and your sound system acts up, the last thing you need is an unresponsive support team. You’ve already spent time and money setting up the hardware and investing in a catalog of music, so why stop there?
Give yourself peace of mind with a complete sound service solution that can help you navigate issues with licensed content, hardware updates and repairs, and system support.
The overall sound experience
The sound experience in your stores is the result of three things: the hardware, the music, and the amount of control you have over both. Popular music streaming options provide the music, but they don’t give businesses the rest of the tools to create a truly great sound experience.
What's crucial is a solution that offers more than just music streaming — it should provide comprehensive control over your brand's sound.
Amplify your brand with Sonos Pro
With Sonos Pro, you have the power to customize and control the music in each of your locations from a centralized platform — bringing you the hardware, licensed content, and system control you need to create amazing sound experiences.
As the pioneer of multiroom audio, Sonos provides top-tier sound experiences that improve the vibrance and ambiance of any space. The speakers are also simple to set up and run, so you don’t need a high degree of technical expertise. Well, these Sonos products are now available in a packaged solution that helps integrate them into your business structures.
Sonos Pro lets you select from a catalog of commercially licensed content so you can find music that resonates with your brand. It integrates with Sonos Backgrounds, Soundtrack Your Brand, Mood, and other catalogs of music that are fully licensed for commercial use, so you can play your favorite genres worry-free.
With the Sonos Pro dashboard, you can schedule when and where music plays, and adjust volume levels to suit the time of day or atmosphere. These remote monitoring and management capabilities allow you to maintain consistency across all your locations, regardless of where they are situated.
What's more, Sonos Pro offers excellent customer support, helping you quickly resolve any issues and minimize downtime. You’ll also get a customer success manager to make sure the system meets your exact needs.
In essence, Sonos Pro is an end-to-end solution that amplifies your brand by delivering consistent, high-quality audio, access to commercially-licensed streaming services, and a dashboard to amplify the sound across all your business locations.
The modern customer's quest for quality experiences makes the need for a robust, business-centric music streaming service more critical than ever. By opting for a complete sound solution like Sonos Pro, you can transform your business locations into captivating spaces that your customers love to visit, ultimately driving customer loyalty and boosting your bottom line. Get started with the premium business music streaming service today, and let your brand's sound echo in the hearts of your customers.