It’s joy. It’s melancholy. It’s pure passion. It connects us to our emotion and bonds our experiences. Music has the power to transcend borders, unite cultures and bridge diversity with its universal language.
The challenge for brands, filmmakers and artists is to tell their story through the music. The use of multi sensory experiences is essential in retail. Through music, we can connect users through visual, haptic and smell to create emotional responses, forming stronger bonds between customers and brands.
Yet the use of audio has yet to be fully explored in retail, despite the growing research suggesting that music is directly linked to emotion.
"It [music] stimulates the brain in a very powerful way, because of our emotional connection with it."Catherine Loveday of the University of Westminster
Exhibits such as Biorhythms: Music and the Body at The Health Museum in Texas and next year’s Life: Rewired exhibition at London’s Barbican Centre tap into this exciting new trend. In 2019, we’ll see brands creating next-level immersive experiences that further explore the connection between body, mind and machine.
The advancement of digital should allow us to play with sound in store, and personalised sonic immersion is accessible. Last year, US home audio brand Sonos has unveiled a new flagship in Soho, New York offering a refreshing experience. Designed by sound engineers, the space allows for the creation of personal playlists and incorporates moveable elements in the ceilings and walls that let guests manipulate the ambience and acoustics.
Fully embracing the power of sound, Spiritland in London’s Mayfair, is a store dedicated to premium headphones. The small store allows you to immerse in emotion and sound, offering the unparalleled experience of listening to music they way the artist intended.
At Dutch Design Week 2018, Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Tessa Spierings presented a project that invites users to manipulate tones by placing hollow tubes over speakers, then combining them to create layered melodies. Reimagining intangible sensations as tactile experiences is key for engaging consumers numbed by digital overload. In Europe, only 13% of marketers use the power of all five senses to design impactful consumer experiences (Freeman, 2018).
At its core, the way we connect with different music is linked with personal and collective experiences. Therefore we can assume the way we interact with music is individual and unique. Our sensory input is so personal, yet it is not reflected in how consumers are treated in retail. In theory, connecting emotionally to music and experience would also help a consumer connect on an emotional level to both the product and the brand.