There is no escaping. Wherever you go, they are playing the same music…
I was at our neighborhood Costa Coffee outlet the other day, having decided from work from there that afternoon. At first I didn’t really notice, engrossed as I was working my presentation for the next day, but soon I had it coming out of my ears. The same music had been playing in a loop, for the last 2 hours. I requested the staff to change the CD – they were keen to, but that was one of the two CDs they possess and the other one was…well, missing in action.
It didn’t have to be a Costa, it could well have easily been a Café Coffee Day or Barista. It could be any of our otherwise fancy malls or it could be any food-court. It didn’t have to be ‘that’ day, it could be just ‘any’ day.
Ask the staff on why they play the same music over and over? You usually get the same reply – they have just one or two CDs allotted to them. In fact, I think everyone has pretty much the same compilation. The airlines too share a common CD, it would seem. The only difference – instead of popular 80s, they prefer western classical.
Selecting music for a public venue is not easy, having managed the task, among a hundred other marketing and promotions things I was responsible for during my days with a hospitality company. We had many different restaurants, function areas, gym and a health club – each had a unique character and the music needed to be likewise + it need constant updates. It was an interesting, but certainly a challenging task.
We are a ‘musical’ country, to say the least. Why then would marketers not experiment with music they play? Is it because it’s nobody’s baby? Marketing? Promotions? Housekeeping?
It’s like someone remembers to install that funny perfume spray in the washrooms, but nobody gives a damn about the music.
Couldn’t we give our customers, guests something more interesting? Could it become a differentiator?
I can understand that ‘folk’ or ‘classical’ might not have universal appeal as landing/ take-off music on a flight, but some nice fusion?
We have some great music being created in the country right now; live gigs have become weekly affairs. Why not play some more recordings from there at our coffee bar or the mall?
Or at least change that damned CD, would you?
Photo courtesy: Dan4th’s flickr collection.
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