Have you ever had the feeling that your business, while fairly successful, it’s still not where it should be? You work hard, you invest in a wonderful interior design and an excellent branding strategy, you do everything right – yet your customers don’t seem to share your enthusiasm. You cannot put your finger on it. What is that elusive element that is missing?

It may just be the music.

The fastest and easiest way to instantly change the mood of your customers – and with it, their behavior – is through music and sounds. While thinking about music and sounds may not be one of your business priorities, these two elements can have a huge impact on how your customers (or employees) behave.

In short, if you are not using music in your business strategy, you’re missing out.

For ages, important buildings have also been designed as acoustic tools. Cathedrals amplify music and sounds so that the buildings “sing” back and make the listener open up emotionally. High ceilings in art museums encourage abstract thinking and contemplation. And of course, the acoustic qualities of a concert hall are an essential element in its design.

While you may not have a choice when it comes to the general structure of your building, you can do plenty in the area of ambiance in order to increase productivity and have a say in your customers’ shopping behavior. Here are a few ideas.

Retail Businesses

Using music in stores has been long proved to improve the shopping experience. It is not only that music helps in creating a multisensory experience and invites the customer into a story that you create. It is also easier to wait while listening to music, and more pleasant to browse when entertained.

However, the results greatly depend on the type and pace of the music you choose. While slow music makes customers linger and buy more, fast music tends to rush them and decreases sales. In addition, consider your brand and the image you want to create. If you are a sophisticated high-end retail business, for example, your music should reflect that.

The important thing to remember is to adapt your music to your audience. Do not choose the music just because you like it, but try to use some that fits the tastes of your target audience. Use the power of subliminal messages. For instance, choose French music if you want to increase the sales of your French products, such as French food or wine.


Music can also influence the behavior of those who dine in your restaurant. Consider the genre, tempo, beat and volume. If you want to be seen as a sophisticated business, jazz or classical music is your best bet. If you want to project a laid-back and unpretentious image, try pop and rock.

Pay attention to the tempo. Faster music tends to make people eat faster, while soft music makes them linger. Use this to your advantage. If what you want is fast sales and new traffic, use fast music. If you want your customers to stay longer and eat more, choose slow music.   

Do not overwhelm your customers with loud music, since it has a negative effect on both their dining experience and their sense of taste. There is one exception, however. When the music is loud, people tend to drink more because listening to each other requires more effort. If you own a bar, it is worth trying this strategy.


There is nothing worse than an office where a perfect, unnatural silence seems to paralyze thought and deflate enthusiasm and mood. It’s often believed that music doesn’t have any place in office environments, since it distracts employees and interferes with work.  

In fact, carefully chosen music has the opposite effect. It is not only that it releases stress and creates a more intimate and approachable environment, but it actually serves as inspiration, helps with concentration and speed and, of course, creates the perfect background for human connection.

So, what kind of music fits an office environment? Classical music is a good choice for a calm, relaxing ambiance. Soothing ambient sounds can mask less pleasant ones, maybe even covering the uninspiring and distracting traffic noise or co-worker chatting. Finally, do not underestimate high-tempo music as an afternoon pick-me-up strategy, even though this comes with a risk. Word-heavy music interferes with the thinking process and may become a distraction.

Please take a look at our Before and After images of selected projects from 2018 HERE.

If you are thinking to open up a new business or in a process of rebranding and remodeling your existing business, contact us to get a free consultation from Mindful Design Consulting. Click HERE to price your project design.

Also, take a look at “Branding By Interior” e-book, the only book written on this subject at this time. It brings insight on how you can turn your business into a market-dominating competitor by using human cognitive responses.

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