An enterprise model is designed to expose a business to a large number of people even if those people don't live in the same geographic area.
By setting up an enterprise model, you ensure that your brand can have viral success all across a state, a region, a country, or even the world.
Enterprise business employees are often told that the secret to their success lies in consistency. The more they can ensure that a customer has the same brand experience, no matter where that customer is, the more successful the business will be. This thinking leads branding experts, like one writing in Forbes, to encourage business owners to stop being "resistant to being consistent." Similarity is the goal.
Music can help to reinforce that sense of consistency.
When each enterprise outlet not only looks the same but sounds the same, a customer is almost guaranteed to have a similar experience.
That said, there are clear benefits that come with adding a little customization to the music mix. Companies that allow for this slight level of variability could experience benefits other companies may not.
Benefits of Local Control for Enterprise Music
In general, both customers and employees enjoy background music that is familiar. They may like the music businesses play even more if that music is similar to the music people play in their cars, at home, and through their headphones.
Enterprise businesses spread across many states may have geographic musical tastes that conflict. For example, in a piece published in the Huffington Post, a scientist looked at the popularity of music across the United States. He found that most states had an outlier band, or a musical group liked more in that state than the group is liked in the United States as a whole. For example, he found that people in the South really preferred country music stars like Alan Jackson and George Strait while people up north preferred other artists like Kurt Vile, Jack Johnson, R.E.M., and The Naked and Famous.
Research like this demonstrates that there are regional preferences for music, and those preferences are distinctive. If music works best if it is popular, adding local popularity factors might be wise.
This is especially true for enterprise businesses with a global reach. In an analysis published by PBS Newshour, authors suggest that the way in which we like music is not caused by biology. Instead, the music we prefer is deeply influenced by culture. Someone who grew up without exposure to western music may have a preference for different tonalities and chord progression, and they may find traditional western music off-putting. Allowing for these cultural differences could help a company to seem sensitive, and that could be helpful in branding that company to a new audience.
In addition to cultural differences, enterprise businesses may differ in challenges. Some outposts may deal with problems that others are not. For example, according to an article in the Daily Record, one McDonald's franchise in Europe dealt with an increase in violent activity at night, and that activity was worrisome for both customers and employees. The franchise got the right to play classical music at night in the hopes of calming down angry customers. The other outlets didn't have this issue and would not have benefitted from the switch. But this particular outlet needed a shift, and they were allowed to make it.
Enterprise outlets may also have different employee audiences to serve. Research covered by Science Daily suggests that employees are more likely to give good customer service and stay as an employee of a company when they feel as though they are listened to.
In other words, giving employees a voice in decisions helps an entire business to improve. One enterprise office could have employees who want a specific type of music. Letting those employees have that option could be key to keeping them happy, so they can then please their customers.
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Balancing Brand and Customization
In a typical enterprise model, the corporate office chooses the playlist, and the outposts must play that music. But clearly, there are benefits associated with a bit of local control.
We can help. At Cloud Cover Music, we have extensive experience working with enterprise-level businesses, and we provide the option to create one shared list for all enterprise outlets as well as the option to add variability per outlet. We would love to show you how this works. Contact us for a demonstration and free trial.
- Why Consistency Is the Key to Successful Branding. (December 2016). Forbes.
- How Music Taste Varies State to State, Region to Region." (December 2017). Huffington Post.
- Culture, Not Biology, Decides the Difference Between Music and Noise. (July 2016). PBS Newshour.
- McDonald's in Dumbarton Plays Classical Music to Deter Rowdy Youths. (April 2018). Daily Record.
- When Bosses 'Serve' Their Employees, Everything Improves. (May 2015). Science Daily.