Great products? Check. Clean displays? Check. A well crafted brand identity? Definitely. An in-store vibe that fits that business’ brand? Che…wait…a WHAT that fits the brand?
For many of today’s businesses, having a great product, display and staff are only part of the battle. To create a truly successful business, owners must think about the the overall atmosphere—or vibe—of their business. Is it sending the message they want to send? Is it attracting the right target customer groups?
Creating the right atmosphere for a business means considering many different factors. These details should serve to reinforce the overarching brand so that the first impression of a guest, and the overall vibe of the business, makes sense. And, just as importantly, brings them back to the store.
Every choice made when seeking to create the right vibe for a business can impact the mood of the customers, the staff, and the overall experience the business fosters. Here are a 5 things to consider when working to build out the right vibe for a business.
1. Sweat the Small Stuff
Finding ways to put special and unique touches throughout the store can really be a great way to solidify the style and vibe of the store. For a retail clothing store, for example, creative price tags, branding the merchandise bags in a fun way, or even making sure the clothes hangers are uniform and stylish can help reinforce the overall feel of the store. But, make sure these details are ones that will resonate with the target customer group. Going back to the clothing store example, If the business is working to create an upscale, sophisticated, luxury vibe, the merchandise bags should reflect that, and, to quote “Mommie Dearest,” maybe no wire hangers.
2. Music Choice
Imagine walking into a store and what is playing overhead doesn’t mirror what the store is selling or—or worse—it is silent. None of that serves to make customers feel good about the experience. Music is one of the most important factors to consider when creating the ideal vibe for a business. According to research from DJS, 91% of retailers surveyed believe music makes both customers and staff happier. What soundtracks are going to make customers enjoy being in the business more? For example, a gym or fitness oriented business should focus on playing upbeat, high energy music—and leave the easy, soft rock for the dental office down the street. Businesses must create a vibe that works to their best advantage, and using music to create an atmosphere that not only brings customers in, but keeps them coming back.
3. Sights and Smells
While the hearing category is covered with the in-store music, businesses should also be sure to include sight and smell when creating their ideal vibe. If something doesn’t look right, customers won’t buy it. Specifically, lighting can be an owner’s friend—or their greatest enemy. Choose lightning that displays merchandise or the space in the most flattering way possible. Extremely bright—or the reverse of too dim—can have a major effect on the store’s vibe. In the case of a restaurant, too bright isn’t good and too dim can have customers wondering what the owners are hiding. The same is true for smell. Smell is the sense most closely tied to emotion, so it is an extremely important element. A craft store, for example, may consider a mild, seasonal candle. Nothing too overpowering, but a nice, light scent can get customers in the right mood.
4. In-store Announcements
In-store announcements can be a great way to share news about special offers, upcoming events or any number of informative pieces with customers. However, the tone, volume and verbiage of those announcements can make or break a business’ vibe. Make sure the voice talent for these announcements serves to reinforce the feel and not detract from it. Also, make sure that the wording used will be impactful for the customer base. Stay away from trendy sayings if the target customer won’t understand them. Once again, it all comes down to considering the target customer.
5. Employee Training
By far, one of the most important factors that plays a role in the overall vibe of a store are the people who spend the MOST time in it—the employees. What are they wearing? Are they up to date with the product offerings? How are they greeting or saying goodbye to customers? Hiring employees who are most likely to reach the customer base is one part of having an engaged and impactful staff. The next part is training them to inherently reinforce the vibe the business is looking to create. Make sure there is consistency where there needs to be, but allow room for each employee’s talent to shine.
In the end, the decisions made for any of the above factors should orbit around one critical thing —the target customer. What do THEY want? What do THEY expect? Each factor is important in its own right, however business owners should always keep the customer at the core. And, by creating the in-store vibe they want, customers will likely want to spend more time there—and more money.
Interested in learning more? Request a demo of Vibenomics today, and learn how you can start creating on-brand music and messaging for your in-store customers.