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flooded with natural light, includes rooms big
enough to hold 20 string players or entire brass
sections for recording. There are numerous rooms
for mixing and editing, as well as smaller areas
for core teams of songwriters and arrangers, all
working together to create sonic identities across
numerous businesses and disciplines.
Man Made Music works in retail as part of its
overall client portfolio, which spans technology,
fast food, beauty, sports, broadcast media,
entertainment and other areas. AT&T is a
longtime client; the company's ever-evolving sonic
identity encompasses its familiar four-note sonic
logo, brand navigation sounds, conferences and live
events, ads and overhead music in the company's
bricks-and-mortar locations. In AT&T's flagship
stores, there are even "immersive environments
with sound" that shoppers experience as soon as
they walk in.
Kevin Perlmutter, chief of innovation for Man
Made Music, says his company begins its work
with clients by ensuring that the tone and vibe of
an environment is "coming off in the right way, in
the best way possible."
"Sound plays a huge role in that," he says.
"Sound impacts people instinctively, viscerally,
emotionally, at a subconscious level. So when
brands are using sounds in an environment that are
not strategic - we call that 'sonic trash' - when
they're using music that doesn't fit the desired
brand experience, these are things that cause the
experience to break down. They cause people to
instinctively - and eventually, consciously - not
want to be a part of it."
Conversely, when sound is "thought-through
and designed to fit the desired brand experience, it
has the ability to convey what you want people to
know about an experience," he says.
"It has the ability to set the right emotional tone.
It has the ability to increase linger times, to inspire
sales of a certain type of product. Sound has some
neurological benefits and impact that can lead
directly to whether sales are going up or down."
Emotion, after all, is a driver of loyalty - and
sound is a driver of emotion.
Dan Venne, Man Made Music's group creative
director and lead producer, says the focus on
strategy sets the company apart. Clients take
part in "sonic mood board" sessions with clips of
popular music, underscoring from films or tunes
from Man Made Music's library, all with the goal
of creating references and language as a starting
point for the writers.
The company employs numerous live musicians;
rather than one person in one room with a
computer, "it ends
up being a deeply
Sound is one of the core
identity pillars of a brand,
"People are readily
investing in having a
guidelined visual identity,"
he says. "They're not just
pulling a brand logo off
a stock shelf or letting
retail employees change it
if they don't like the way
it looks in the window.
We feel that sound has the
same or more impact on
the customer experience,
in conveying what the
brand stands for. It's an
imperative to not let sound
At Charlotte Russe, incorporation of music into
mobile shopping has been as much about seeing
as hearing. The retailer re-launched its app in
July 2016 with shoppable Instagram, flash sales
and real-time inventory; with the addition of
music this spring, the average time spent there has
"Before this partnership, we did not have hard
data on the types of music our customer was
into," Solanki says. "The only data we had on the
music we played in-store was based on associate
feedback, and it was anecdotal. We were excited
to partner with Feed.fm to help us explore new
music and offer up songs that wouldn't normally
be on the rotation. From there, we were able to
learn from the data to see what she liked and
Besides, she says, having music in the app softens
"When I go to other apps, it feels very
transactional," she says. "It just feels like a mobile
web shopping experience. For Charlotte, we're
focused on changing that dynamic a little bit. Sure,
there's the commerce piece of it that's important,
but how do we continue to look for things that will
infuse more of that brand engagement and loyalty
with our customer?"
Emotion is a
driver of loyalty
- and sound
is a driver of
Sound is one of
the core identity
pillars of a brand.
app in July 2016
sales and realtime inventory;
with the addition
of music this
spent there has
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