My aim is to conduct a market research analysis on sound and how it is used in business, specifically in the retail industry and how it can further increase sales.
Enhances. A wider audience, improves sales/business, improves productivity, creates a better working environment
Replaces. It makes shops with bad noise pollution less desirable, and also shops that are too quiet.
Revive. It provides an improved shopping experience. It encourages people to go back to traditional high street shopping for the atmosphere, to enjoy the experience rather than just shopping online for convenience.
Backlash. It could result in paying for these changes within the business but not benefitting in much of a sales increase so ending up in the business making a loss.
Who? Shop/business owners
Their needs? Inexpensive installation costs, a quick turnaround time so the shop doesn't lose money. They also would like a positive outcome benefitting in increased sales.
My offer? A new environment to work in. A better store that will encourage more sales. Improves working environment = motivated staff = happy staff = happy customers = more sales.
This is the operational stages that the business carries out. There are three stages,
engagement, development and delivery. Engagement is the time that it takes to plan who your prospective customers are and how to persuade them to buy from you. Development is the time that it takes to design and create your offer. The delivery stage is the time it takes to get your product or service to your customer.
These activities take place either in front of the customer – ‘Onstage' or out of sight of the customer –
Engagement backstage- The market research I would start with is how people respond to sound, what are the behavioural effects? I would look to find out what is already out there. How is it businesses use sound as it stands? What are their motives? Is it successful? What do they think could be better?
Onstage- One way to develop the market would be to find out who would want the changes, what shops? Specifically clothes shops, shoe shops, food places? Networking is another great way to develop interest in an idea.
Development backstage- Developing the idea that I'm offering. Is it a toolkit of suggestions based on my design knowledge on what would work better? Will I know what sounds to offer? Is it certain materials that the shop should use that help? For this project it is more likely that I do a research analysis study of how using sound can shape the behaviour of people to obtain desired results (i.e increasing sales) and using my knowledge to then educate those in the business industry that would benefit.
Onstage- I would show my customers perhaps an early prototype model of a flagship store that successfully uses sound. Perhaps short videos of customers being interviewed in different shops saying they ''enjoy shopping in this store because..'' and ''hate this shopping environment because....'' then the shopowner (my customer) sees firsthand what exactly the shop customers likes/wants/needs.
Delivery backstage- This is decisions I would make based on what needs to be carried out. Is it a physical change? If so who would carry out the changes, who's fitting the store? What effects this had on the store - how long would it need to be closed for? When is the best season to install?
Maybe it's just small scale changes that requires a series of meetings discussing and demonstrating the subtle changes and affects the shop needs to make.
Onstage- Presenting the final design idea to a client creating an example in a store of what the changes are and how they benefit.
Every business needs a set of relationships to make all the steps happen. These have been split up into four-
Generator – originating, directing and developing.
Realiser – manufacturing and producing finished product, services and experiences
Distributor – delivery, sales and marketing
Customer – buying, utilising and experiencing your business
This will help to think about which activities you need to keep inside your business, and which will be done with others.
When considering this I realised that a lot of this was quite business focussed and so I tried to pick out the relevant aspects of building relationships amongst my research task and what would be appropriate for me.
I will need to talk to the shop owners and ask if they have ever thought about the sound environment affecting their business. If they do consider it how do they approach it?
I need to think about how they would benefit from the relationship. I can hopefully offer them advice about what might be a better solution or things to think about. If it became a recognised or talked about event/situation that was covered by the press or anything, more people would know about it so would naturally attract more customers.
I would need to talk to the shop customers to see what they thought. After all they are the customers of my potential customer. If it becomes clear what sounds put them off etc and what shops they like going in, I could investigate what some shops do better than others. What might be interesting about the shop customers is that they may not know it's the sound environment that attracts or repels them going into the store, or it may be a part of a fuller package (good store layout) aswell. Maybe this is more of an observation task, but speaking and having a relationship with them could inform this task and so is still valuable information.