Posted by John on September 27th, 2012
We continue to profile businesses that care about the music that’s playing in the stores. It’s the daily music mix that the customers and the employees hear and that makes a statement about the place and the brand. Custom Channels is the music service chosen by Cariloha and Del Sol, two retail brands operated by Pedersen Worldwide.
Cariloha is a premier, luxury-brand retailer of products made from bamboo, offering apparel and accessory collections for men and women. You can find shirts, hats, bathrobes, bed sheets, towels, purses, jewelry, house ware, bath ware, socks, shorts, dresses, and more at Cariloha stores across the Northern Hemisphere from Maine to Hawai’i, Alaska to the Caribbean.
Del Sol is the world’s leading brand of color-changing apparel and accessories and the number-one promoted merchant onboard major cruise lines. What began as a retail cart in Utah’s Fashion Place Mall has now expanded with stores all across the USA and the Caribbean, and on six of the seven continents.
Q&A WITH BRIAN CICCOTELLI OF CARILOHA AND DEL SOL
CC: You work with two different apparel brands. What’s the branding or marketing difference between Cariloha and Del Sol?
BC: Both international brands are fun and exciting and focus on creating a unique shopping experience for the customer. The difference is how we create that new experience. At Del Sol, all the clothing and accessories change color when exposed to sunlight (from shirts to sunglasses to nail polish). You have to see it to believe it. At Cariloha, all the products are made of ultra-soft bamboo fabric (from sheets to towels to workout clothing). You need to feel the bamboo-soft difference for yourself.
CC: We thought bamboo was just panda bear food. Does Cariloha really sells clothes made of bamboo?
BC: Yes! And it’s amazing! Although we all know bamboo as a hard, woody plant, we discovered that it could be made into ultra-soft fabrics that rival cashmere and silk.
CC: Tell us about the music playing at a Cariloha store.
BC: The style of music played in our Cariloha stores is classified as Alt-Indie. It’s a unique mix of upbeat and energetic songs, mostly outside of the mainstream songs you’ll hear on the radio. We chose this style of music because the type of customers that are attracted to our store by our green, eco-friendly products tend to love this genre.
CC: What’s up with Del Sol’s color change?
All Del Sol products contain its proprietary Spectrachrome® organic crystals, which react to UV light. When exposed to sunlight, the crystals open and unfold, revealing their hidden, vibrant colors. When the Del Sol products are back inside, without sunlight, or when the sun sets, the crystals hide their colors, and the products return to their original colors.
CC: Tell us about the music playing at a Del Sol store.
BC: Because the Del Sol experience is all about fun and excitement under the sun, the music playing in the store is always energetic and upbeat. Its not uncommon for the Del Sol staff to break out in dance or for customers to sing along with their favorite tunes.
CC: Why is music important to an in-store environment?
BC: Studies have shown that the longer customers shop in a store, the more they will buy. People tend to stay in our stores longer because the music we listen to is fun and makes them feel happy. Our staff often dances and sings along to the music, and the customers join in too, giving everyone a shopping experience unlike anywhere they’ve shopped before. The right music is crucial to our success.
CC: Do you play your custom music-for-business mix mostly for customers or employees?
BC: Both. The customers tend to shop longer when they enjoy the music, and it gives our employees an opportunity to have fun with the customers. What’s more, the custom music mixes allow for hours of music without ever hearing a duplicate song, and our employees love never getting bored with the “same old songs.”
CC: What other in-store music options have you tried?
BC: We started out creating CD’s, copying them, and sending them to each store. The CD’s were repetitive and costly to send to stores on a regular basis. Recently, those CD’s were replaced with podcasts. The podcasts saved on shipping, but they were still repetitive and many stores were confused by the downloading process.
CC: How has the switch to Custom Channels been?
Custom Channels solved all our issues – cost, difficulty, and repetition. Streaming music through the internet is so simple. The player is basic enough that even the least computer-savvy store owner has no trouble starting it up. Plus, there are no shipping costs associated with the web-based player, and the music technicians have added so many songs that nothing repeats within a 9-hour time period. And, the playlist is still growing! Even more, Custom Channels saved us a ton on licensing fees.
CC: If you had to narrow it down to one song, is there a song for each brand that really embodies and reflects that brand?
BC: Whoa! Save the hardest question for last, huh? Ok, here goes:
Del Sol: Kyle Andrews – “You Always Make Me Smile”
Cariloha: Fun – “We Are Young”