Monday, May 18, 2009

One Formula for Targeting Customers with Music

By Evan Rytlewski
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My friend Andy Joanis flagged an interesting little passage from a lengthy New York Timesarticle about a New York restaurant, DBGB, that leaves nothing to chance. That music is used to target a certain clientele won't surprise anyone, but the formula this restaurateur touts isn't completely intuitive:  
For restaurants, music is one way to influence who shows up, or at least who comes back. You can aim at a demographic group by playing music that was beloved by its members when they were about 15 years old — the age when fandom typically leaves its most vivid tattoo. By that logic, DBGB is not exactly laying a welcome mat for the just-out-of-college set. There is little in the playlist that was recorded in the last 10 years.

That is no accident.

“It’s hard to get a liquor license around here, as you may know,” Mr. Traussi says, “and one of the things I heard when I canvassed people who live here is, ‘You’ll get kids in trucker hats and they’re never going to eat food and you’re going to turn into a bar before you know it.’ I think that’s an important concern. We’re not looking for that kid, right out of school who is 22 or 23. I think music is an important way to run a food-centric restaurant rather than a bar-centric restaurant."

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