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FBOs: What is the Impact of Music on your Brand?

March 19, 2016 Branding pass

Great! You run our latest quizz about Music and FBOs? Now, you want to find out how it can really impact your customer experience? How your clients are sensitive to soundscapes and musical atmospheres? How you can differentiate your brand from the competition? Our two sound designers Alessandro Franconetti and Jason Umino reply to your most hidden questions... Well, almostLet's take a look:


Branding pass: What is your analysis of this quiz?

Alessandro Franconetti (AF Music Design Studio): I think the quiz offers pretty interesting insights and some general tendencies it's worth looking at. The ratio between those who were exposed to the quiz and those who actually engaged in it, leads us to the first interesting assumption. It tells us that we still need to explain that music is not only a pleasurable ingredient in our lives, but also a stunningly efficient form of communication when it comes to define a space, a brand and our experience of them. 

However, the good news is that the quiz clearly shows us that people are aware of this, but they are not always used to see music from this perspective. If you think about it, half of them affirmed that their main source of music is Spotify and the other 50% that they use a different “source” which, I am pretty sure, is their own favorite music.

We often listen to the same music because we know what effect it will have on us. It is, in some way, our desire to have control over the emotions stimulated by the music we listen to. In fact, the great challenge for these multinational music “distributors” is to be relied upon as able to understand our tastes. A similar challenge is faced by music designers, whose main task is to support companies through a highly personalized and “sartorial” approach.

The quiz also shows that, in the described conditions, we use music to feel relaxed or motivated and, in one word, happy. Doesn't this already induce you to believe that a brand can stimulate specific moods in their customers through music?

Jason Umino (Wünderfish): It’s interesting to see that most private flyer responders seek to be in a relaxed or inspirational environment while in a private lounge. It would be a challenge for FBO managers to find a balance between the two distinctly different sets of emotions. The Air and Ludovico Einaudi tracks are described by users as both “Relaxed" and “Uplifted,” (similar to the mood travelers want activated), but neither song was chosen as the one they’d prefer if waiting in an FBO lounge. The Hidden Spheres track was the clear winner — and that track is characterized as being “Happy.” I suppose happiness is always a strong emotion that should be invoked during travel. This also reinforces studies that show music as being a powerful, but sometimes subliminal, mood enhancer.


Branding pass: Is private flying a cluster more sensitive to music than any other one? 

Alessandro Franconetti (AF Music Design Strudio): Certainly, people feel more at ease in an FBO since they don't necessarily have to undergo to the same psychological “stress” associated with commercial airports. But this does not mean that each FBO offers the same experience.

There are many factors that can shape our experience. And music can be an incredible medium when it comes to defining such experiential paths. Just recently the neuroscience department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology has published the results of a very interesting research that, once again, confirmed the impact of sound on humans's emotions and moods. The research reported that “ mathematically analyzing scans of the auditory cortex and grouping clusters of brain cells with similar activation patterns” the scientists have identified “neural pathways that react almost exclusively to the sound of music — any music. It may be Bach, bluegrass, hip-hop, big band, sitar or Julie Andrews. A listener may relish the sampled genre or revile it. No matter. When a musical passage is played, a distinct set of neurons tucked inside a furrow of a listener’s auditory cortex will fire in response.”

At this point, I think it is fairly legitimate to state that music, given its important influence on us, can be a very valuable instrument in our hands to make our customers more at ease while experiencing our product and/or services.

See also

Jason Umino (Wünderfish): Sound design and music is crucial for travelers, whether flying commercial or private, in both the port of departure and the destination. In a FBO, music can subliminally set the tone for an entire voyage. When arriving, optimal sound design can enhance the brand of both the destination and the carrier.


Branding pass: Could you describe why the music is important in carrying the brand values? 

Alessandro Franconetti (AF Music Design Strudio): I honestly have very hard time imagining a “medium” capable to embed and communicate values better than music. Sound is something primordial. We are used to gain our information and stimulate emotions through the use of our senses since birth. The translation of a sensorial stimulus into the elaboration of a set of values is almost immediate.

Also, in today's market, many companies are facing the challenge of communicating the values that lay behind their brand and products/services in order to differentiate themselves from their competitors. We also have to say that, due to the large competition, such values have become more and more “sophisticated”. And the more specific the value they want to communicate the harder is the task. Within this process, many brands, especially in the luxury field, are turning their attention towards music as a phenomenal form of branding and communication. Today consumers have developed a certain resistance towards the continuous promotional messages they have to undergo during their everyday life. We are literally overwhelmed by ads campaigns. The exceptional thing about music is that it talks to people as humans and not simple consumers. It makes a message path from the sender to the receiver much easier and much more direct.

Jason Umino (Wünderfish): Music and sound selection is crucial for brands. The attention to this small, but impactful element in both marketing and operations can be extremely influential in customer satisfaction. It is also something that is very difficult to measure, and so some brands do not take sound design as seriously as they probably should. Music helps reinforce brand values while also helping bridge a connection with a target audience.

Bonus: 3 business cases and challenges explained by Alessandro Franconetti.

Background music: Wünderfish. 


Branding pass: Does music impact customer experience while all the lounges are all similar in terms of comfort?

Alessandro Franconetti (AF Music Design Strudio): Music Design, on one hand is a matter of coherence with the overall outlook of a FBO. Many times the language you find expressed through the design of a lounge and through the services offered is not at all coherent with the music you will hear. Other times, all these factors perfectly combine and they will naturally stimulate a positive response in the customer. 

A good music design project also takes in consideration the demographic details of the consumer, the moment of the day in which he/she will be exposed to music, the brand values he should transmit and many other factors that ultimately translates into a positive customer's experience. Clearly, when music is left at random, also the experience is randomly influenced...

Jason Umino (Wünderfish): All things equal, music and sound can be the element that determines the overall success of a private airport lounge experience. Music can set a lounge's distinct ambiance  - positive or negative.

See also

I recommend Julian Treasure’s presentations. In particular, there is one where he discusses the importance of architects to design for more than just visual appeal — spaces need to be designed for the ears. While he states architects, it also applies to urban planners, marketers, and anyone managing a space or an environment for people. 


Branding pass: Do you think it should be one of the item rated by AIN FBO Surveys

Alessandro Franconetti (AF Music Design Strudio): Absolutely. You know how many times we are not even able to understand why our experience was negative even if, apparently, everything seemed to us at its right place? Well, guess what... maybe an overly repetitive music, or the wrong volume at which it was played was exactly that negative factor. Music is not as evident as it is effective. It works at a subconscious level and many times it influence our moods without we even realize that.

So, yes, I think it would give us very important information if we added music among FBO surveys's items.

Jason Umino (Wünderfish): It should, but it probably won’t. But the fact that music insights is under the radar in this industry makes it a very big opportunity for FBO managers to get a leg up on the competition. 


Branding pass: Any take away ideas for FBO or a private jet operator to improve its customer experience thru music design? 

Alessandro Franconetti (AF Music Design Strudio): Well, my general suggestions are to find their own musical identity. You know, if you play a song that can easily be associated to other brands or experiences, it is very difficult that they will associate that sound to you. Then, I would always advise to keep in mind at what time of the day to play what music. Because a song that is perceived positively at night, not always is very nice to hear at 8am. Then, I also would suggest not to exaggerate with volumes... people like to be hear their own thoughts and talk to others.

But then, again, each place has its own specifics. 

Jason Umino (Wünderfish): Please pay as much attention to sound design as you would any other aspect of your business. Success is often determined by the details. Music selection, while it may seem a minute detail, is vital in setting a mood for your clients, while also helping define your brand values in the minds of your customers. Design your space both aesthetically and sonically.



Alessandro Franconetti

was born in Rome in '78 and has studied, lived and worked for over 15 years between New York, San Francisco and Paris. He gained wide experiences in marketing, new media and communications applied to luxury and consumer goods. During these years, he also collaborated with many brands to support them launching and communicating new products. In 2013 he founded the Alessandro Franconetti – Music Design and Sensorial Communication Studio in Paris. 

Alessandro Franconetti is one of Modem's top music designers for Paris and Milan Fashion Week and the only music designer included in the Luxury Brand Directory.


 - 5 top songs to bring in a private flight - 

  • Jamie Woon - “Sharpness”.  

A great “morning-warmer” to start the day in the right mood while waiting for your jet to hit the sky.

  • Francesco Tristano - “The Melody”. 

An intimate and adventurous piano. Great if played at moderate volume while you are organizing your appointments schedule and gathering energy for the day ahead of you.

  • Holy Models - “Lessons”.

A relaxing yet positively uplifting sound journey. Ideal background-soundtrack while enjoying the sight of never ending clouds below your plane window.

  • Curtis Mayfield - “Move On Up”.

You are out of the plane and you need a soft bust to rush to your first appointment of the day.

  • Chakachas - “Stories".

You are flying back home and you finally approach your private “riserva” to unwind from the long day. It's time to dedicate to yourself.



Jason Umino 

(pseudonym, Wünderfish) is a Honolulu-based electronic musician, music producer, sound designer, and DJ. While he enjoys a wide variety of music, his heroes hail from the golden age of electronic music in the 80s and 90s, including Vince Clarke (Erasure, Yaz, Depeche Mode), Orbital, Underworld, Air, Leftfield, to name a few. Cinematically, he is particularly influenced by the music of Zbigniew Preisner, Eric Serra, and Danny Elfman. He recently left his 9-5 job as a senior digital marketing strategist for the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau in order to explore the different corners of the world for the past two years. He completed the music producers certificate program with honors and DJ extensive course at the renowned Dubspot Music School in New York City. Now that he’s back in Hawaii, he has dedicated this next chapter of his life to producing electronic music, remixing, DJing, and teaching music production in the 808 State and abroad.


 - 5 top songs to bring in a private flight - 

Personally, I want to feel relaxed before I depart on a trip. While in the air, I like to groove more - but I generally don’t want to hear frenetic music. At the destination, I’m more inclined to listen to whatever the locals are listening to — so if that means Balinese Gamelan, then so be it! If I were traveling private tomorrow, here’s what I’d put in my first playlist:
  • Underworld - To Heal

  • Bedřich Smetana - Má Vlast Moldau

  • Tokimonsta - Go With It

  • Leftfield - Song of Life

We invite you to share your opinion so please leave a comment or contact us directly. As always, feel free to share this post with your friends and colleagues!

The opinions and analyses expressed on this blog/website are based on our research and are for the sole purpose of providing general information about our agency and our practices. See more at

Pics - All Right Reserved - Creative Commons. 

Ludovico Einaudi - Ponderosa Music & Art

Hidden Spheres - Cold Cut Records

Air - Parlophone France.


About the Author

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We are a small, flexible, and full-service branding agency specializing in digital, print, and public relations. Whether you’re looking for consultation on web design, social media strategy, or full-fledged marketing campaigns, we are here to help your business flourish.

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