Brodernas, one of Sweden’s fastest growing restaurant chains, has found its sonic branding partner in Music in Brands, a Stockholm-based provider of customized background music services to retail, hospitality, fitness and healthcare businesses throughout Europe. The custom channels are programmed and live-streamed to nearly 30 Brodernas restaurants throughout Sweden using Barix’s RetailPlayer solution, all of which opened in the last year. All restaurants are equipped with wireless loudspeaker systems from Loud of Sweden for atmospheric audio reproduction. The service will roll out to an additional 30 Brodernas restaurants by the end of 2021.
The fast-growing chain, which specializes in burgers, fries and creative cocktails, first considered a consumer streaming service to deliver music to their dining areas. Stuck in motion due to slow customer service, Brodernas Head of Operations Jonathan Mostert discovered Music in Brands through online research. He soon found that Music in Brands’ vision of marrying custom music to each client’s unique business atmosphere – along with their responsive customer service – offered the professional approach he sought for Brodernas.
“The restaurant business is fast-paced, and we need partners that are ready to do business,” said Mostert. “Music in Brands bring a unique mix of radio programming and musical production that creates the perfect mood for our restaurants. They elevate the tempo during the lunch rush to keep staff moving and tables turning, and create a more relaxed lounge atmosphere in the evenings when customers have more time to take in the full Brodernas experience.”
Music in Brands has long used Barix “Store and Forward” systems customer for background music delivery, and is now transitioning clients to RetailPlayer. “The Store and Forward systems download the next day’s music to Barix media players overnight, and continue to work very well,” said Anders Ekstrom, Owner, Music in Brands. “RetailPlayer changes the game by providing us with a dynamic live streaming solution with more flexible content management and monitoring options. We now have RetailPlayer solutions streaming music to approximately 1000 locations, including most Brodernas restaurants.”
Ekstrom points to RetailPlayer’s centralized user portal as game-changing for fast and efficient content management. That includes the ability to schedule local content for playout through each store’s single RetailPlayer receiver. The compact receiver decodes all incoming audio before handing toff to the Loud of Sweden systems.
“We tested several competitors against Barix when we started shifting to more live streams, and every other system had a much longer learning curve for even the simplest scheduling tasks,” said Ekstrom. “The RetailPlayer portal makes it easy to manage time slots, playlists and on/off functions, and remotely send tracks to the receiving device’s local memory. IT departments and business managers also benefit from its ease of use and absence of maintenance.”
“The simplicity of that little Barix device is impressive, and requires nothing more than plugging in,” said Mostert. “There are clear guidelines on our intranet that staff and management can follow for setup and troubleshooting when needed. We never have to call the support line. Everything works as advertised.”
Mostert stresses that Loud Of Sweden’s products bring the entire ecosystem together when it comes to the customer experience, offering wireless loudspeaker systems that mount and hang from track lighting. The in-store Barix RetailPlayer device connects to the volume control and music transmitter built into each loudspeaker, with no cabling required. A typical Loud Of Sweden configuration for Brodernas includes two Satellite S1 loudspeakers and one TW1 subwoofer for audio reproduction for each track lighting system. The built-in transmitters support up to 50 audio channels, which leaves plenty of capacity for new Brodernas streams.
“Background music providers want to focus on showing their customers how they make a difference with sonic branding,” said Robert Bromér, Founder, Loud of Sweden. “Installation should be easy, and the products should blend into the surrounding environment. Our systems take less than a half hour to install and pair exceptionally well with RetailPlayer devices inside the store. Since no WiFi is required, the audio spread is much broader with no interference.”
Loud of Sweden uses its own proprietary, broadcast-quality “wireless local gateway” to eliminate interference from other WiFi-enabled signals inside the restaurants, and preserve the integrity of the transmissions. Bromer adds that the audio frequency levels peak at 17,600Hz to ensure a comfortable sonic environment in retail and restaurant settings where background music plays at lower volumes.
Back in Stockholm, Ekstrom’s musical directors update Brodernas’ custom channels regularly, mixing in about 60 new tracks each month. Mostert and his team can control the music and sound in each store from remote locations, with Music In Brands leveraging third-party AI technology to establish rules about what music should be played when. “Playing the right songs at the right time each day is what enhances the customer experience, and ultimately shapes a business’s sonic brand.”
“Music in Brands has been an important strategic partner for Barix for many years, and is now the same for RetailPlayer as we enter a new generation of background music delivery,” said Reto Brader, CEO, Barix. “Networks continue to improve and can accommodate high-quality live audio streams with greater efficiency and reliability than ever. By combining Music in Brands, Loud of Sweden and Barix, the customer gets a complete in-store solution that is easy to install, provides high-quality audio, supports central content management with local control, and can scale for future requirements such as additional channels or in-store announcements.”
Beyond expanding throughout Sweden, Brodernas recently opened two restaurants in Spain (using local music services at press time). Mostert anticipates as many as 150 Brodernas locations by the end of 2022, with restaurant openings expected in Finland, Norway and the United Kingdom. The majority of these stores will likely add the Music in Brands service.