Music is the universal language-and for many entrepreneurs, it's also integral to the success of their companies. Here are three businesses that are hitting all the right notes.
Entrepreneurs: Ned Bennett and David Kalt
Company:OptionsXpress, an online brokerage firm in
Music of choice: Jazz
How music influences the company: The computer servers are named after jazz greats, and large prints of musicians decorate the trading floor. The company also prides itself on its innnovative management style, which reflects the way jazz musicians riff off each other.
Bennett's music philosophy: "Most brokerage customer sites are extremely rigid, and the frustrated employee is required to play the song exactly as it's supposed to be played. Our culture is based on improvisation."
Entrepreneurs: Mariela Rovito and Ali Mejia
Intimates, a sleepwear and swimwear company in Miami
Music of choice: '80s pop
How music influences the company: Rovito and Mejia target female Gen Xers, and many collections are inspired by music customers grew up with-such as their lingerie line named after songs from Prince's Purple Rain album and their Billie Jean line of denim wear.
Mejia's music philosophy: "If [a line] has a catchy name that people can relate to, like a song, they remember it. It's an important marketing tool."
Entrepreneur: Michael Becce
Relations in Red Bank, New Jersey
Music of choice:
A bit of everything How music influences the company: Becce has the walls of his office decorated with 100 gold and platinum albums (never mind that his firm specializes in technology). Employees use music to spark brainstorming sessions; every Friday, they rotate office DJs so everybody has a say in what kind of music to listen to.
Becce's music philosophy: "When you sit in silence, that prompts you to hide out in your office. Music stirs the juices, gets you moving and helps your thought process."
Geoff Williams has written for numerous publications, including Entrepreneur, Consumer Reports, LIFE and Entertainment Weekly. He also is the author of Living Well with Bad Credit.