Sound generates feelings & emotions. Feelings & emotions drive behaviour!

Not only does sound enhance a brand, it adds a higher level of sensory experience that leads consumers to choose a particular product. Every space has its own natural sound, geography and noise, therefore in-store music can influence consumer judgment. Retail environments, public places and physical spaces are increasingly more important in the relationship between consumers and brands. The opportunity for music & audio is to provide soundtracks for these experiences.

Businesses use sound to influence retail behaviour, from increasing shopper dwell times and spend to providing an ambience that creates a positive uplift in the retail experience and improved customer satisfaction ratings.

Various companies have shown that at least one clear path to people’s hearts, minds and wallets is through their ears. Sound adds dimension; music adds emotion. Sound can help shape a potential client’s perception of your brand. It can also potentially help you connect with the client on a deeper, more subconscious level.

Department stores and supermarkets may use the right music to cue shoppers to consider certain product categories or to visit certain sections of the store that sell those products.

Examples of music in retail situations

French vs. German wine:
In 1998, Adrian North, David Hargreaves and Jennifer McKendrick ran a test in a British wine shop to determine the role of background music in purchase decisions. For a number of days they played French and German music in the shop, alternating between the two. It was found that on French-music days, the French wine outsold the German wine by a ratio of four to one. On German-music days, German wine outsold the French by a ratio of three to one.

Several studies have shown that the style of background music played has affected customer behavior. In a recent study, Gueguen and Jacob (2010) obtained that the mean amount of money spent in a flower shop was significantly higher while love songs and romantic music was played, whereas pop music did not lead to an increase in the amount of money spent

Our case study:

Based on previous studies (Mattila and Wirtz, 2008) we know that store atmospherics have a significant effect on the customers’ emotional, cognitive and behavioural responses, as well as on the quality of the interaction between customer and staff. Music is considered as one of the central atmospheric variables in creating an in-store experience and connecting directly with customers’ emotions (Morrison and Beverland, 2003).

To investigate the influence of music “fit” on the staff performance, customers’ behaviour, and in general the atmosphere in the store we conducted our recent case study at 6 Internacionale stores. Data was collected from 520 customers and 72 staff over the period of 4 weeks.

We obtained that:

1) Our right choice of music represented the products and the store identity more than the music the store already had (up to 15%)

2) this leaded to 24.7% positive improvement in the general atmosphere liking due to the type of music

3) We were able to improve staff performance in the store up to 15.67%

OnBrand Radio are now broadcasting to over 250 malls, our advertising network now boasts an incredible footfall audience of over 120 million per month. With this reach, and its proven influence to increase and drive shoppers into store, we could be the perfect anecdote to the current climate.