Research this confirms what Professor of Neurology, Oliver

Research shows music as a powerful tool and its subliminal
influence on consumer moods and behaviors. Businesses have understood the
importance of choosing the right music
for the right environment, along with its impact on brand’s identity and its
effects on consumer behavior. Ad agencies have now started employing people at
prominent positions for utilizing their music knowledge to trigger consumer
moods via involuntary remembrance, thereby
enhancing their buying behavior. All this confirms what Professor of Neurology,
Oliver Sacks has said about music
and its power, by activating areas of our brain that even language cannot.

Music is now being used as one of the important marketing
tactics to subconsciously influence sales, by making changes to consumer’s
surrounding environment, this concept is called “atmospherics”. The surroundings act as a medium of attention,
communicating non-verbally and thus drawing attention to products, conveying a
message about them. By creating such an environment, retailers appeal to the
auditory senses, along with senses of sight, scent and touch. In another study,
it was observed how slow music caused customers to spend more on alcohol and pass
more time eating while fast music resulted in faster meal consumption and
shorter wait times for inbound customers.

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Numerous research studies involving
music considering independent variables –
time, pitch and texture, as well as different dependent variables have been
conducted to study the impact of music. This is being leveraged by marketers to
target consumers and make financial gains in business. One of the experiments conducted,
shows how different musical moods produced diverse interpretations of the same
video, this shows that people tend to create a probable cognitive
interpretation of the video that logically resembles the mood of the music in
order to explain their affective responses. Thus, music if used strategically can
be used to influence consumers’ buying behavior and even enhance employee
engagement in organizations.

The Theory of Musical
Equilibration states that music does not convey emotion, but merely
cognitive processes that the listener identifies with. Thereafter, the process
of identifying these volitional processes gives rise to emotions. For example,
a major chord stimulates positive expressions whereas a minor chord induces
opposite feelings. Music comprises controllable elements: time, pitch and music
texture that can be modified to arise particular feelings and arousing our
affective senses. Studying time characteristic of music shows how playing with
tempo, rhythm and activity affects consumer mood. Say, fastening the tempo put
customers in a more happy and playful mode. Similarly, a link between pitch and
perceived happiness has been established. Say, consonant harmonies convey
serene, happy feelings whereas dissonant harmonies are seem to be perceived as
more plaintive and agitating. Also, texture related findings show how brass
instruments are perceived as triumphant, and melodies on a piano expressed  tranquility. As part of music’s texture, the
volume of sound plays an important role in the evoked emotion and behavior, as


Music used in marketing has the ability to raise affective
and behavioral reactions in consumers. Aspects such as nostalgia can be
exploited to generate favorable attitudes about products. Even recollection
provides context, which effects how we assess things. Non-Behavioral studies of
music in marketing show : i) how background music amplifies the whereas
counteracting music reduces the amount of impact of the message conveyed in the
ad ii) harmony of background music with the audience’s expected music significantly
impacts the meaning as well as credibility of the message iii) how brand
attitude is formed based on impact of involvement and music chosen iv)  happy music induced happy moods in consumers
however sad music induced increased purchase intentions v) for new products, ad
recall was high in commercials using music vi) greater personal connections and
behavioral intent was found towards commercials with music in minor mode, due
to induction of happy emotions. On a whole, commercials with some type of music
achieved better on the following key
metrics – creativity, empathy, emotive power, and information power.

Likewise, behavioral studies in marketing show the effect of
music’s volume, expected association of music, tempo and other qualities, on sale
volume quantity, product selection, shopping time taken etc. Say, sales per
minute was found to be significantly higher for louder background music than
for soft music. From these findings, the researchers concluded that when
consumers experience non-typical environmental factors (e.g. unfamiliar music),
time seems to slow down.

To sum up, using the right kind of music for the right kind
of product/service affects how the consumer views your product and brand. The
cognitive and affective senses are targeted by activating brain processes using
emotional triggers of music. Music causes activities in areas of the brain and
forms a perception in the consumers mind that marketers can use strategically
to connect with the consumers. To make the best use of this, there is thus a
need to align the choice of music with the brand identity, product line and
target demographic.