Subtle Ways to Manipulate Behavior With Music

28 Nov 2014

Think about how much music you hear when you leave the house.  It’s in stores, restaurants, malls, airports—everywhere.  That’s very nice, but how often is that music used to manipulate your behavior?

Let’s start with restaurants.  A growing number of eateries are enlisting companies that specialize in creating playlists for restaurants.  And this is for more than just ambience.

There are studies that show that music with a slow tempo during dinner service an increase bar sales by as much as 40%.  People are relaxed, eat slower and reach for their drinks more often.  Ubeat music may make for a certain vibe, but it won’t help bar sales.

On the other hand, faster music during lunch encourages faster eating.  Tat means a quicker turnover of tables and more customers can be served in a shorter period of time, thereby boosting revenue.

Now let’s go shopping.  There are consultants who instruct stores in ways to make you buy more with music.  Fast-paced music encourages people to rush through the store; slow music encourages lingering and browsing.

Then again, you have to consider the brand of the store.  For example, chillout music doesn’t fit in an Ambercrombie & Fitch store.

Matching the music to the store can enhance the customer experience and reinforce the aspirations we may have for the material goods the store is selling.  That can lead to more sales, too.

Pay attention to what you hear the next time you go shopping.

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