Shoppers who are soothed by classical music over the loudspeakers of a retail establishment should note that the music is doing much more than just soothing.  Music provides subtle gestures, all of which scream, “Spend money, lots and lots of money!”  The retail patrons don’t recognize this of course, but that’s exactly what the retailers want.  Through the medium of music, retailers could invoke particular tendencies or moods into an individual’s collective unconscious.  It can also promote associative learning.  For instance, if a shopper walks into a store tailored towards young adults, they will probably here hip-hop music over the loudspeakers.  Shoppers unconsciously associate the music with the idea that the things in front of them are items that are “the new” fashion.  They’re hip, things they have to have.  If a shopper is in an establishment where classical music is playing overhead, the individual will associate the place with that of class.  Music can also lower a customer’s sales resistance and increase impulse buying. 

 

James Krellaris, a marketing professor at the University of Cincinnati explains, “When people are exposed to complex, unfamiliar music their personal subjective timer shrinks.  When a person works harder than usual in a diminished amount of time, the brain overcompensates by leading its owner to believe a short period of time has been spent in the shop.  This will cause shoppers to stay longer and spend more money.  On the contrary, familiar tunes expand a personal subjective timer causing a person to believe they’ve spent a longer time in the store than they actually have.  This equates to lesser spending.”  So, essentially the retail trick is to play a genre of music that reflects the theme of the store, but it must be unfamiliar to most, if not all of the patrons of the store.  The tactic will inevitably increase store sales. 

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