Shoppers who are soothed by classical musch over the loudspeakers of a retail establishment should note that the music serves many other purposes as well.  Granted, these same shoppers rarely recognize the subtle gestures these tunes reflect, but that’s exactly the impact retailers aim to have on their customers.  Retailers attempt to tap into the collective unconscious of customers.  How and to what degree are they effective?

Through the use of music, retailers may generate specific moods in individuals.  Music can also promote associative learning.  For instance, if classical music roams above customers’ heads, it implies that customers are shopping in a classy store.  If hip-hop music is blaring from above, it suggests to customers that the retailer’s goods are hip, things they ‘got to have.’  Music can also lower a customer’s sales resistance and increase their tendencies to spend money. 

James Kellaris, a marketing professor at the University of Cincinnati, claims, “When people are exposed to complex, unfamiliar music their personal subjective timer shirnks.  When a person workds harder than usual in a diminished aount of tije, 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. 

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