Fascinating music

Can upbeat music inspire shoppers to buy more eco-friendly products? – RetailWire

Jul 08, 2022

new university to research finds that major tempo music can offer green businesses a way to overcome the consumer “attitude-behaviour gap,” where what consumers say differs from what they actually do.

Researchers at the University of Bath noted that studies have shown around 30% of consumers say they care about brand ethics, but only 3% translate their words into action. A similar number say they care about green consumption, but only 5% buy green products.

Their research found that major key music was effective in reducing the attitude-behaviour gap by 40-50%. The reason has been attributed to the type of music associated with positive emotions (e.g. happiness, joy) while minor key music is related to negative emotions (e.g. sadness, anger).

Since fast-tempo music also tends to generate positive feelings, research suggests that the attitude-behavior gap is lowest when major-key music is played at a fast tempo.

Music has been shown to be processed by the same parts of the brain responsible for emotion and memory, often elevating an emotional response when used in advertising or on sales floors. The reaction, however, can be positive or negative depending on the context and the sound.

A study who graduated earlier this year from Nanyang Technological University found consumers associated the higher-pitched advertisements with healthier food products.

At the store level, a university study as of 2017, people buy more in crowded stores if the sound system plays a fast song rather than a ballad. Study tip: “Consider Taylor Swift or Lady Gaga if the aisles are crowded.”

Many grocers, however, play light music on a theory that minor, downtempo music tends to promote more thoughtful browsing.

“In retail, it’s common knowledge that if people walk slower, they see more, which is more likely to inspire them to buy more,” said Dr. Megan Phillips, senior lecturer in commerce at detail at Auckland University of Technology marketing department, recently told New Zealand Things. “They might see something they forgot, or something might be tempting (i.e. an offer too good to refuse).”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does it make sense that up-tempo, major fashion music in marketing can help consumers realize their intentions to buy more ethical and sustainable products? What is your general theory on the influence of music on driving purchases in marketing or on sales floors?


“A range of music will prove to be the winning combination.”