The Sound of Money

April 1998


The Sound of Money

Does relevant music induce shoppers to buy?

Next time you stage a South Sea pearl promotion, try playing Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Bali Hai" from South Pacific as background music. A study described in the prestigious British science magazine Nature suggests that music associated with particular locales can increase retailers' sales of items produced there.

The study measured the effects of playing German bierkeller songs and French accordion tunes alternately in a wine store. Customers bought much more French wine when the accordion music was played, and much more German wine in response to the bierkeller music. (The study didn't track sales of beer, despite the obvious connection.)

Customers seemed to have no idea they were being influenced by the store's sound system. In a questionnaire, nearly all denied the music played a role in their selection. Maybe the songs were acting subliminally or perhaps customers just didn't want to admit their susceptibility, one researcher speculates.

The study opens up some terrific possibilities for jewelers. How about playing "That's Amoré" during your next Italian gold promotion or "Waltzing Mathilda" for your next Australian opal event?

Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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