Why choosing the right Genre for your background music is oh, so important.

Of these three elements of music, genre is said to have the strongest link with psychology, as consumers have a tendency to behave in a manner consistent with the connotations of music.

The influence of music genre on customer spend is largely due to its effect on the quality perception of a business.

For instance, styles of music such as classical and jazz are perceived to be high-class as they are associated with sophistication and luxury.

Why choosing the right Genre for your Background Music in your business

When played in businesses such as bars, restaurants and retail stores, these types of music have proven to increase a customer’s willingness to spend more and persuade them to purchase finer, more premium products.

One study conducted by Areni and Kim (1993) found that customers exposed to classical music as opposed to Top 40 music in a wine store spent significantly more.

This wasn’t due to a higher quantity of products purchased, but rather the selection of more expensive wines.

The conclusion here was that “music must fit the persuasion context in order to produce the desired outcome”, i.e. in a context associated with prestige and sophistication (such as a wine store), atmospheric cues such as music must facilitate that experience.

Similarly, a separate study found that, when comparing the impact of these two same genres of music in a restaurant, customers exposed to classical music, again, spent more.

The researchers reported that this was attributable to the ‘upmarket’ connotations of classical music that customers subconsciously mirrored.

While these findings can help with a business’ sales strategy, it’s important to acknowledge the simple notion that consumers are susceptible to what is sometimes referred to as ‘auditory symbolism’.

In other words, the background music played in a retail or hospitality location indicates to consumers the type of venue they’re in, and what to expect from it.

Therefore, this research not only indicates a direct influence from the genre of music on customer spend, but highlights the overall importance of well-profiled background music.