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Statement of Problem

How does music affect perceptions Consumer Behaviour?

Consumer behaviour is one of the essential facets or concerns that play a very important role in the shaping of the corporate strategies that are often built for the purpose of business operations. However the question pertinent to the situation is that whether there happens to be a significant relation between consumer behaviour and atmospheric conditions of which the element of music happens to contain a prime factor. It is rather imperative in this context to evaluate the phenomenon that would indicate the influence of music on the behaviour of the consumers that could again influence their purchasing decisions. (Niki Hynesa & Manson., 2016)

One thing that all of us might have noticed is that in the current times when the super markets and the mall culture is gaining a fast predominance, a pleasant environment at the places of commercial transactions such s markets has become quite an omnipotent feature. In fact music is one constant feature that happens to surround us, the consumers, whenever we visit a mall, a shop, a super market, a restaurant, a boutique or any other high profile commercial places. This feature of music has become so common that we often even miss to even notice or recognise the same. Yet it is very much present everywhere for that matter. Now the question is that why has music become such an important or even a non expandable facet of the modern times. Is there some other reason that just providing an environment of comfort and pleasure to the consumers. It is in this context one thing must be appreciated is that the entrepreneurs of these commercial places who does invest quite an amount to give us a pleasant atmosphere and environment to shop in must be having some real good reason behind their actions. As they are business men to begin and end with and not just mere philanthropists, hence the action of giving a pleasant environment to their customers must be having a good reason behind it. (Ko, 2015)

The recent researches in this context have found some really formidable answers behind the same. It has been found out through researches that the element of human psyche and the psychological conditions plays a major role in the purchasing decisions and the consumer behaviours in the present times. This in fact is the reason why the major malls and the super markets create an ambience that would be pleasant and comfortable and will be able to retain the consumers for a longer period of time. The present research has been conducted on similar lines which try to establish the relation between the element of music and that of the psyche of the consumers. Through this research we try to analyze and examine the psychological theories and the concepts that try to evaluate the relation between music and that of the consumer behaviour. It is through this research that we would like to find out the reason and the logic o creating a pleasant environment and ambience for the consumers of which the element of music is an essential part.(Michael Solomon, 2012) The research happens to be essential to understand the more minute details that are associated with the facet of consumer behaviour which in itself could be one of the most important domains that could help to increase business volume and sales bulk in any type of industry. Researches in this genre mostly take the sectors of the retail segments or the segment of hospitality such as the restaurants and the fine dining joints. (Luxford, 2015)

Rationale of the Research

A good many number of researches have been done in this segment. In fact this is a research where we see that two potentially different streams and principles comes into the foreplay and happens to be creating a different, a distinct and a completely unique theory that not juts explains phenomenon into the arena of psychology and human behaviour but also that of business and the commercial arena. (Weijters, 2014)

Very clearly it has been pointed out that business strategies are nothing but plans and designs that happens to be introducing a product or a service into the market in such way that it would be attracting the attention of the customers towards the service or the product and the consumers would be encouraged to make a purchase of the same. Through the various marketing gimmicks and the strategic planning all that the companies and the corporate houses are trying are but to encourage the consumers to make an added purchase of their products and services. (Humphreys, 2015)

It is on similar lines we see that the retailers and the super markets and the malls are also making an added effort to make their customers and their clients o be comfortable and happy while they are within the malls, which has a very favorable effect on the purchasing decisions and sales indexes. This is a fact that has been proven through a number of researches that has been conducted in the past couple of decades. These researches have been carried out through various types of sectors such as the malls, the shopping centers, the boutiques and very importantly the restaurant’s the dining joints. In all the above cases it has been seen that the element of music plays a very important role in creating a positive effect on the psyche of the consumers. It has been observed through various researches that happy and popular music has always had a positive effect on the moods and the psyche of the customers and if in the shopping malls the sales indexes have always have risen. In the case of the restaurants again it has been seen that clients have been retained for a longer time and they have also given the restaurants a much better scale of business.(Jeong, 2012)

A number of researches that have been conducted in this genre have led to the emergence of number of theories that explains the effect of music on human perception especially in the pretext of consumer behaviour. All of these theories have been indicative of the factor which points out at the influence that music could have on the psyche of the consumers who are out in the malls and the super markets trying to make a decision regarding their purchasing and buying priorities. These theories have both a commercial and management along with a psychological orientation that have tried to explain the influence of music on the human psyche and the consumer behaviour. (Clement, 2012)

Kolter in the year 1973 opined that the product, its quality and its price happened to comprise a very small part of the factors or the catalysts that actually encouraged a person to buy the particular product or avail the said service. There are certain other facets that had a much larger and a much more prominent effect and influence on the purchasing decisions of the consumer. The most important aspect or the major catalyst that encourages a consumer will be the local atmosphere. According to the reasoning of Kotler the atmospheric condition is a major tool that is used by the marketing team for the purpose of elevating the sales of their products. Kotler has highlighted the importance of facets such as the ambience of the shopping area that would consist of the temperature of the place, the cleanliness of the place, the interior décor, the lighting and the smell that could be associated with the place. Music is again one of the most elemental features of the atmospheric conditions of the place. As put by Kotler even the very nature of the music has to be very carefully and thoughtfully selected.(Lee, 2016)

Discussion – Synthesis of the theories with the thesis

Donovan and Russell in the year 1982 presented the world with their PAD theory or the theory of Pleasure, Dominance and activation. In order to explain this theory a number of researches have been carried out in the retail segment primarily. This research has revealed observations that the element of a comfortable and a pleasant ambience has resulted into the willingness of the customers to stay for a longer period in the shopping complexes that have automatically resulted in to better and higher sale brackets. On other hand in case the ambience of the sales place happens to be a repulsive one then the clients have always showed a displeasure towards the ambience of the shopping place and hence they have tried to leave o the place as early as possible. This has obviously would be having an adverse effect on the sales index of the place. (Zeeshan &Obaid, 1993)Gauguin and Jacob once again in their research have made observations on a flower boutique. The scholars have found that the rate of sales in the flower shop had been much high at the times when the shop had romantic and happy music., In similar lines Broekemier, Marquardt and Gentry have concluded that as observations have exhibited the genre of music also seems o be having a very important effect on the psyche of the consumers. In the current times it is no longer to have just music in the background. The music has to be such that would be appealing to the psyche of the people who are vesting the store. Hence in this context we see that the genre of popular happy, romantic and peppy music seem to have a much more beneficial effect on the psyche of the consumers and the scale of business and sales in the shopping arena. (Wagner, 2013)

There are again other studies those points out to the fact that the element of music cannot have much of a formative effect on the spending decisions of the consumers. However music could one of the instruments through which we see that the consumers could be retained in the stores for a longer span of time. It has been seen that, music is one of the contributing factors for which the consumers likes to spend some added and extra time in the shops. Again music or the choice of the songs that a played at  a store could again one of the major and prime reasons for which the customer would be attracted to revisit the store again in the future. (Robert East, 2013)

One of the theories that happen to be applicable in this context is that of Music psychology or that of musicology. This is a genre of psychological explanation that delves deep into the arena of music, it different variations and also the various kinds of effects that the sane could have on the human mind. This is one psychological theory that could be applied into a number of other streams such as the streams of education, performance, consumerism, social behaviour, intelligence and creativity. Music psychology is a stream that has been in the vogue since the pre 1980s. A number of empirical researches have been made into the stream between the era of 1860 and that of 1960. The time from 1960 to the present is again considered to be the modern era that has dawned new dimensions into the said doctrine. (Foxall, 2014)

This is the psychology theory that establishes the relation between music and that o human behaviour.

As a different facet of human behaviour, consumer behaviour is again a phenomenon that happens to get very largely affected by the element of music. This is probably one of the reasons for which we see that music has become an integral part of our modern cosmopolitan environment of shopping, one that is maintained in the various shopping malls, complexes and the super markets. Once again the theory clearly establishes the fact that music itself not exactly suffices to create a favorable influence on the psyche of the humans or the consumers to be more particular in this context. Music comes in various variations, kinds, types and also genres.(Hwang, 2013) In this context we see that retail shop entrepreneurs and maintenance people must be very careful and thoughtful at the time of making a choice of the songs and the music that would be playing in the background of their stores and shops. The class of the music, whether jazz, pop or traditional will be making a huge difference to the moods of the consumers. The tempo of the music, whether song with lyrics or an instrumental piece, will be the considerations that has to be calculated and evaluated quite closely and meticulously. This is so since the music type will again have a profound and definite impression on the psyche of the consumers and the buyers of a shop. (Chang, 2013)

The above research could be summed up into the opinion that the psychological aspect happens to play a major role in determining the sales volume and figures of shop. The very ambience and the environment of the shop happen to play a much significant role that helps to encourage a consumer to make higher number of purchases in a shop. However researches into the genre has also illustrated that often music is the catalyst that not really affect the purchasing decision of a consumer, however helps to retain the consumer for a longer period of time in the shop. (Lu, 2015)Music could also be an elemental reason for which a consumer would like to revisit a shop the second time. Hence music happens to be playing a very significant role and also has a potential influence on the facet of human perception and is rather imperative at least in the context of consumer behaviour. (Barrie Gunter, 2014)

Following are the aspects that have been illustrated in relation to the topic of the current thesis or research:

  • Music is used by a large number of malls and super markets, restaurants and other commercial shops to create an ambience of comfort and pleasure.
  • Music helps to influence the psyche of the consumers
  • Music cannot really help to increase the sales volume all the time.
  • Music can help to retain customers for a long time in the shops.
  • Music can motivate a customer to revisit a particular shop.
  • The nature or genre of music is also important.(Andersson, 2012)

However following are the issues or concerns that though exists in relation to the topic yet happens to be not fully elucidated:

  • Does music help the shop staff to interact better with the customers so that better business could be increased?
  • Can good music instigate the customers to refer the shop to others as well?
  • How music shall be mixed so that the shop could have an appeal for all age groups.(Nepomuceno, 2014)

Following are the recommendations that could be made for better and improved researches into the said genre:

  • Surveys could be conducted amongst the staff of the shop that would motivate them further.
  • A survey amongst the customers could be made so that the effect of the music on them could be analyzed. Again their suggestions could be taken to play better music.
  • Keeping all other marketing gimmicks same or even increased, researches could be conducted on sales figures and consumer behaviour when the music in a shop would be turned off. The resulting data could be them matched, compared and even evaluated as against the data when the shop did have background music. This could further help to elucidate the effect of music on consumer behaviour and also the perceptions of human beings. (Lantos, 2015)

References

Andersson, P.K..K.P..W.E..&.G.A., 2012. Journal of retailing and consumer services,

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969698912000732. Let the music play or not: The influence of background music on consumer behaviour, pp.553-60.

Barrie Gunter, A.F., 2014. Consumer Profiles (RLE Consumer Behaviour): An Introduction to Psychographics ;

https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=60m2BQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=How+does+music+affect+perceptions++++++++++++Consumer+Behaviour+&ots=grZe8fVH3y&sig=5DF-oHyKaft2hpk. Routledge.

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Clement, M..R.A..&.V.S., 2012. Service Science, https://pubsonline.informs.org/doi/abs/10.1287/serv.1120.0005. Consumer responses to legal music download services that compete with illegal alternatives., pp.4-23.

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https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-17049-7_60. On the Impact of Music on Meaning in Advertising: Theoretical Perspectives and Research Directions, pp.293-97.

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https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278431912000631. The antecedents and consequence of consumer attitudes toward restaurant brands: A comparative study between casual and fine dining restaurants., pp.121-31.

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https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2753/JEC1086-4415160304. Consumer piracy risk: Conceptualization and measurement in music sharing, pp.89-118.

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dq=How+does+music+affect+perceptions++++++++++++Consumer+Behaviour+&ots=ewUPNz6nGM&sig=4hrzLZvWZdP5wVA3rB5B-ld_yxk. Pearson Higher Education AU.

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https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969698915300849. The sound of silence: Why music in supermarkets is just a distraction, pp.171-78.

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https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpls/abs_all.jsp?arnumber=6480197. The Advertising Effect of Free--Do Free Basic Versions Promote Premium Versions within the Freemium Business Model of Music Services?, pp.2928-37.

Weijters, B..G.F..&.V.S., 2014. Journal of Business Ethics, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10551-013-1892-y. Online music consumption in today’s technological context: putting the influence of ethics in perspective. , pp.537-50.

Zeeshan, M. & Obaid, M.H., 1993. Asian Journal of Business and Management Sciences ; https://www.ajbms.org/articlepdf/5ajbms201303022769-06June14.pdf. Impact of Music on Consumer Behaviour: A Perspective on retail, pp.56-63.

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