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A new study from the Stockholm School of Economics shows that background music that fits the brand can boost store sales by over 30%.

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What does your brand sound like?

Research shows that the customer experience in-store is one of the most important aspects for businesses aiming to enhance their image, increase sales and create competitive advantages. The moment your customers enter your store, they are at the center of the brand experience. The store environment is where you have the greatest possibility to influence how they perceive your brand and your products.

A strategically designed store environment that reflects your brand identity meets your customers’ expectations, stimulates them and enhances their shopping experience. Today, background music is being played in almost all commercial environments, but how much thought is put behind the choice of music? Do you know how your brand sounds?

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The power of background music

It is no news that music has a unique capacity to put people in different emotional states. Previous research has shown that background music in commercial environments affects customers to stay longer and buy more.

Background music can be used as a tool to arouse the right associations and create a retail environment that reflects the brand identity. It has also been shown to reduce the perceived waiting time and add to the impression that the company cares about its customers.

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Music is a powerful identity marker and often more effective than traditional brand communication. Therefore, music that doesn't fit the brand may contribute to a diluted brand image and have a negative effect on sales.

Magnus Rydén, Head of Content at Soundtrack Your Brand

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Congruent background music is background music 2.0

In the spring of 2015, the students Jasmine Moradi and Gabriella Johansson conducted a quantitative study at the Stockholm School of Economics in collaboration with the music tech company Soundtrack Your Brand and the fashion company GANT.

The music was tailored to fit GANT's identity and then tested in a real store environment in order to measure the effects brand-congruent background music has on consumers. The focus on brand congruence makes this study unique, since previous research has only studied general background music.

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Don’t leave the choice of music to chance

The results of the study clearly shows that brand-congruent background music has a positive effect on consumer behavior. Background music that was consistent with the customers' perception of the brand increased sales, improved customer satisfaction and strengthened customers’ associations with the brand.

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We were positively surprised by the study's findings and we are convinced that there is an untapped potential in using music in a more professional manner to strengthen the customer experience and thereby the brand.

Caroline Roth, Global Marketing & Communications Director at GANT

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Download the report

Would you like to know more about how brand-congruent background music can boost your sales and strengthen your brand? Download a free summary of the study and start taking control of how your brand sounds.



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