Muzak Makes You Spend…and Overtrade

As a lover of music I am never quite sure of what I think of muzak.

In case you were wondering I haven’t made a spelling mistake with muzak. The Cambridge dictionary defines it as “recorded music that is played quietly and continuously in public places, such as airports, hotels and shops, to make people feel relaxed”. You probably know it as elevator music or that subtle keyboard version of Let it be! that you catch yourself sometimes humming to whilst in your local store.

Adrian North, a Professor of Psychology, has found out that the supermarkets may have very good business reasoning for this “background music.”

“If you play slow music in supermarkets then people tend to browse more slowly and look at more products. As a result they spend an average of 10-20% more. I shudder to think what 10-20% on the bottom line for Tesco is.”

It seems from this niche area of research that personality types can be linked quite accurately to certain musical styles. As a result businesses can utilize music as a way of enticing particular stratum of society to be more comfortable spending time in their stores and thus increase sales.

What does the music you listen to say about you?

Do you trade with music on in the background? Could this be effecting your results? Do you trade more frequently because you are amped? Bet you’re a day trader…

Did you realize you were being manipulated even by the sounds you hear in your local supermarket?

For another example of manipulation in the blogoshpere you might like to check out Michael’s recent post You Are Being Used

About the Prof who’s down with Muzak.

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