Music is an essential component of everyday life for most people throughout the world. Music, as a form of art, is considered a fundamental function in society, and it has a significant influence on people’s lives. Music has an essential role in the history and culture of any existing community or civilization. Conventionally, it influences and changes listeners. For instance, music inspires, thrills, excites, and strengthens individuals. Besides, it also enriches their life experiences. Music can contain specific knowledge or entertain listeners with its pleasant and well-orchestrated sounds and compositions. From a different perspective, it is also viable to assume that music is a form of communication and a way to express feelings. As such, people can socialize themselves with communities by listening and sharing music (Brand, 2016).
Contemporarily, technology allows people to listen and create music at their discretion using innovative equipment and gadgets. Therefore, the former has made music popular and a necessity for many. Considering music’s cardinality, economics consider it a significant influencer in consumers’ purchase of given goods and services.
In the 21st century, people have access to music at any time they want on phones, iPod, in cars, at work, or even at public places. Scholars’ studies of previous research indicate that music can affect the emotions of human beings by its attributed calming and relaxing effects (Thoma et al., 2013). Several preceding research studies aimed at finding out the impacts of music in general. In this regard, many researchers concur that the use of music has profound effects on listeners, including its power to motivate, inform, and influence people’s choices when buying commodities (Blanaru et al., 2012). Similarly, this study delves further to assess the ability of music to induce awe from a business perspective.
Awe-inspiring and non-awe inspiring music
Awe is a complex, cognitive–conceptual emotion that is associated with transcendence and wonder (Guo, Jiang, Huang, Ye & Zhou, 2018). The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines it as “an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime’ (https://www.merriam-webster.com). Traditionally, people only felt it on extreme and infrequent occasions, but over time the word has become more commonly used – it is well within the definition of awe that a particular piece of music could invoke such a fantastic feeling in the minds of many (Hurris, 2017). Indeed, McCrae (2007) has made this claim and supported it with empirical evidence; that awesome music has so much influence on consumer attitudes, that, for instance, their behavior is subject to change when the musical rhythm changes (International Society for Music Education, 2015). Awe-inspiring music within the retailing context, then, is used as a tool to motivate, captivate, and perhaps to draw sharp attention to compositions that influence the way people react to sound (Ciorba & Siebert, 2016). Different people are, of course, fascinated by dissimilar types of music; classical, instrumental harmony, lyrics, particular artists, and even the effective use of cultural aspects with which certain groups can relate (Silvia, Fayn, Nusbaum, & Beaty, 2015). The same aspects are also considered in the role of music for death (Darrow, 2016). Awe-inspiring music targets multiple demographics, who feel its impact from the beginning to the end.
Some music inspires awe in a broader group than others – for instance, a duet between James Brown and Luciano Pavarotti, known as “It’s a man’s world,” is felt to be awe-inspiring for a vast audience, because the beats and the lyrics appeal to listeners from various generations. Pilgrim, Norris, and Hackathorn (2017) explain that awe is complicated, but it awakens the cognitive features of an individual – in marketing parlance. As such, this means that it has the power to engage and involve a target audience (Witherspoon, 2016). Most importantly, these authors explain that music is fantastic and powerful due to its transcendence.
Like McCrae (2007), Pilgrim et al. (2017) affirm that human personalities, such as openness determine the aesthetics of music. Pilgrim et al. further claims that people with high levels of transparency typically seek new experiences; they are imaginative, open-minded, and inquisitive. Even though the ability of music to induce awe differs for different musical dimensions, such as complex and reflective music (Morrison & Beverland, 2003), the linking of specific personality traits to a particular type of music sometimes makes it feasible to target this group in an appropriate store (Dykema & Farnsworth, 2015). Thus, the tune, song, or artist that appeals most to the target consumer often becomes a signature sound in a store.
Conventionally, music is generally regarded to be awe-inspiring if it is impressive to the listener and if it stimulates an emotional response or reaction that changes the mental state or structure of a person. Moreover, awe-inspiring music inspires the listener to pay attention to it because of the compositions of the sound (Figueiredo, 2017; Fridman, 2015). Non-awe-inspiring music, on the other hand, refers to the kind of music that is boring, unimpressive, unexciting, and even ordinary (North, 2018). Therefore, awe-inspiring music varies from non-awe-inspiring music in terms of the appeal it has to listeners. In conclusion, music connects the listeners both physically and emotionally, and music has the power to induce such an emotion. In this context, a review of the existing literature on awe-inspiring and non-awe-inspiring music will provide insight into the purchasing behaviors of the listeners.
How People Process Music
Studies assert that the way people process and appreciate the feeling of music depends on the neurons. When people listen to music, the neurological mirroring in the brain is responsible for how they react and move depending on the rhythm of the sounds of music (Matyja, 2015; Harris, 2017). Similarly, scientific studies attribute changes in peoples’ moods and behavior at different times of the day to the kind of music to which they listen (Shiota, Keltner & Mossman., 2017). For this reason, marketers often use music in advertisements and commercials.
Music sets different moods in unique settings to diverse people, and it can unconsciously trigger neurotransmitters in the brain, which dictate the listener’s temper. In other words, every human brain reacts to different kinds of music (Van Geelen, 2017; Valerio, Seaman, Yap, Santucci, & Tu, 2016). The state of focus and attention while listening to music allows the listener to become immersed in the sound of the music, which results in different moods such as sadness and joy.
Importance of Music
There are substantial uses of music that are important in society. First, music increases the enjoyment of life as it makes people happier, which, in turn, causes the human body to release hormones that boost immunity (Simama & Clements, 2016a). Moreover, music has also useful for therapeutic purposes in the health industry, and it has been found to improve the social responses and communication skills of children with disabilities. Also, some genres of music give encouragement and support to listeners (Pilgrim, Norris, & Hackathorn, 2017). Through research, scientists have shown that the act of listening tom music increases arouses the moods of a person to increase his or her focus when carrying out chores (Putkinen, Makkonen, & Eerola, 2017; Shaw, 2018).
Similarly, communities consider music to be a universal language. For example, in some cases, because people from different parts of the world can attend music festivals that are held annually at a given place regardless of their origin (Simama & Clements, 2016b). Considering these observations, researchers postulate that music is essential as it plays a role in enhancing unity as it brings people together from different parts of the world (Johansson, 2019; Zaffini, 2015). However, it is necessary to note that music can also divide. For instance, not every person likes the sound of hard rock. Therefore, during the selection of music, business administrators should be careful to select pieces that appeal to broad audiences and cultures.
Furthermore, music can improve the mood of its listeners by making them happy, excited, calm, or relaxed. Overall, music can make people feel all the possible emotions that human beings experience in their day to day lives. In turn, these emotions can be instrumental in enhancing how people express themselves (Cudjoe, S. 2017). Generally, the compelling aspect of music to evoke intense emotions in us can make music make people cry, console them when we are down, enable them to manage grief, or even inspire romance. Music can also reduce anxiety in people. For instance, Jasemi, Aazami, & Zabihi’s (2016) research has shown that cancer patients who listened to music while receiving standard care had a lower level of anxiety compared to those who received treatment without listening to music. Other studies (Konečni, Wanic, & Brown, 2017) show that patients who had surgery and listened to music during, before or after the procedure had reduced pain as compared to those that did not listen to music during the operation.
Ambient music is a musical genre that emphasizes tone and atmosphere. The genre deviates from the traditional form of music which relies on structure and rhythm. This kind of composition creates or evokes a mood or atmosphere that is visual as it puts gentle sounds that are soothing (Van Geelen, 2017). Ambient music is intended to make the listener calm and in a state conducive to thought (Levinowitz, 2018). Therefore, ambient music should accommodate heightened attention without necessarily requiring the person to be involved.
Ambient music can improve sleeping patterns in poor sleepers, or even insomniacs. Additionally, it can soothe or lull babies to sleep, especially newborns and infants, and can also calm them (Morehouse, 2016). Also, ambient music plays in waiting areas or public areas like elevators, doctor’s offices to encourage people to be in a calm state while they are waiting. Therefore, it may elicit the same calming effect on buyers who listen to such music while shopping and influences their decisions.
Utilitarian products are those products that are purchased depending on what the consumer needs. Unlike hedonic products, the utilitarian products require consideration of exclusive values based on the shoppers’ preferences. In their research, Wiedmann, Hennigs, Klarmann, and Behrens (2013) identified that popular music correlates with cheap and non-luxurious products. Therefore, business administrators can use this knowledge to play music that targets utilitarian shoppers. It is difficult for a retailer to pick and decide the kind of music that will generate awe to different people because people have different reactions to and tastes of music. Therefore, it is the retailer’s responsibility to match the music to the type of customer base he or she targets (Shiota, Thrash, Danvers, & Dombrowski, 2017). In this case, the choice of music matters because, as Gorn (2018) explains, combining or changing of music genres in one’s store can influence the shopper’s purchase intentions.
The environment that a retailer creates gives the shoppers additional informational cues about the quality of the services provided in the store. It can influence shoppers’ attitudes and perception about a particular retailer’s store (Wiedmann et al., 2013). It is important to note that when making any purchase, many shoppers respond to more than the offered products and services. For this reason, the retailer should selectively get a playlist that draws in as many customers as possible.
Luxury brands/luxury products
Luxury brands are brands whose majority of products are prestigious. A luxury brand can also include products whose prices are relatively high, and of excellent quality. Additionally, luxurious brands are associating themselves with aspects like uniqueness and status. Marketers have realized that they can enhance the luxury experience by playing pleasant music in their stores. For instance, brands such as Chanel employ strategies such as storytelling whereby the brand takes its shoppers ‘Inside Chanel,’ and they get to meet several artists who share their experiences and visions about the brand and this influences a shopper’ perception of the brand (Taylor, 2018). This approach makes luxury brands more sophisticated through the creation of highly curated playlists that target the shopper’s purchase behaviors.
Luxury brands always appeal to individuals from upper-class society through the creation of a more appealing environment for their shoppers. Whatever kind of genre some opt to play; jazz, or even electro-pop, should positively affect the shopping pattern. For instance, hip-hop artists around the world are seen shopping for luxurious clothes, hotels, and even recreational places, and some luxury brands create custom products exclusively for them. The kind of music played in this kind of stores must be hip-hop, so that it can attract these kinds of shoppers (Lee & Kacen, 2017). These strategies illustrate the impact of the choice of music, either awe-inspiring or non-awe-inspiring has on the shopper’s purchase intentions.
Other luxury brands have even gone further to hire DJ’s and musicians as ambassadors for their brands. Music is one kind of a powerful channel that brings about the emotional qualities of goods to life, and these aid in activating the promising aspect of a particular brand. The most real marketing potentiality of music is that it can move precise crowds of shoppers within a targeted market since it accesses the mood and emotions of the customers (The World of Music Bibliography, 2018). There also exists sound stylists who work with certain brands, and some include Robuchon, Viceroy, Marriott, Mulberry, Dunhill, Armani, Chaumet, LVMH, Four Seasons, Saks, Luxoticca and Brioni (Wiedmann et al., 2018).
In-store music, on the other hand, sets a purpose to the shoppers. Music with a social purpose makes shoppers reflect on their roles in society. Emotional music makes shoppers feel their emotional states such as happiness, excitement, or contentment (Mahadeva, 2017). Music that has a cognitive function also helps shoppers feel taken away from the world or feel engaged to it. Finally, arousal focused music makes the shoppers’ auditory sense excited hence inviting them to perform their chores (Navarro, Osiurak, & Reynaud, 2018)
When a retailer chooses a certain kind of music, it means they want the best shopping experience for their shoppers, and that they are making them feel positive and confident in their purchasing choices. Thus, getting their emotional, cognitive, and arousal behaviors excited by music are some of the best methods to get shoppers but in bulk from one’s shop or store. Too much arousal on a shoppers’ purchase intentions can be unfavorable as well because it activates their psychological stress system, which means that they are not likely to continue shopping in that shop frequently (Navarro, Osiurak, & Reynaud, 2018).
When it comes to brands, scholars have noted that music helps a shopper to remember the brand’s promise. Thus, music and branding are always the right combinations. Retailers should, therefore, use music to create a fan base that is loyal and feels engaged when purchasing in such stores. The use of music often relies on its ability to communicate (Yalch & Spangenberg, 2018). For instance, a retailer can use classical music to promote luxury brands because such music tends to establish an up-market image among shoppers. Therefore, the message delivered should have a better storyline; whether the shoppers are paying attention or not.
For brands to be relevant years after their first production, they have to keep up with the way of life of the people. In a sense, awesome music is part of the culture (Barton, 2018). Therefore, when luxury brands also use music to market their brands, they appeal to the cultural identities of their target markets. Most companies want their consumers to be emotional or to have a sense of attachment to their brands. Fortunately, the music reflects the emotions of people, and luxury brands use music to connect to people.
There is preliminary evidence of the connection between luxury brands and remarkable music, while utilitarian products correlate with non-luxury music (Silvia, Fayn, Nusbaum, &Beaty, 2015). These authors suggest that the observable trend to making this connection is occasioned by attitude and behavior change, as awe-inspiring music changes the shopping experiences and influences attitudes by making shoppers feel as if they belong to the high social class. The logic behind this experience is that consumers desire to purchase brands that relate to their aspirational social class.
Background and Foreground Music
Background music refers to the music played in noisy environments; for example, the music that stops playing in a movie when the characters start talking is the background music (North, 2018). It increases the behavior and positive evaluation of their surroundings. Foreground music, on the other hand, is the music that plays when people stop talking, and it mainly increases the arousal of moods of the listeners. In other words, the difference is that foreground music is louder than the background.
Most stores play either background or foreground music for shoppers to hear it, consciously, or even unconsciously (Kellaris & Cox, 2017). It is good that a retailer chooses a playlist that can appeal to broad audiences to influence the shoppers’ behaviors. When selecting this type of music, some factors that retailers need to consider include age, gender, and cultural influences of the shoppers.
Bian and Forsy (2018) argue that there are still aspects that can improve the way the playing of background music in a luxurious store inspires shoppers. According to Mosaed, Vahidi, and Linn (2018), elements such as tempo and volume positively affect the inspiration of the music and how much shoppers are likely to be attracted to purchase in a particular store. For instance, slow or fast tempos will be attractive to different kinds of shoppers (Navarro, Osiurak, & Reynaud, 2018). When retailers play fast music, shoppers tend to move quickly in the store and may not purchase some of the luxurious products as stated by (Navarro, Osiurak, & Reynaud, 2018) since they may, for instance, fail to see them or they may lack the impulsiveness to buy some goods due to the pace at which they are moving. On the other hand, slow-paced or ambient music, makes the shoppers slow down, and this makes them make more purchases because these kinds of music are awe-inspiring as well.
Music in Stores and Expectations of Shoppers
Retail store owners nowadays are not only relying on their store elements such as lighting, the décor to attract customers into shopping in their stores. They have delved into selecting music to set an atmosphere that can influence the decisions of their shoppers. Marketers use music as a tool to differentiate one retail store from other similar competing stores. Awe-inspiring music is attractive to customers, and store owners should keep changing it as it has different appeals to unique people and diverse age groups (Rowe, 2016). The preferences of people determine how long they will shop in a store. For instance, teenagers tend to listen to rock music; older people tend to listen to classical music (Kelly & Veronee, 2019). Middle-aged people tend to listen to country music and therefore the aspect of playing different types of music in different parts of the same retail store is one way to attract a large pool of customers into the store.
Over the past several years, scholarly research has shown that the mood and atmosphere that a shop has dramatically influenced the customers because music has a powerful influence and impact on people’s psychology. It can alter human moods and cause a corresponding change in human behavior. This mood can be set out by the kind of music that plays in that particular shop (Lee &Kacen., 2017). Similarly, McCrae (2017) argues that the purchase behavior of consumers differs depending on whether the music is for luxurious or non-luxurious purposes. For instance, the variation of awe in music may relate to positive emotions in a shopper. Stores that play the music that is appealing and is pleasurable to the centers of the brain may cause shoppers to react differently. Awe-inspiring music makes some customers to have a positive experience even if it means spending their time waiting in line in for a product or service (Yalch & Spangenberg, 2018). If awesome music develops a positive perception of the time that some shoppers spend in a store, this could increase the number of purchases made from the shop. Considering Top 40 hits in a retailer’s playlist could influence some shoppers’ purchase intentions as well.
Retail stores play different kinds of music in different parts of their store to create some appeal to a targeted group of customers. Retailers use music to increase their retail sales because it is a powerful tool that can influence the attitudes of customers while shaping their opinions about different products and services offered in a particular shop store. Previous research indicates that positive emotions and experiences lead to consumers spending more on goods (Lee & Kacen, 2008). Additionally, Morrison and Beverland (2003) earlier explained that stores sell a sense of adventure and originality through music. Similarly, Guo, Jiang, Huang, Ye, and Zhou (2018) go on to link the type of music and consumer behavior in a store. However, while there is a consensus that music does affect attitudes, and subsequently shopping behavior, awe (and awe-inspiring music) is of only recent, but growing, interest to researchers (Silvia, Fayn, Nusbaum &Beaty, 2015). According to Keltner and Haidt (2003), awe is widely considered to be a vital component of our experiences with art, nature, and religion. In the context of luxury goods, I feel that the use of awesome music could significantly enhance shopping experiences.
Music has various impacts on the purchase of either luxurious or non-luxurious products (North & Hargreaves, 2018). Since the emotional response to any sound or music precisely is a natural process, the awe or non-awe in the music depends on one’s judgment (Lumsden & Jensen, 2017). The purchase of luxury products correlates with the luxurious kind of music (Silvia, Fayn, Nusbaum, & Beaty, 2015). Many sellers refer to this behavior as ‘shopping to a beat’ as they have known how music influences customers’ actions.
The market has become one competitive community especially the privately owned stores, and thus the owners and administrators cannot solely rely on promotions, the location of their shops or their products as the only efforts supposed to increase the customers or improve their brand recognition. Apart from the use of ambient ways, they have embarked on selecting awesome music to create a better mood for their outlets. The stores must naturally dictate on kind of music genre chosen, as well as the pace of the ambient music that can have a positive effect on the shoppers.
Playing the right kind of music genre played in a retail store can create a positive impression on the customers and therefore improve the customer experience. In turn, this perception can improve customer retention and brand awareness of a particular store because existing customers spread the word of their pleasant experience to their friends and colleagues. From these observations, scholars can conclude that music is a powerful marketing tool when used correctly
Measuring Awe-Inspiration and the personality of listeners
For better recommendations of music, music producers all around the world need to invent better ways of knowing their listeners’ music taste rather than the standard approach. One way of improving the music taste and recommendations that fit listeners is by tracking their emotions and feelings towards the kind of music that they listen and enjoy. Producers can achieve this goal by achieved by gathering consumer feedback on their emotional state after listening to a particular sort of awe-inspiring music. However, previous studies noted that the musical factors that induce certain emotions varied among individuals.
According to investigations, the taste of music correlates with the personality of the listener (Pashler, 2013). For instance, people who listened to blues and jazz, rap and opera have high self-esteem, outgoing, creative, gentle, and at ease. People who listened to classical, on the other hand, are introverted, have high self-esteem, and inventive. Notably, the personalities of the people who listened to indie indicated that they are not hardworking, not gentle, have low self-esteem, but they are creative. Therefore, scholars can probably measure the personality of a listener from the kind of music that they consume.
Even though awe is thought to be a universal experience, the degree to which different people find music to be awe-inspiring differs. Previous studies show that personality differences can inhibit people’s experience of awe-inspiring music. According to McCrae (2007), awesome music can lead to a sense of “chills” in response to the aesthetic stimuli. The author affirms that emotional response to sound, or music, is a natural process, but aesthetics or beauty is subject to human judgment. Classical music played by instruments to one person only draws the aesthetic appeal.
On the other hand, some people are awed or inspired by the lyrics even if the tonal variation does not create the requisite harmony with instruments. McCrae (2007) explored the “Revised NEO Personality Inventory” (NEO-PI-R), which measures the existence of chills and the personalities of shoppers (p. 4). A defining aspect of the test is the ability to translate the openness of shoppers to various experiences. Also, temperaments determine the tastes and preferences of shoppers. These factors apply to clients who respond to music on digital purchase spaces and physical outlets, including Wal-Mart. In the end, as stated before, this is an intensely personal consideration; what music is awe-inspiring depends on the personalities of individuals. Nonetheless, marketers must understand the triggers that cause chills on various clients before introducing music that could influence their in-store attitudes and behaviors. The studies showed that a relationship exists between the personality of a person and their preference towards a particular kind of music.
The discussion of previous studies reveals that although the various scholars made a good attempt at elaborating the impact of music on consumer choice, they did not focus on the effect that awe-inspiring music has on the purchase of luxurious products. Moreover, most of the studies used only 18- to 30-year-old females as subjects of their research. Therefore, the current research will focus on the effects of music on the purchase intentions of consumers. The findings of the study will fill provide further insights into the available knowledge about music and its outcome on females’ purchase intentions. Besides, the information contributes to the understanding of beautiful music, and marketers can use the information when targeting products to female students.Free research paper samples and term paper examples available online are plagiarized. They cannot be used as your own paper, even a part of it. You can order a high-quality custom research paper on your topic from expert writers:
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