The Right Song for the Buy: How Music Influences Consumer Decisions

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Just as all human cultures have a language, every culture has music, and research suggests that music has the capacity to elicit an emotional response in a listener. From an applied business perspective, this phenomenon is often exploited: think of curated music in a restaurant to elicit contentment or music in ads for valentines to make us feel love. Yet how does music affect consumer behavior, and what are the important factors to take into consideration when choosing music for a product or business? This case reviews theoretical perspectives and empirical data on music and emotion in relation to their use in commercials and branding, with the purpose of helping business students choose music that “fits” with the product and has the desired effect on the consumer.

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