Sounds trigger strong association and emotions that can exert a powerful influence on behavior.
In fact, classical music has been found to deter vandalism, loitering, and even violent crime in Canadian parks, 7-11 parking lots and subways. Figures released in 2006 showed that when classical music was piped over loudspeakers in the London Underground, robberies dropped by 33 percent, assaults on staff by 25 percent and vandalism of trains and stations by 37 percent.
Sound can even determine whether we pick up a bottle of French Chardonnay over a German Riesling. Over a two-week period, two researchers at the University of Leicester played either accordion-heavy, recognizable French music or a German Bierkeller brass band over the speakers of a retail wine section.
On French music days, 77 percent of consumers bought French wine, whereas on Bierkeller music days, the vast majority of consumers made a beeline for the German section of the store.
In short, a customer was three to four times more likely to select a bottle of wine they associated with the music playing overhead than one they didn’t. Were customers aware of what they were hearing? no doubt they were, peripherally. But only one out of the forty-four customer who agreed to answer a few questions at the checkout counter mentioned it among the reason they bought the wine they did.
Source: Buy-ology, by Martin Lindstrom