Storytelling tips you can try: the effect music has on purchasing decisions

Posted by  Shelley Fenech —December 5, 2017
Filed in Anecdotes, Business storytelling, Selling

We understand that life gets busy. Between emails, meetings and projects it can sometimes be hard to deliberately think about useful business stories that you’ve encountered recently. We want to make it easier to become better business storytellers, and for that reason we’ve decided to post regular stories that include bite-size tips on how to use them within a business setting.


There was a field study conducted to see how much in-store music could affect purchasing decisions in supermarkets. A display of French and German wines was put up, and for two weeks the store alternated between playing overtly French and German music.

On the days that French music played, the French wines sold much more than the German wines. When German music played, the German wines sold much more than the French wines. When the participants of the study filled out a survey, it became clear that they weren’t aware that the music had an influence on their purchasing decision.

Only six of the forty participants even realised there was music playing and of those six, the music had an influence on the purchasing decision of only one of them.

How to use this story in business

Imagine you’re sitting with product marketers and you’re discussing how you can improve the sales performance of a particular product. You could say something like, “we’ve tried a whole bunch of things – maybe we need to go further, to think of the biases that sit under the surface and influence our purchasing decisions. You know, there was this study done to see how much in-store music affected purchasing decisions…”, and you tell them about the study.⠀

Tags for your storybank: #Decisions #Bias #Influence #Customers #Wine

Source: Ross, HJ 2014, Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgements in Our Daily Lives, Romwman & Littlefield.

A storybank is where you store all of your stories. This could be a physical notebook, but we find that using a system like Evernote to be a more popular approach. You can even use Evernote to create tags, making it easier to find stories when you need them.

To be an effective business storyteller requires practice. Our programs are designed to work in a no-nonsense way in a business setting combined with lots of practical tools and tips and ways to practice. Learn more here

Shelley Fenech About  Shelley Fenech

Shelley is a recent Strategic Communication graduate and assists with all things communication. She helps to progress our purpose to help restore humanity to organisations by telling our story through marketing and social media. She also supports our global Partner network in their quest to bring storytelling into business.

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