How music can shape the perception of a brand

Whilst many agencies have long considered visuals to be most important in shaping how consumers perceive a brand, a new study carried out by PHMG, an audio branding specialist, has shown that music may be the more effective tool when it comes to attracting and keeping customers.

How people respond to music

Over 60 per cent of the 1,000 people surveyed by PHMG said that the music they heard was more memorable than the images they saw. Not only that, but it had an emotional impact, making them feel more or less positive toward the brands themselves, showing how important music for business is and how it can affect people’s purchasing decisions.

How music changes peoples perceptions

It may not take much to change perceptions of a brand. Subtle differences in key and style can have a big effect on how a person feels about a company. The response to short, sharp notes on a string instrument is mainly positive, for example, as long as it’s in the major key. Move from major to minor, and the response is a feeling of sadness, which is not necessarily something a brand would want to be associated with. Music can also help to build up tension and suspense and this is very much the case with the music that is played before the start of a Formula One race or perhaps during a race whilst you are enjoying the luxury in a F1 Paddock Club Belgium such as those you can see at The music will often be memorable and will have a tone and beat to it that will combine well with the sport.

The choice of instrument plays a part, too. Acoustic guitars score highly with survey participants as they are seen as natural and honest, while the use of drums can create either a feeling of urgency and intensity or relaxation depending on the beat used. However, the response to brass instruments was generally not as positive, with most people saying they experienced feelings of anger, sadness or reflection after listening to such music.

The power of music in shaping a brand

The director of music and voice for PHMG said their study underscores the emotional power of music and how this can be used to reflect organisational values and a company’s vision.Getting the right combination of audio and visual elements is, therefore, essential for building a strong brand with loyal customers. This might not be too much of a surprise in television, where songs from adverts as well as theme music such as those played for shows such as formula one or match of the day often become hits, but the power of music to help shape a brand applies just as much to radio, video and product sounds.