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Music and wine: How sounds make you sell more

Music and wine: How sounds make you sell more

Music and wine: How sounds make you sell more

Among the senses the strongest is  sight but also  hearing has a decisive influence on  taste and even on the purchase of wine with the “Lafite effect”.  Music and wine: How sounds make you sell more


By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Refined music drives you to buy expensive wines, relaxing music decreases the frustration of those queuing in front of the register, whereas a very well-known music distracts you from buying.

So, the rhythm accelerates consumer movements between the shelves and decreases sales. Here, in a nutshell, how sounds can change the attitude of wine lovers inside a wine bar or in the shop of the cellar.
That’s why spreading the sounds of an opera helps an Italian winery to sell more and more expensive wines.


Professor Vincenzo Russo, the most experienced Italian neuromarketing expert,  teaches us, through Trebicchieri – economic weekly by Gambero Rosso, how  sounds influence the purchase of wine.

It should be assumed that hearing has an “adaptive function” because it is closely connected with three parts of the brain. We have the limbic system in which emotions reside, the prefrontal Cortex that makes us feel pleasure and motor Cortex that, as the name says, commands movement. The first two are the real pleasure centers in all of us, in fact they are the parts of our brain that react “euphorically” when we eat food that we like, and consequently when we  have sex or we use drugs.


The adaptive function of music also works on the perception of time, for example makes it seem shorter to wait in line.
Music affects purchasing behaviors both in a negative and positive sense: if it is very famous, for example it can attract the attention of consumers to the point of distracting them from buying. You know when we hear a song that we’ve danced many times and we want to accompany the rhythm with the body while the mouth starts singing? Our head fills with memories and moves away from the choice of bottles.

Music and wine: How sounds make you sell more



The music that instead pushes consumers towards the most expensive bottles is not pop and not even rock, but refined and important such  as a piece of Mozart or Chopin.

Certainly because of the adaptive function linked to hearing, classical music unwittingly pushes the consumer to assume upper class aptitudes and thus to make very high-profile purchases. Experts call it the “Lafite effect “ with reference to the famous Bordeaux Chateau.

It seems that even the rhythm of the music is to be considered with attention: if it is fast it pushes consumers to move fast, while if it is slow the passage in front of the shelves slows down with good consequences on the turnover. In fact, back in 1982 Milliman had discovered a close correlation between sales and the speed of customer movement in commercial space.
It seems incredible but even the geographical origin of music influences purchases to one wine-growing region instead of another, for example in the week dedicated to the Rhineland Rieslings I would bet on Beethoven while for white Alsatians better Edit Piaf or Charles Aznavour……


As a result, and in following the same logic and aiming to market the best bottles , like Brunello di Montalcino, perhaps the use of opera music to promote the sale of the great wines of  Italy seems the most effective tactic. In fact Italy is in the world the land of Verdi, Puccini and Mascagni that foreign tourists, during their trip to our land, would like to enjoy within the complex experience of which are part of historical centers, museums, theatres but also restaurants and great wines.