Behavioural Science.

There are no medals for nice music and wishful thinking, just a fair bit of risk. Leave that to others. Instead, let’s focus on the science behind good vibrations that curate atmospheres with real intention.

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Questions of science, science and progress.

Creating something so deeply subjective as an atmosphere without a strong understanding of human behaviour is kind of silly. That’s why all of our team are trained in behavioural science.

A quick example; did you ever hear of the experiment that got customers to buy wines from different origins (France or Germany) just by changing the in-store music? The truth is that human behaviour is complex and sometimes surprising - so understanding the science behind how we’re likely to respond takes your atmosphere away from nice music and wishful thinking to one that's world-class.

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Cannes Lions accredited

Brands that sound better with Startle

Oh behave!

The practice of behavioural science has a broad ranging set of principles that refer to ways we’re likely to behave.

Here’s just a few factors we take into consideration for fine-tuning an atmosphere:

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The Peak-End Rule

A psychological heuristic in which people mostly evaluate an experience by the sum of its most stand-out moments (the peaks) and how it concludes (the end).

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The Fundamental Attribution Error

In a nutshell, it is the tendency to overestimate the importance of personality and to underestimate the influence of context as the key in driving human behaviour.

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Expectancy Theory

People largely experience what they expect to experience, and each experience a customer has with you will be used to gauge what they expect in the future. So let’s make sure you’re always on point.

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The Von Restorff Effect

Being distinctive is a critical business decision. The Von Restorff Effect predicts that an item that stands out from the rest is more likely to be remembered than others.

Want to learn more? Download our free Top Ten Charts of Behavioural Science.

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Behavioural Science’s Top Hits brochure

“Behavioural science should be a topic all businesses are interested in. Startle are at the forefront in this area.”

Richard Shotton


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Context is King

We are famili-ar

Oh Behave

Context is King

We are famili-ar

Oh Behave

Context is King

We are famili-ar

We are famili-ar

When everybody zigs...

So Sally Can Weight

When everybody zigs...

So Sally Can Weight

When everybody zigs...

So Sally Can Weight

The science of Startle.

People rarely have accurate explanations of their own behaviour (such as why they chose which wine to buy based on the music they heard). This awareness gap can lead to businesses making seemingly logical decisions that ultimately have no impact or, even worse, have a negative impact.

We start with science. We do this because the ultimate goal for any business isn’t; ‘We’d like to play the top charts and have some pretty display screens’, it’s ‘We want to increase dwell-time’, or ‘We want people to be open to browsing new items’. Without behavioural science, you just end up with a soundtrack of great songs and wishful thinking.

Find out more about our Five Profiling Pillars

Whether you're trying to get customers to switch from a competitor, to buy a greater range of products or to pay a premium, businesses need to understand behaviour change.

Behavioural science - the study of how to effectively change behaviour - should therefore be a topic all businesses are interested in. There are many areas that behavioural science can be applied commercially, with music and atmosphere being some of the least exploited.

Startle are at the forefront in this area.

Richard Shotton

Consultant and author of the choice factory

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Richard Shotton

Heard enough?

Get in touch to start playing your customers the kind of background music that creates those hair-tingling moments.

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