Get in the middle of a chain reaction.

Influence customer perceptions and buying behaviour
by utilising the behavioural science behind good vibrations.

Questions of science, science and progress

Music is extremely powerful in influencing behaviour and emotions, and when it's combined with behavioural science, it can create next-level customer experiences with positive commercial results.

Did you know, for example, that slower tempos can result in higher daily profits as consumers spend more time browsing?

Here’s a fascinating experiment; when investigating the effect of in-store ambience on wine sales, French and German music were played on alternating days1. On days when French music was played, French wines outsold German wines 5:1. On days when German music was played, German wine outsold French wine by 2:1.

(We know what you’re thinking; ‘Germany produces wine?’)

Studies like these show that it is vitally important to actively curate your atmosphere, as it can have just as much commercial impact as the products you sell or your curb-appeal.

Joy Through Science
Richard Shotton, Author of ‘The Choice Factory’:

"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."

Scientific findings to whet whet whet your appetite:

Classical Music

Playing classical music can lead to higher spending than both no music and pop music2.

Fast Music

Playing fast music encourages customers to move and act quickly - worth bearing in mind for when you want a faster flow of customers.

Slow Music

Slow music encourages people to take their time - a useful tactic for when you want to increase dwell-time and spend. 


Restaurant diners exposed to slow music spend an average of 11 minutes longer at their table than those were exposed to fast music.


Choosing beats that are well-profiled to match your brand can help you pocket a 9.1% uplift in sales compared to relying on shuffle mode.


Customers say queuing is less frustrating when accompanied by music and waiting time displays; a simple way to deliver a more satisfying experience.

Mind The Gap Reports

The Science of Startle

People rarely have accurate explanations of their own behaviour (such as why they chose what 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. For example, categorising songs by their physical effect on the autonomic nervous system for perfect music curation, or using our behavioural expertise when deciding how best to implement tech integrations. We do this because the ultimate goal for any business isn’t; ‘We’d like to play the top charts and have some nice 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 nice songs and wishful thinking.

Mind the Gap Reports

Heard enough? Get in touch and see how we can help you harness those good vibrations.

Call Me Maybe

Hey, we've just met you and this is crazy. But here's our number +44 (0)203 397 7676. So, call us maybe?
Hey, we've just met you and this is crazy. But here's our number . So, call us maybe?
Thanks for your message. We’ll reach out soon, definitely no maybes.
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Startle Music Ltd
1st Floor, 79-81 Borough Rd
London, SE1 1DN, UK

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New York

Startle International Inc
5th Floor, 555 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10022, USA

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1 North, Adrian C., Hargreaves, David J., McKendrick, Jennifer. The influence of in-store music on wine selections.  Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 84(2), Apr 1999, 271-276.