Developing a functional method to apply music in branding: Design language-generated music

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Abstract

Manufacturers, marketing agencies, and researchers of consumer studies have handled music in a haphazard fashion. Music is often captive to financial resources, political agendas, or lack of know-how; choices rarely reflect criteria attributable to the brand. Linking music to a brand or product is a liability, as consumers' impressions can be manipulated by incongruent music, causing brand image to shift. The current study developed a strategy for applying music by employing design language as a template for composition. Two General Motors (GM) automobile brands served as products under investigation. Four studies, in two countries, recruited potential customers, sales clerks, walk-in buyers, and targeted consumers. The investigation found that consumers could decode composers' intentions to express brand characteristics and product features, and were consistently successful in designating design language-generated music to the appropriate brand. The study found both culturally specific and cultural-free brand images as expressed through music preferences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-283
Number of pages23
JournalPsychology of Music
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011

Keywords

  • branding
  • car videos
  • design language
  • marketing
  • music in advertising

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