Auditory sensory research in China: how sounds influence the willingness to buy a product

Sensory marketing (neuromarketing) is a methodological marketing approach that includes studies of consumer behavior using neuroscience tools. Sensory marketing research in China studies consumer behavior (emotional responses) based on the senses (sight, taste, hearing, smell and touch).

What is auditory market research ?

Auditory sensory testing in China is the method of marketing research which studies the auditory reactions of consumers to a particular product or brand. If the purchase is accompanied by a sound pleasant to a person, then the willingness to purchase the product increases by 65%. All kinds of combinations of sounds, as well as each word directly, is capable of forming specific associations in a person. For instance, grinding or growling makes a person feel alert and dangerous; high tones are the anticipation of something unpleasant. In addition, sound effects are able to induce certain moods in buyers associated with goods, such as: the clink of crystal in the drinks department, the noises of the surf in the fish department.

Data Source: MoodMedia, What influences the willingness to buy a product

Why auditory research is important in China

Sound is capable of subconsciously influencing both decisions and actions of customers. For example, fast music contributes to the fact that customers move more quickly along the product lines. Slow music, on the contrary, makes them increase their time to choose a product. Also, scientists from the National University of Singapore and the University of Pennsylvania have proved that if the music is loud enough in the hall, then customers spend less time in the store, but spend more money. Regardless of the tempo of the music, it should create a comfortable atmosphere for customers. In expensive fashionable places, music styles are usually lounge, chill-out, vocal soft-house. The positively colored pop and rock music of the past, which has already become classics, is suitable for establishments for people with an average income.

Therefore, a key goal of auditory sensory research in China is predicting consumer choice and analyze which sounds will affect their behavior positively.

How we conduct auditory sensory testing in China

Problem definition and goal setting

At the first stage of auditory sensory testing in China, it is necessary to determine the problem of the company or brand. This is a very important step because a well-defined problem is a half-solved problem. A correctly identified problem allows Daxens team to focus on the information needed to solve the problem. Articulating the question that marketing research must answer increases the speed and accuracy of the research process.

Conducting preliminary research and formulating hypotheses

The next step for Daxens team is a preliminary investigation. It is necessary to determine the background of the research. It is conducted by discussing with informed sources inside and outside the company, as well as by using other available sources of information.

Research plan

Daxens team creates a research plan to implement the goal of marketing research, search for a solution to a marketing problem or test a hypothesis, a research model.

By designing a research project, Daxens team provides follow-up plan of exactly what company has to do to be successful. This plan includes a program for the analysis of secondary information, a scheme for collecting and processing primary information, interpretation and presentation of research data.

Data collection and analysis

A questionnaire is a traditional means of collecting primary information: in person, by phone or via the Internet. Daxens team decides what questions to ask, in what order to arrange them. Closed-ended questions (with options) provide answers that are easy to tabulate and interpret. Open-ended (free-form) questions are more useful in preliminary, exploratory research.

Focus group

A focus group is a casual discussion conversation with 8-12 respondents who are of target interest for this study. The use of focus group techniques in marketing has specific goals. Focus group in China help to learn about consumer requests, perception, motives and attitude of potential buyers to the product.  Focus groups also help to generate ideas regarding the possibility of development and improvement of products or brands. In terms of auditory sensory research in China, focus groups can provide information about emotional reactions to certain types of advertising and clarify primary data.

Analysis, interpretation of data and presentation of research results

After eliminating data collection errors in auditory sensory research in China, Daxens team categorizes the respondents’ answers and code them.  Namely, each answer gets a score. The data are presented in matrix form, summarized in tables, which makes it possible to statistically process the results.

Statistical analysis allows to describe the state of the answers (find the mean values ​​and deviations of the answers from the mean values), check the truth of hypotheses, find relationships between the analysis variables, and make predictions.

Interpreting the results of statistical analysis gives the answer to the main research questions. Based on the results of the analysis, Daxens team draws conclusions and makes recommendations; prepares a report and presents it to the customer.

How companies use auditory marketing

Studies have shown that when a person listens to music and finds it enjoyable, the body releases dopamine, which increases their shopping propensity. This explains why clothing brands such as Zara, Stradivarius and Bershka adjust the type of music, tempo and volume in clothing stores. In addition, when we hear Intel’s signature sound or the first notes of a McDonald’s melody, our brains begin to focus on what they’re trying to sell.

Source: Twitter, McDonald’s advertisement

Another good example is Coca-Cola, a legendary brand that needs no introduction. The marketing team has figured out how to successfully evoke familiar sensations and memories of a drink in consumers. The brand began using iconic sounds in their advertising campaigns. Namely, Coca-Cola uses the sound of opening the coveted jar, ice cubes falling into the glass and the legendary sound of Coca-Cola pouring into a cold glass. They leave little chances for consumers not to feel the tingling sensation of bubbles bursting on the tongue.

Source: Umplash

How to apply the results of auditory sensory research in China

Companies can use auditory sensory testing in China to achieve their goals in sound marketing. It includes:

  • radio and television commercials
  • screensavers: screensavers can advertise a radio or tv station, a show or a movie
  • jingles
  • announcements and music videos (MV)
  • sound billboards: usually massive screens with built-in speakers.

For auditory sensory research in China the ability of the sound image to intensively fix the consumer’s attention on the advertising object is very important. Moreover, such parts of the advertising as sounds focus on the formation of positive emotional reactions of the consumer.

What Daxens provides for your auditory sensory research in China:

Daxens takes care of every aspect of auditory sensory testing in China. This includes participants, room, data collection and final report.

To learn more about the methodology, contact our Daxens consultants in China.

Sign up for the latest chinese market sensory insights!

Additionally, learn all there is to know about China market by listening to our China Business Podcast!