Sound and pricing psychology

pricing psychology

Who would have thought that the sound of your selling price can strongly affect perception of your target customers. This very interesting study published in the Journal of Consumer research truly creates a noise in my mind.

“Phonetic symbolism affects price perceptions because consumers typically process, encode, and retain numbers (and hence prices) in memory in multiple formats,” the authors write. Consumers encode what a price looks like and sounds like along with a relative numeric value that the price represents (such as, “It is inexpensive”).

“Thus, sounds associated with the auditory representation can impact the numeric value associated with the analog representation — that is, small sounds can create the impression of big deals,” the authors write. The authors found that number-sound effects were more likely to occur when a frame of reference (a regular price) was provided. And sometimes, the sounds of numbers created false impressions of value. For example, participants perceived a $10 item marked down to $7.66 to be a greater discount than a $10 item discounted to $7.22.

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