How to Make a Great Christmas Playlist for your Business
Tic tac, tic tac, … The Christmas countdown starts on the Black Friday in the US, or on the first Sunday of Advent in Europe. Here’s a checklist from the Soundsuit music team on how to make a great playlist for your business during this holiday season. Your employees have been asking you now for years to finally play cool Christmas songs. Not speaking about your customers themselves, who from stores to stores during their Christmas shopping listen over and over to the same classic songs.It’s time to learn how to make the perfect Christmas playlist. In-Store music boosts engagement, inspiration and sales in general, and Christmas music does it even more. We summarised all our tips and tricks in 7 simple steps.
We will teach you in an easy ans fun way how to deliver a fresh, tasteful and never tiring music experience to your employees and customers. Including all the do’s and don’ts!
Tip #1. Start playing Christmas music at the right time, not too early, not too late.
Even if you started decorating for Christmas right after Halloween, you may want to wait with the Christmas music. Christmas music will be immediately noticed if it is played too early and may feel awkward to the customers. We advise starting playing Christmas music just after the Black Friday when it comes to North America, or after the first Advent Sunday when it comes to Europe. These dates are simple advises, of course, according to your region of the world, and culture and traditions, the starting of the end of year holiday season may vary. After these indicative dates, it is then clear and accepted by employees and customers that the Christmas season has started.
Tip #2. Do not start too early, but do not stop too soon either.
The days between Christmas and New Years are still an important part of the holiday time and the Christmas mood. Think simply about the each year higher number of customers visiting stores and shops after December 24th to spend their Christmas gratuity, exchange presents and simply buy gifts for the friends and family they did not meet on Christmas Eve but in the coming days. Many families celebrate Christmas many times with their family close or extended members. Not speaking about re-composed and patchwork families. Again here, each part of the world, each country, because of specific culture or traditions, may prefer stopping playing Christmas music a bit earlier and a bit later. For instance in South of Germany (i.e. Baden-Württemberg & Bavaria), because January 6th is a religious holiday (the so called “Epiphany” in the Catholic religion), all stores and venues will continue playing Christmas music until that key date, that represents for customers and employees their local official end of the holiday season.
Tip #3. Do not play only Christmas songs!
Let’s imagine that a typical customer visit in your store or shop lasts about 20 minutes. And because a song is between 3 and 4 minutes long in average, your customers will listen to about 7 Christmas songs during their stay in your store. But your employees will hear more than 150 songs a day in a 10 hour shift. This is all too much. You may drive your staff and your customers insane, or at least get them annoyed and tired of the Christmas music mood.
As music experts, we recommend playing about 1 Christmas song out of three consecutive tracks, not more.
“Christmas music has the power of the “Proust madeleine” as described in the famous novel In Search of Lost Time. It means that listening to these Christmas songs may remind you of the time you spent with your grand-parents in the kitchen preparing Christmas cookies, or remembering the magic moments you ran as a kid to discover your presents below the Christmas tree. This is the power of music when it comes to evocation and feeling. This power can positively impact your customers, bringing them memories, emotions, and fantastic mood when shopping in your store. But used inadequately, especially with too heavy rotation of Christmas songs only, it can also annoy your customers. Not to speak about the motivation and nerves of your employees.“
Tip #4. Study carefully your customer target group and play the Christmas music they may like
A clientèle over 50 year old and young hipster folks will not like the same type of Christmas music. Target well the music you intend to play.
Will the 50’s Christmas jazzy classics from Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin work well? Or the more soulful 60’s Christmas hits from Ella Fitzgerald, Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin will engage your audience better? And what about the Motown Christmas covers from the 70’s featuring The Jackson Five, Diana Ross & the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, or Marvin Gaye? Or opt maybe for all the 80’s and 90’s stars who covered Christmas classics with talent: Queen, Seal, Elton John, Pretenders, Wham, Norah Jones, Jamie Cullum, Harry Connick Jr., Chris Rea, Diana Krall, etc.
Tip #5. Mix Christmas songs with other music genres and styles you like, or which match well your brand/business positioning.
Ideally, you would mix Christmas music together with Pop, Lounge, Jazz and Soul. Especially because the greatest Christmas songs are also in genres like jazz and Soul, this mix will work very well. Smooth, high-end, engaging, and not repetitive. All the secrets of a great in-store music atmosphere in general!
If you really need to play Dance, Electro, R&B, Dancehall to match your younger or more indie target groups, ask yourself first this basic question: does my target group really expect to listen to Christmas music when shopping during this holiday time? Can i simply maybe not play Christmas music and actually make my target group happier without?
If you still want to play Christmas music and appeal to the younger generation, you can of course. It is actually much easier today than it used to be a few years ago. Because cool young artists also now release frequently one Christmas cover hit, or even sometimes a full Christmas album, that bring a fresh ton to the classic Christmas carols.
Tip #6. Use and abuse from alternative versions of the most popular Christmas songs covered by current artists
Discover for instance these fresh and modern Christmas songs from Pink Martini, The Jonas Brothers, Ariana Grande, Tuxedo, John Legend, CeeLo Green, Ava Max, Gwen Stefani, Carly Rae Jepsen, Phoenix, Aloe Blacc, etc.
Tip #7. Maintain your playlist within a calm to lounge or happy mood. But no higher tempo!
Most of the Christmas songs, from the original classics to the modern covers, all land in a tempo between 55 and 95 BPM (i.e. Beats Per Minute). It may not tell you much, but any DJ will kindly explain to you this concept in seconds. It basically deals with the tempo of the song. A slow and quiet song has always a low BPM, while a more upbeat and energizing song has a higher one. Dance music productions for instance all have a BPM between 120 and 140 BPM.
This said, when building your Christmas playlist, make sure to pick your other songs – in genres and styles such as Pop, Soul, Jazz, or Lounge-Music songs – that also belong to this tempo. Learn how to create music playlists in general in this article dedicated to “The Perfect Perfect for your Restaurant“.
You will then obtain a smooth, consistent, on tempo Christmas playlist, that alternates Christmas songs with other songs, bringing freshness and variety to your customers ears. In other words, a great playlist to engage and inspire your customers during this holiday period, and to keep your employees motivated and not tired of Christmas music.
The one sentence to remind yourself: “Be gentle to your staff, give joy and happiness to your customers!”. This is the mindset to keep during Christmas time.,To achieve this, try following the 6 basic tips you gave you here. You can use these tips to play great music this Christmas.
Great Christmas music playlists are something to build and schedule very carefully not to achieve the opposite of what you wanted: get your staff and beloved customers annoyed and tired of the Christmas mood. To make it easier for you to build your perfect Christmas music playlist, explore the digital Music Assistant that we created as a simple, smart and beautiful app.