At this time of year, you’ll be hard-pushed to walk into a shop selling Christmas gifts without hearing the top Christmas pop songs of the last forty years. It starts at the end of November and goes right up till Christmas itself.
So many businesses do it, but how does it actually make people feel? Does it make a difference to sales? Or does it actually turn people off buying? Are retail staff able to switch off so they don’t hear Slade in their sleep?
Lots of research has been done to look at consumers’ shopping habits and the layout of stores – where the cash desk is in relation to the door, customer flow and now the impact of Christmas classics on how we behave. If rock music can make people behave more aggressively than those listening to classical music, then potentially hearing Christmas songs while they shop for gifts could make people spend more and feel more festive.
The report found that Americans like this type of music more than British people, with 56% people in the USA saying they approve of the tunes compared to 43% in the UK. Brits tended to be more “Bah, Humbug” at the other end of the scale, too, with a quarter saying they actually dislike the music compared to just 17% of Americans.
Christmas music can be tolerated in December, but earlier is too early. People want to enjoy Christmas and they want to feel festive, but many felt that Christmas music is very repetitive with every retailer playing the same songs on loop. That is especially true for retail assistants, who have no way to escape!
Before you reach for the Christmas music CD, check out the guidelines on the government’s website about public entertainment licensing to be sure that your plans are within the law. Companies like Mood Media (https://moodmedia.co.uk/in-store-music-for-business/) are a great place to start for getting appropriate in-store music for your business.
Talk to experts who will help you put together the right sort of music for your business. It will depend on your brand, and just because it’s Christmas it doesn’t mean you should forget the identity of your company. Music is important, but getting it wrong can be worse than not playing it at all.