It is a nearly indisputable fact that holiday music can become stale, particularly for those working the sales and service industries, during the weeks leading up to the big event. It is possible to make your playlists feel new and novel for your staff and customers and invigorate them for their holiday shopping.
Most retail and entertainment spaces start playing their holiday playlists in the middle of November, normally after Veterans/Remembrance Day. Timing for when to put on your holiday theme music is key to avoiding burnout for both employees and customers. Starting too early can quicken that holiday exhaustion and make the atmosphere of your establishment feel awkward because people have yet to feel the holiday spirit. Ending your holiday songs immediately after Christmas can also feel awkward or abrupt for people who might still be festive between Christmas and New Year’s. The holiday season often extends beyond the 25th, as many people do additional shopping or partake in Christmas parties to spend those gift cards they received or to simply spend time with loved ones they didn’t see on the exact day.
Possibly the most important thing to do to avoid holiday burnout is to know the frequency you play Christmas songs in your playlists. While everyone has favorite holiday tunes, they can get old when heard four or five times on every visit to the mall or their favorite restaurant. When you first implement your Christmas playlists, only two or three songs per hour should be holiday specific while in November. The change will be noticeable without being intolerable. For most guests, they will hear one or two songs during their stay. This will be enough to enrich their overall experience and get them to start thinking about the holidays and the shopping they need to do. This can be increased as you get into December, adding a song or two per hour each week until you have five or six per hour during the week of Christmas.
You can also take advantage of both covers of traditional Christmas songs and unconventional songs that most might not consider for their holiday music. There are countless covers in various genres for practically any Christmas theme you could want. Choosing the right sound for the vibe of your business will help maintain a consistent tone within your playlists while enhancing them with the festive melodies. Using unconventional Christmas songs, what Control Play calls “Holiday (Not Holiday)” songs, can break up the monotony of classic playlists and give your business a unique holiday sound that separates you from your competitors. A great example is Kelly Clarkson’s “Christmas Isn’t Cancelled (Just You)”
Maintaining a good variety of holiday songs for your playlist will help keep both customers and employees happy. The music your play will affect how your customers feel while in your establishment, which will then change how much they are willing to spend and if they perceive your business positively or negatively. The same is true for your employees; holiday burnout is real in the retail and service industries. Trying to stave it off for your team will fuel their motivation throughout the extended holiday season.