Walk down the High Street this Christmas and the same songs will greet you again and again. You'll get a bit of 'Merry Christmas Everybody', you'll hear 'I wish it could be Christmas everyday' and almost thirty years on, Band Aid's 'Do they know its Christmas' remains a seasonal favourite.
The evidence is that these are also the tunes Britain's shoppers like hearing. In a study we asked consumers for their favourite Christmas songs as well as their 'playlist from hell', and the three songs I've mentioned above ranked in the top three.
There is one caveat. Shoppers do like hearing these songs, but not over and over and over. Two-thirds (68%) of shoppers felt that Christmas music played in-store was too repetitive. And it is. An hour in your local shopping centre will prove that point.
At Immedia we talk about the importance of having a 'sound of your brand.' Just like every retail brand has a distinct visual identity, so there should be a unique sound the shopper hears when s/he is in-store, tailored to what you sell as well as who your core demographic is.
The problem is, at Christmas there isn't a sound of each retailer's brand, there is instead a sound of the High Street. That means retailers are losing an opportunity to target shoppers with a unique sound that provides the right aural environment for them to buy.
We also asked shoppers about the songs they don't like hearing, and in fact our Christmas Playlist from Hell if anything proves the Sound of Your Brand concept.
The novelty track 'Christmas in Blobby Land' by Mr Blobby came top, followed by Justin Bieber's 'Mistletoe' and ex Baywatch star David Hasselhoff's 'Stille Nacht.' Think about this for a minute, Justin Bieber is in that list. And yes, some adults think of him as an annoying teenager.
Yet his record speaks for itself and he has a huge fan base of (mainly) 10-14 year old girls. For example, when Bieber says 'good night girls' on social media, 29,000 reply!
This is where the need of a Sound of Your Brand comes in. If you are an electronics retailer, then Justin Bieber probably shouldn't feature on your playlist. If however, you run a teenage accessories or fashion store, he might well work for you.
What do you think? Get in touch. We'd love to hear your views about seasonal music, and whether shops are playing too much of the same thing.
Image from iloveJB123 http://www.flickr.com/photos/67926342@N08/