By now, most of us are media-savvy enough to realize that nothing happens by accident in retail: the path to the register is usually surrounded by impulse-buy accessories and tchotchkes — and of course, the in-store music is curated to keep us in the store and in a good mood.
In-store Christmas music is no less calculated, and as FastCoCreative's KC Ifeanyi reports, retailers turn to experts for ways to create perfect playlists for their brands.
One of those experts is Joel Beckerman, a sonic branding specialist with Man Made Music — who knew that was a thing? — and he shared five of the thoughts that go into making brand-appropriate, memorable playlists:
- Brands should score the shopping experience like a film.
- Music shouldn't stand out so much that it's distracting, but should serve to subtly amplify the in-store brand experience…
- …but selections should still be unexpected to create a cool-factor and unique sound to that brand.
- Ensure there are moments of "silence" by changing up the tempo and energy with both joyous and quieter tracks.
- Playlist length is key to avoid repetition for shoppers — and more critically, from annoying the employees who have to listen to the playlist on repeat and then serve customers.
So let's just say that next time you step into an upscale retail chain, you're probably not going to hear Paul McCartney's version of "Wonderful Christmastime," but maybe The Shins' version instead.