During my tenure as Head of Brand & Creative at a car subscription start-up called Flexcar, I was continually exploring new ways of extending the customer experience beyond sign-up. Since Flexcar’s ethos was firmly rooted as a disruptor in the space of car leasing and rental, it was important to always be thinking beyond the transaction. How could we cultivate brand affinity, (thereby increasing NPS, retention, and a myriad of other business review metrics), by providing engaging and unexpected joy along the customer journey?
It occurred to me that cars and music are inextricably linked. Why not create some branded Flexcar playlists? The cost? $9.99 a month.
I wanted these playlists to become a source of discovery. New music for the olds. Old music for the youngs. Both era and genre defying, the playlists spanned the gamut but thematically retained a modicum of Gestalt. Exactly 100 songs, I always included a cover, along with the original. If a song contained a sample, I’d include the original source material. Artists you’ve heard of, a lot you haven’t. Vintage French pop. And then a whole lot of kicky commentary. The opening track of the Thanksgiving playlist? “Don’t Worry About the Government” by Talking Heads–the joke being, one of Thanksgiving’s least favorite side-dishes: politics.
This, a long, round-about-way of saying, there’s no reason to not keep making killer playlists. I present to ye a curated collection of holiday cheer. This mix is a little different than some of the editorial playlists of Flexcar yore, but I promise this line-up should fit into any soirée or gathering you have this season.
It’s impossible for me to imagine any holiday playlist without most of Vince Guaraldi’s magnum opus A Charlie Brown Christmas. But also, Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings Holiday Soul Party. I have many holiday classics on vinyl – and this one is no exception, and in heavy rotation. And then there’s a peppering of old-timey songs I remember from a wee lad… Peggy Lee, Bobby Helms, Johnny Mathis.
But hopefully you’ll discover some gems on here that you haven’t heard before. Some lo-fi chill-wave takes on Winter Wonderland. Some 90’s/late-aughts indie straight out of Athens, Georgia. One of my favorites is the band I Am The World Trade Center (named prior to 9/11) original “The Rockefeller Tree”. Sort of a made-in-the-bedroom recording of twings, twangs, drum machine beats, and a lithe, breathy vocal. But what I mostly love is some of the funk and soul gems from the 60’s and 70’s. Especially Lou Rawls “Merry Christmas Baby”… sorry Bruce.
What did I miss? Hit me up!