As part of our last pulse survey we asked sales leaders to tell us about the songs and artists of 2020. We go over some of the choice here.

“Like maybe just a record player when the record is done and the needle just keeps bumping against the end of the album?” wrote one respondent when asked to name a song or artist who best describes 2020.  

Many of our pulse survey respondents shared this ‘groundhog day’ sentiment and so perhaps it wasn’t surprising that the song mentioned most often was: “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” by R.E.M. We would like to be believe that it was selected for its take on how buyers often respond: “Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline” more than anything else 😊  

R.E.M’s song was then closely followed by The Police’s: “Don’t Stand So Close To Me,” a song whose title, at least, describes all our lives at the grocery store and beyond. Queen’s “Under Pressure” and The Robert Cray Band’s “The Forecast (Calls for Pain)” speak for themselves. 

Beyond these two popular choices, we had a very eclectic showing cutting across genres. There were more wistful songs such as Vera Lynn’s “We will meet again” to remind us to “Keep smiling through/Just like you always do” whatever life throws at us. 

We had a submission for “Ye Watan Tumhara Hai,” a patriotic song from Pakistan that was newly rededicated to healthcare and essential workers. 

But sales will do sales, and so we also had a number of high-energy songs to keep us going, come what may. These included nominations for Dúo Dinámico’s “Resistiré” as well as the current global number one chart topper, The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights.” (As an aside, Challenger’s research department recommends the ‘Blinding Lights Challenge’ on TikTok for a short pick-me up). 

But the best pick-me up, we think, might be the submission of the Formula One theme song. It’s exactly as high octane as you think it will be. 

For all the songs mentioned, and a few others that were nominated, please click here for a very idiosyncratic Spotify playlist of the sales songs of 2020.  

Timur Hicyilmaz

Timur has been conducting research for most of his career. He was part of the team that researched many of the original concepts behind Challenger. Mostly focused on trying to better understand how commercial organizations succeed, Timur has spent time working on everything from trying to understand consumer attitudes toward energy consumption to identifying best practices for hospital operations leaders. His passion is for trying to identify strategies that are more likely to deliver a desired outcome than any others.