Why is nostalgia marketing so appealing?
In 2000 the Nokia 3310 was released and it was one of the most popular devices of its time. This was because Nokia recognised the market opportunity of combining a game console with a mobile. Fast forward 17 years and the iconic Nokia 3310 has been resurrected and re-released. It made me think of my first Nokia and the excitement of playing games and sending text messages. Even changing the colour of the phone cover was cool.
So why did Nokia bring back such an outdated product? Well according to them, nostalgia primarily drove the decision. Their customers said they wanted the retro phone to make a comeback. Why? Well, in a world that is always-on, some people just want some stability. Like a battery that lasts more than a day, a sturdy phone that if dropped won’t smash, and a basic camera.
Nokia isn’t the only brand tapping into this trend: Facebook uses their ‘memories video’, EasyJet took its data and turned it into an emotional anniversary of personalised travel stories, Old Spice resuscitated its brand to appeal to a cross generation, and clever marketing made it cool again.
Is ‘nostalgia marketing’ a new thing?
Although it may seem this way, it has always existed. As marketers, we always have our marketing strategy aligned with the emotional need of customers. It’s part of our DNA. However, this trend has taken a slight shift in recent years; it’s more specific and resonates with the millennial audience.
Being a millennial myself, I was born at the start of the technology shift. I knew a world without social media when it was cool to have a mobile phone. (Not everyone did). The world was a simple place where hair scrunchies, platforms and roller stakes were cool. So, for brands to take us back to a past memory or emotion is very appealing and relevant. Our generation love to reminisce; a recent report published in the Journal of Consumer Research claimed that when applying a nostalgic angle consumers are willing to spend more money on goods and services.
So, where to start?
The power of ‘nostalgia’ comes back to the emotional hook and the personal feeling it provides to the individual. However, you still need the right ingredients to make a great marketing campaign. The same applies with this trend there is not one special element that will make this work for your brand. Millennials are a sceptical bunch and a half-hearted attempt could fall flat, but if this is something you think could be right for your brand here are some pointers to get you started:
• Look to influencers to find out more about current trends
• Use your own memories and experience to help shape an idea
• Make sure you have the customer at the heart of your strategy
• Listen to your customers – they may already be showing signs of demands
• Look through your company’s backstory and see if there is anything you can resuscitate
• Test the proposition with your audience to make sure the idea is water tight
• Be creative, but not overly obvious
Account Director, Guy & Co