Brand Impact: Leaning on Nostalgia

By: Amanda Young

Customers have always found ways to bring themselves back to happier and more light-hearted times through nostalgic memories.  There have been different ways individuals have feeling nostalgia.  Some individuals rewatched tv shows that they loved back in their childhood, while others broke out old board games and went back to making home cooked meals everyday.  

What is nostalgia?

This is the experience of feeling strong emotions that are triggered from memories in the past.  These memories usually involve a positive association with a time period, a specific place or even a specific object.

Why nostalgia?

Consumers choose nostalgia because it is what’s at heart; it makes them feel better and feel more like themselves.  Nostalgia frees us from our everyday stresses and feelings of uncertainty.  Moments of nostalgia reminds us of the importance of living in the moment and of appreciating what we have.  Now with social media being such a huge part of our lives, platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat have been doing a great job with bringing back those memories and bringing us that feeling of nostalgia.  Everyday, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat share with its users their memories from each year on the exact date.

How to invoke nostalgia from your client base?

Individuals nostalgize when they are coping with a negative feelings, such as feeling lonely or anxious.  There are three different ways clients nostalgize: letting the past inform their future, making nostalgia a group activity, and creating new memories and keeping traditions alive.  As a business, you have the opportunity to invoke nostalgia from your client base by:

  • Recycling past products
  • Posting memories on social media
  • Creating popups that put consumers physically in another time period
  • Rebranding with retro inspired designs
  • Bringing back company icons
  • Using new technology to bring back a sense of using other technology
  • Bringing customers down memory lane and remind them of simpler times
  • Creating vintage inspired product lines
  • Celebrating anniversaries 
  • Using popular celebrities from different time periods to endorse current products

When invoking nostalgia from your client base, it is essential to remember three conditions

First, you must consider your target market age and choose an appropriate time period that they can identify with.
Next, you have to make sure to choose a time period or event that invokes a positive memory.  
Lastly, invoke the memories that spark the emotions that you want your company to be associated with.