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Is nostalgia good for business?

Aah, nostalgia. An old song on the radio, or an old film on the telly. Sweets from your childhood and a flake in your ice cream. There's nothing quite like it really, but does it have any real benefit, and is it a marketing strategy worth promoting?

In short, yes.

Nostalgia feels secure and secure feels authentic. Authenticity creates trust, and people buy on trust.

Birthdays or anniversaries can trigger nostalgia. So can meeting up with a long lost family member or making contact with an old school friend on Facebook. A familiar smell, a taste or just an advert on the telly. Often though, negative emotions trigger a desire for nostalgia. Loneliness, stress, sadness, or a feeling of anxiety can prompt a person to look back to a safer, more reliable time...when they were happier, and nostalgic feelings are almost always happy.

If someone is sad, then why would you want to target them with a bit of nostalgia marketing? Well, nostalgia improves the mood and makes people feel happier. If you take someone who started out feeling sad and help them feel happier, I'd say that's a good thing.

An improved mood, a sense of well-being and optimism are some of the emotional benefits of nostalgia, and these feelings can lead to solid business benefits. A study from the Journal of Consumer Research says that people are more likely to spend money, or pay more for the same service after an episode of nostalgia. They feel more connected socially, and are more likely to share nostalgic posts, blogs or information for you, broadening your reach through advocacy.

It also improves patience. Consumers provided with something nostalgic are prepared for something to take longer. Maybe that's why call centres often play 80's music while you're on hold for eons.

Nostalgia is becoming trendy in popular culture too. Antiques have always been in vogue, but vintage and retro clothes and furnishings (original and new) are currently in high demand. The television industry has been increasingly investing in nostalgic themes with series like The Crown, MadMen and Downton Abbey all incredibly popular, and some social media sites dedicated to nostalgia are gaining audiences of millions.

Photo: Mad Men, courtesy of KBPS

Nostalgia marketing can be really powerful and here at Today But Then we do love a bit of nostalgia. We'd love to help you love it too, so click here for a free, no obligation consultation on how we can make use of the wonderful world of nostalgia to grow your business.

Thanks for reading and here's a copy of the very first Peanuts cartoon, published October 2nd 1950. I always liked Peppermint Patty (that's her in the cartoon as she originally looked) who's your favourite character?

Photo source: Wikipedia.