Nostalgia Marketing Can Only Work Alongside Design Thinking

Nostalgia Marketing Can Only Work Alongside Design Thinking
SHARE
THIS



On this opinion piece, Kristen Vang (pictured below), director of Australian experience design studio Hatchd, argues that while nostalgia can be a very powerful resource for marketers, it doesn’t transcend the needs of consumers.

Kristen Vang

The frenzy around Pokémon Go, the relaunch of the Nokia 3310, and the latest blockbusters in the cinema are Disney’s Star Wars and Beauty and the Beast… you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s the 90s! But while the year is in fact 2017, nostalgia has had a huge impact on brand marketing strategies in recent years, and everything old is new again.

This is a bit of a contradictory trend in a century that has been so full of innovation and technological advancements, when even having last year’s iPhone is seen as being behind the times. So why is nostalgia helping so many brands engage with their consumers so effectively? There might be more strategy behind this trend than first meets the eye. Brands are increasingly moving towards human-centred design, and when this strategy is coupled with consumers’ need to connect with decades gone by, exciting brand strategies result.

Nostalgia marketing: the current recipe for past success

In recent years, strategic nostalgia marketing has been implemented by brands across sectors, from technology to music, and from FMGC to travel. Imagine the fond memories a person has about their favourite childhood soft drink or movie character. When they see it on the shelves at the supermarket or advertised in the cinema 20 or 30 years later, a lot of the barrier to purchase will have already been negotiated in their minds – they’ll be one step closer to choosing that brand over another option.

Why? The success of nostalgia marketing is that it makes people feel something. Emotions are an extremely important part of why someone choose one brand or product over another, and what keeps them coming back for more. Nostalgia evokes feelings of trust, warmth, joy – all of which feel very authentic when twinned with childhood and teenage memories. This positive experience people then have with these brands is the secret sauce behind good nostalgia marketing.

Some great examples of good nostalgia marketing over the years include Coca-Cola and Lego. More recently, Nintendo has reconnected with loyal fans from decades past with its new console, Switch, and the interactive mobile game Pokémon Go. The Pokémon Go app was a perfect example of how the power of coupling nostalgia with modern technology can be a success – especially with Millennials.

Design thinking is an essential part of the nostalgia process

Although nostalgia marketing can be very successful, helping brands reinvent revenue streams, and reactivate loyal fans, it is not a fail-safe marketing strategy. Once a huge hit online, MySpace tried to relaunch a few years ago but didn’t succeed in attracting many users, new or old, to the platform.

This is where human-centred design comes in. Brands and marketers need to think about the needs, frustrations and desires of their users first and foremost. Meeting these needs should then be built into the fabric of the brand, solution, campaign or product – not just used as a marketing tactic. In the case of MySpace, people didn’t need another social platform. MySpace didn’t offer anything that wasn’t already available.

Human-centred design is a process that brands to think about the human first and moves us further away from an assumption-based approach. It should be engrained in the organisation’s way of doing business that it forces everyone, from the C-suite to the customer service teams, to prioritise the end consumer with every strategy, investment, and business tactic implemented.

This involves a significant shift from putting the business’ challenges first to prioritising the customers’ needs above all else. In its simplest form, brands should be avoiding conversations about how to sell more, increase users, or reach more eyeballs. Instead, brands and marketers should embrace conversations about what customers want to buy or see. From there, dig deeper into the why of the customers’ needs, and ensure that everyone across the organisation understands how these needs have developed and what the customer will now be demanding. If cultivating feelings of warmth, trust and joy will help your brand the consumer needs you have identified, then consider bringing back themes, products and brands from days gone by. If you’re just looking for a way to bring another product to market, leave the products of yesteryear where they belong!

In a fast-moving world, brands can feel the pressure to reinvent themselves continuously. Yet, it’s important that any changes remain focused on audience and customers’ needs, bringing the latest technology to give people the best experience possible. The ROI of design thinking is clear – keeping the business alive. So while nostalgia can be a very powerful resource, it doesn’t transcend the needs of your consumers – it’s an innate part of their needs.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Designworks Hatchd Kristen Vang

Latest News

The Turning Tide Against Surveillance Capitalism
  • Opinion

The Turning Tide Against Surveillance Capitalism

In this guest post, CTO of Wiise, Hamish Browne (pictured below), says tech’s new focus on privacy will lead to new rules and new ways of doing business for marketers… With the delicate balance between customer data and privacy in the spotlight like never before, the potential emergence of new standards and business models, is […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Kim Kardashian Spruiks Cryptocurrency In Instagram Ad
  • Media
  • Technology

Kim Kardashian Spruiks Cryptocurrency In Instagram Ad

Businesswoman, reality TV star, and social media personality Kim Kardashian has posted an ad for mysterious cryptocurrency Ethereum MAX [EMAX]. In a post on her Instagram story – where she has 228 million followers – Kardashian wrote: “Are you guys into crypto????” “This is not financial advice but sharing what my friends just told me […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Great Southern Bank Rebrands With ‘Happily Clever After’ Via Indie Agency Richard Rose
  • Campaigns

Great Southern Bank Rebrands With ‘Happily Clever After’ Via Indie Agency Richard Rose

Great Southern Bank has launched a brand campaign this week, ‘Happily Clever After’, coinciding with its name change from Credit Union Australia, bringing to life its purpose of helping all Australians own their own home. The journey to changing from Credit Union to Great Southern Bank began back in 2020. When Australia’s largest customer-owned bank, […]

Nine Promotes Jo Clasby To Commercial Director, Publishing
  • Marketing

Nine Promotes Jo Clasby To Commercial Director, Publishing

Nine has promoted Jo Clasby to the role of commercial director – publishing, where she will report to Nick Young. She was previously director of client partnerships – publishing. Her new role establishes her at the same level of seniority as Anthony Smyth, commercial director – radio. Smyth was promoted at the start of this […]

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., listens as Narendra Modi, India's prime minister, not pictured, speaks during a town hall meeting at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, U.S., on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. Prime Minister Modi plans on connecting 600,000 villages across India using fiber optic cable as part of his
  • Technology

“No F*cking Way!”: Pink Floyd Frontman Refused To Give Mark Zuckerberg Rights To Song

Roger Waters, co-founder of Pink Floyd, said he refused to give Mark Zuckerberg the rights to use hit song Another Brick in the Wall (Part Two). Waters was speaking at a pro-Julian Assange event when he said that he had been offered a “huge, huge amount of money” for the use of the 1979 hit […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Accor Celebrates Aussie & NZ Cities With New ‘Go ALL Out’ Campaign
  • Campaigns

Accor Celebrates Aussie & NZ Cities With New ‘Go ALL Out’ Campaign

Hospitality giant Accor is shining a light on the joy of cities through its newest campaign, ‘Go ALL Out’, which launches in Australia and New Zealand today. The gateway to the ‘Go ALL Out’ campaign is ALL – Accor Live Limitless, a lifestyle loyalty program that integrates rewards, services and experiences throughout the Accor portfolio […]

Marketing Firm Silverbean Set To Double Headcount To Support New Client Wins
  • Marketing

Marketing Firm Silverbean Set To Double Headcount To Support New Client Wins

Global affiliate and partner marketing firm Silverbean has secured new contracts with 13 major Australian brands and is now working to double the size of its Asia-Pacific team. Silverbean launched in Australia in 2019 and has seen steady growth through its work with retailers. Now, with 15 new brands joining the Silverbean portfolio, the agency […]

Xandr Launches New Guide Exploring The Future Of Identity
  • Advertising
  • Technology

Xandr Launches New Guide Exploring The Future Of Identity

Xandr, AT&T’s advanced advertising company, today released “Shaping the Future of Identity,” an industry guide exploring the approaches for buyers and sellers, as well as market participants, as they evaluate identity solutions in preparation for a future without third-party cookies.

GTI Appoints New GM Of Marketing & Strategy, Snares Fresh Client
  • Marketing

GTI Appoints New GM Of Marketing & Strategy, Snares Fresh Client

Tourism PR and marketing agency GTI has announced the appointment of longtime media executive Jenny Pham as its new general manager of marketing and strategy. Pham (pictured above) will lead the agency’s marketing division with responsibility for strategy, media and consumer marketing, while GTI founder and managing director Sarah Anderson remains as the day-to-day lead […]

Hospitality Networking Platform Clipboard Launches Equity Crowdfunding Campaign
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Hospitality Networking Platform Clipboard Launches Equity Crowdfunding Campaign

Clipboard, a free professional networking platform for the hospitality industry, has announced it will seek to raise its next round of funding via equity crowdfunding platform Birchal. This will power its vision to transform the way the fragmented hospitality industry connects, shares experiences, markets and recruits. With a growing member database of over 24,000 hospitality […]