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  • Writer's pictureBRANDS & U

To evaluate the impact of nostalgia marketing towards brand management and advertising engagement 

As a popular saying goes, "Nostalgia is a beautiful lie, dressed up in sepia". These feelings of nostalgia, which is present in all individuals be it of any age, can influence their relationships with other people, objects, and services. For the marketing researchers, this concept of effect of Nostalgia on Customer Loyalty, is very relevant for shaping the structures of the consumers' preferences and has been shifted since the 1990s.Some researchers link nostalgia with an irreversible memory, a comfort in life periods, especially during times of interruption or loss, such as the end of a relationship (Hunt & Johns, 2013; Muehling, 2013). Extensive researches have established the effects of nostalgic brand positioning on brand equity, but studies have only examined individual nostalgic brand relationship dimensions separately. Recent nostalgia marketing trends in developed markets have tried to take advantage of current economic and political crises and consumers’ propensity to view the past as a happier and less complicated time (Kessous et al. 2015; Muehling and Sprott 2004).Research shows that nostalgia gives our lives a sense of continuity and meaning as we get older and older. Nostalgia inspires consumers to spend their money because it promises an immediate return in the form of happy memories and comfort. It's not important that only age old companies would only be able to exercise the benefits of nostalgia marketing. With a bit of proper planning and research, if you are able to execute the retro concept in a convincing way, that the consumers are able to connect, then anyone wins over the customers hearts with this strategy.

How does nostalgia marketing work?

Products like Pokémon fever, choker necklaces, or vinyl records etc, the trends emerging over the last couple of years have highlighted the value of nostalgia marketing. It's a very normal human value to develop fond memories of our childhood or old days as we age. We tend to become sentimental about the food we ate, the games we played or even the music we listened to. When it comes to finding a nostalgia marketing strategy , the easiest way to explain the concept is to look at it as a way of aligning advertising campaigns, with things that provoke emotional responses from the past. For especially the millennial audience it's a very smart idea to tap into the strong memories in order to aggravate the emotions in the most powerful way. Nostalgia is associated with a feeling of longing. Individuals may experience a nostalgic feeling for their own pasts or have a nostalgic feeling for other times that were not part of their own experiences. The three main forms of psychic distance discussed in construal level theory are social, spatial, and temporal (Stephan et al. 2012; Trope and Liberman 2010). The human brain organizes information related to social, spatial, and temporal distances in a similar manner. Based on different researches and field works conducted, three nostalgic brand relationship dimensions can be identified —emotional attachment, brand local iconness, and brand authenticity—that are fundamental dimensions of individuals’ relationships with nostalgic brands. These three dimensions, respectively, reflect the social, spatial, and temporal aspects of distance in construal level theory and together constitute the mechanism that allows nostalgic brand positioning to facilitate enhanced brand equity.

Researches also tell us that nostalgia counteracts, boredom, loneliness and anxiety. Nostalgia is like a warm blanket on a cold day. The strategy of nostalgia marketing isn't just a strategy for selling. It's a psychological phenomenon. In today's highly competitive market place, using strategies like nostalgia marketing can help both old as well as new brands to connect with people on a much larger scale as it involves their memories and emotions. Brands like Nike and Pepsi are already using retired designs and logos from the past, announcing them as “throwback” options or “retro” products. These strategies help in tapping those nostalgic nerves of the viewers.

There are a few tips that you can follow in order to develop a nostalgia marketing strategy :

  • Know your inspiration : Giving your brand a fresh image to reinstate yourself within the hearts of your audiences (such as a brand refresh or rebrand).Highlighting a change in the company, such as a collaboration with a new partner, a focus on different brand goals, or the decision to change a name, or logo.

  • Keep your audience and personality in mind :The key to any marketing campaign is understanding the needs and preferences of your audiences first. Before you can engage in a powerful nostalgia marketing strategy, you need to make sure that you're drawing ideas from the right generation, to appease the right demographic. Keep in mind the age-range of your target audience, and make sure that you research their preferences in detail when you’re building your plan. But at the same time you must also keep this in focus so that the personality of your brand is not getting overshadowed or lost with the implementation of this new strategy. Adapting new ideas does not mean that you've to give up the character that you have created and maintained for so long. Keeping a perfect blend both of the nostalgia marketing strategy as well as the predominant character of the company would help your company to be viewed as more consistent and hence boost your place in the market.

  • Pay close attention to detail : In case of nostalgia marketing it's not important that your entire campaign have to be embedded in the past. A mix of both past as well as the present modern technologies help in keeping the balance. You must remember that authenticity is the key to nostalgia marketing.

Marketing is all about understanding what the present consumers are craving for the most and serving them those with a tinge of some authentic strategies like this nostalgia marketing which would make your company look like one of a kind. It's important to understand your audience in a better and more personal way so that you provide them exactly with those things they are yearning for.

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