It seems to happen more and more these days. You’re out at a store, focused on buying the latest and greatest . . . and there it is. Right in front of you.
You haven’t thought about it in years, but when that wave of nostalgia crashes over you and you are suddenly swept out into a sea of youthful memories, you immediately forget the new and relish in a celebration of the old, the vintage, retro, the classic.
Here. Take my money.
Nostalgia marketing has hit the big time in recent years, with brands from every sector looking to tap into the hearts and memories of 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s (and even 00’s) kids who are looking to reconnect with their past.
And it works. Those nostalgic feelings that companies create establish a powerful connection between their product and your past.
McDonald’s gets it.
So does Apple.
There is no doubt. Nostalgia sells.
But what happens when a company forgets about nostalgia? When it forgets about their customers’ emotional connection and history with a product? When it messes with perfection? When a company changes its product and its customers say, “Um, yeah, we don’t want it better, we just want it back the way it was.”
Well, that’s exactly what happened when Coca-Cola replaced its original Coke formula with New Coke—Coca-Cola’s attempt to better compete with Pepsi. Apparently, taste tests showed that people preferred the sweeter taste of New Coke. But Coke forgot about the emotional connection people had with the original formula. It was, as many would say, one of the all-time biggest marketing blunders in history.
What products do you buy because of an emotional connection ? What products did you connect with in the past that you think should make a comeback? What products will you be happy never to see again? What product would you be devastated to see disappear?
Let us know in the comments!
New Coke Can Image: JetiJonez used under license CC by 3.0.