Nostalgia marketing is about connecting a product or service with a feeling of longing for the past. Brands are increasingly leveraging memories so that they can form an emotional connection with their customers. Whether it is a scent or a song or conversation, nostalgia can be triggered by any stimulus and nostalgia marketing often creates a campaign that refers to a time gone by to tap into the longing for the past.

Helps to boost sales

Brands understand the value of nostalgia in marketing. Nostalgia promises a return in the shape of comfort and happy memories. This is the reason why marketing campaigns that center around nostalgia have become very popular in recent years. Nostalgia tugs at the heartstrings of the audience and makes them associate a brand with positive feelings. For instance, a fashion brand can focus on nineties fashion. This strategy would effectively target millennials as fashion from the nineties would give them the idea that they can hold onto their youth. Conjuring up such strong emotions can only make the brand popular. Given below are some right ways to use nostalgia in order to market a business. Nostalgic marketing also involves using music or imagery that have a long history. This also helps a brand to look authentic. 

Identify relevant memories

Every generation of customers has memories that mean something special to them. A substantial number of customers prefer products that are associated with their youth. A business cannot randomly choose elements of nostalgia. The elements of nostalgia used have to be aligned with the business. It is also important to avoid memories that could lead to controversy.

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Look for occasions where elements of nostalgia can be used

A business can use elements of nostalgia when it considers rebranding. It can also do that when it wants to announce a change in its direction or mission. Celebrating an anniversary is also an event where nostalgia can be used. For instance, Coca Cola uses nostalgic marketing every few years, particularly when it celebrates a birthday. The print ads become vintage and it also re-introduces its iconic glass bottles. The brand even brought back a discontinued flavor known as Splurge.

Understand the preferences of the target audience

The preferences and the needs of the target audience is of utmost importance in any marketing campaign. Before using nostalgia as a marketing strategy, it is important to keep in mind that the elements of nostalgia are being drawn from the right generation to appeal to the right demographic. It is important to think of the age range of the target audience and do research on their preferences before creating the campaign. The campaign should also be aligned with the personality and the tone of voice of the brand.

Use social media

Social media platforms are also a great way to introduce the target audience to this strategy. Hashtags such as #ThrowbackThursday and #FlashbackFriday are very common when brands want to demonstrate their attachment with the past.


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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.