One year, my parents bought me a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey for Christmas. It was awesome. Our public school had an outdoor rink and I would wear that jersey and skate for hours – pretending to be Darryl Sittler taking on the dreaded Bobby Clarke. Sometimes other kids from the neighborhood joined me on the ice – sometimes I skated alone. While heading to a client appointment today, my mind was flooded with this memory and with it came a touch of happiness.
Was this flood of nostalgic memories brought on by seeing some kids playing hockey? Nope. It was brought on by my cup of Tim Horton’s coffee. It is wintertime – and each year Tim Horton’s changes up their to-go cups from the classic brown to include scenes of wintery togetherness. Invoking emotions from childhood can be a powerful tools for marketers. If you can successfully connect your product to positive, rich childhood memories – you will see your sales take off.
Remember when Volkswagen relaunched the Beetle? Dealers had waiting lists of people who happily put down deposits to buy them because of the strong memories of these great cars. Those memories seem to gloss over the facts that they were horrible in the snow, had lousy heaters and brakes that required you to pre-plan upcoming stops.
Tying your service or product to the “Good Old Days” and nostalgia – when done right – will reward your organization with warm feelings and a premium price. If you miss the mark or change the product so it doesn’t invoke the same feelings, be prepared to be punished by the consumer. Using nostalgia in your marketing has a high risk reward attached to it so if you decide to use it, make sure to do your homework.
Now, I am off to see if I can find my skates and take my sons out to make some memories of their own.