Why Does Nostalgia Sell?

Every choker necklace has a story attached.

Nostalgia brings us back to the past and unearths emotional memories associated with those times. Do you remember playing Donkey Kong in the arcade, or maybe your parents got you the 21st-century version for your Wii? Perhaps that game was your escape from reality during a dark time, or the memories of playing the game with your friend remind you of simpler times.

Nostalgia has been proven to make us happier by counteracting boredom, loneliness, and anxiety. Reminiscing on happier times also makes us more accepting and generous to others. Nostalgia marketing is a strategy rooted in psychology, and these processes are incredibly effective.

Each of us has distinct, unique associations with different feelings from the past. Marketers have been able to capitalize on nostalgia by tapping into consumers’ emotions through stories.

Nostalgia Marketing

A prime example of the effectiveness of nostalgia marketing is the resurgence of record players. They don’t do anything that our phones can’t do, but the classic vibes appeal to young and old generations alike. For younger crowds, record players bring to life the scenes of their favorite movies and reaffirm that old is trendy. For those who grew up with a record player, the device brings them back to stories of dancing in the living room with their friends and families, or the angsty music they blasted in their teenage bedrooms.

When thinking about how your brand can use nostalgia, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, Millennials are particularly responsive to nostalgia, which suggests that they will also be more receptive to storytelling marketing.

Creating Nostalgia Through Storytelling

Bringing your audience back to their favorite memories can be an extremely effective marketing technique. Storytelling marketing is closely related to the effects of nostalgia. Stories cause chemical reactions in the brain that create deep, empathetic bonds between the storyteller and the audience. Telling brand stories can help establish the emotional, trusting connection between brand and audience that is essential to marketing success.

Creating the feeling of nostalgia through storytelling makes us want to take the steps to go back to the way things used to be. Whether or not your product is a throwback, try tapping into those classic feelings through storytelling. Your audience will thank you.

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