Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The New Vintage

Nostalgia marketing can be quite the risk if not done properly. Most of our memories are based upon something very significant that we have experienced or acknowledged, whether for the better or for the worse. As we grow older, we rely more on our memories to reflect back on a time of happiness and joy, in other words, "looking back on the good old days." For instance, Christmas is a major holiday that many people around the world celebrate with their loved ones. It's a time when children are seen racing to the Christmas tree just to open their presents first; a time when young ones leave out milk and cookies for Old Saint Nick. In this case, most of our childhood is remembered wrapped around a joyous and spiritual occasion. By the time we reach our early 20's or so on, these activities that were once such a common act around Christmas begins to slowly fade away from our lives. Childhood is no longer there, and what we yearn for is to get back the good times that we had during our youth.  From this transformation, the idea of nostalgia marketing becomes a great way to advertise to their audience by promoting the idea of what we seek-- "good memories". As stated in an article from The Branding Strategy, "As we age our nostalgic yearnings grow, making us more receptive to advertisers and marketers use of what researchers call 'a longing for positive memories from the past.' "  The positive effects that nostalgia marketing can have on its consumers is by making us feel that what was once there, or in the past, can still be obtained-- it's still in our reach and we don't have to just remember about it. It essentially effects us emotionally, letting us feel as though we're young again or that we are in a particular time period of that positive memory. Coca Cola plays as an excellent example in this approach because of its connection with Christmas/Santa Claus. The Coca Cola brand has been such a widespread in promoting its relationship with Santa Claus that society has begin to believe that the idea of "Santa Claus" has originated from Coca Cola. Not only does the brand have a close connection to the holiday, but the way it is advertised to its consumers with a "vintage-feel" and how Santa Claus is surrounded by toys next to the Christmas tree (childhood) makes us feel at home again-- just like how we remember it. This marketing is usually more effective around special occasions or major holidays because like I mentioned previously, it's a memory that is most significant that sticks to our brains much easier. 

But on the other hand, nostalgia marketing can also be a negative effect. Like how we remember our best times, we also hold onto our worst. Not everyone can relate the same way with a product or event in the past, and by nostalgically advertising, it could bring back negative thoughts and feelings for a certain number of people, making them disconnect with the product. It's not only the negative memory, but according to the BRW article on nostalgia marketing, "companies striving for the positive associations of nostalgia need to make sure they deliver on the promise of the nostalgia itself." In other words, you can look vintage, but it doesn't always mean you are legit. I could not think of a product/company that was unsuccessful, but a company that IS still successful is In N Out Burgers. It's a privately owned chain of burger joints set in California that has kept running since 1948 by Harry Snyder. It's such a simple concept with a diner-look on the inside of the fast food joint. In N Out has a very simple menu: Burgers, Shakes, and Fries. Nothing else. The only differences in burgers are how many patties you want in your burger. Additionally, they keep it simple with their ingredients inside a classic burger, nothing too fancy so that everyone can easily enjoy without asking "what's this?".  For the shakes, there are only simple flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, or Neapolitan. In my opinion, I feel that it is better for them to not expand their menus and just keep it as simple because their concept is to just serve the best classic, American burger. If other varieties were to be placed on the menu, it would take away the essence of the original product. Their classic style has a distinct taste that nothing else can beat, and it is cheap! 

1 comment:

  1. Thao, this is a brilliant post. You approach the issue in a balanced way and support your ideas with references. excellent.