Crystal Pepsi…Coca-Cola’s Surge…Polaroids…music on vinyl…all things that faded into the distance and made a second comeback.
Some products come back from social trends and some come back pushed by marketers…but nostalgia is a strong motivator.
Whether you’ve ever taken a marketing class or not you know that the “sticky” ideas are successful, and the rest are easily forgotten. That’s even more true when the idea is so emotionally engrained in the consumer.
Nostalgia is a strong tool to persuade consumers to part with their money. And playing the right nostalgia card can appeal to multiple generations.
This is even more effective in the digital age. By tapping into a product or brand from the 70s, 80s and even the 90s, it takes the consumer back to a time of interacting with humans and not machines.
Take 2017’s trend of Pokemon Go. It’s a perfect example of taking the Nostalgia of Pokemon and it’s associated Nintendo Games, combining with augmented reality and making it relevant again.
Statistics showed 60 million monthly active users with 20% who are active daily.
How about the VW beetle or bus? How many times have they been relaunched?
These two cars are icons. And whether you’ve ever owned one or not…everyone has a VW story.
An even more recent example is Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries reboot. Two weeks later, it’s still holding down the number one spot in the streaming services list of most popular titles.
Playing on nostalgia isn’t a new idea, but it’s still incredibly effective.
Volkswagen has been playing on nostalgia for years. The beetle and the bus are iconic. Everyone has a VW story, whether you owned one or not.
The truth is nostalgia comes from romanticizing a simpler time. This means that in political and economic turmoil it becomes even more effective. I think that over the next year, we’re going to see even more companies turn to nostalgia especially if they can’t compete in advancements.
Jumping on the Bandwagon
Did you know that Ford (NYSE: F) makes a hybrid? It’s called the C-Max and I think I’ve only ever seen two of them even though they were made up until 2018.
The company is known for it’s Crown Vics and built to last trucks. And for nostalgia’s sake, it’s bringing back the infamous Bronco.
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The Bronco was first released in 1966. It became an icon of off-road adventure especially if you opted for the additional winch and CB radio. In 1995, the bronco became a pop-culture icon as O.J. Simpson embarked on his low-speed chase escape through Southern California. Ninety-five million people watched the chase that night…on the television…in real-time.
Ford is hoping that this relaunch will not only have a nostalgia factor, but will be an option in the small SUV category that easily switches from the road to adventure.
The three new available models take design cues from the 1966 model while the inside can be equipped with all the bells and whistles. This includes built-in topographical maps and more places to mount GoPros and phones to stream your adventure.
People are already pre-ordering the new Bronco, which won’t hit lots until next spring.
The Bronco fits more into the company’s niche than the C-Max, but I doubt it will be the thing to pull Ford out of its 30 years of stagnant revenues.
Revenues have stayed in the same range of $30-$45 billion per quarter since 1994.
And shares of Ford haven’t had any love from investors since the late 90s.
One of the attractions of the stock had been its dividend which has been announced as discontinued.
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