People love nostalgia and the whole country, or probably the planet seems to be going through a love of nostalgic retro products at the moment. For as long as we can remember there has always been popularity around antique style 'petrol and automotive signage' and old Oxo tins, but the love of old metal signs and brand packaging seems to have spread across all other markets too.
Market research at Pepsi.
Pepsi Cola have recently announced the release of '1893 Original Cola' and '1893 Ginger Cola'. Pepsi Cola isn't exactly a small company and so it's pretty much guaranteed they have researched their market and are confident of success for this revised range.
And it's not just the products themselves, though the products may themselves have found popularity because of the next point; retro typography. We've all seen the 'Keep Calm' posters which seemingly every household in this country at least had hidden somewhere on a wall, or maybe a greetings card or two with a humourous 'keep calm' message. This 'fad' was perhaps partly driven through our recognition of nostalgic typography and the 'Englishness' of the 'product'.
That raises the next point. People love to go back to a time that they fondly remember. Ever had a chat about the sweets that were around when we were at school? Who remembers Jaw Breakers? Or Black Jacks? Or Fruit Salad sweets? We wonder how many of you will chat with a friend or colleague after reading this article about some of those memories from childhood. But, the point here really is, we all have a time or place in our minds that was special, and clever marketing people have latched onto this.
Other examples of retro products include some that don't even need to be retro products but perhaps work better because they are. Roberts manufactures and sell a superb retro-styled design of radio. It has all the latest technology inside but it still retains it's lovely 1940's style appearance. Old fashioned telephones have come back into fashion...even if the old dials have been cleverly replaced with buttons for the digital era.
Oh, and talking of school days, who recalls 'Harrington Jackets' from the 1970s and 1980s? These are again a re-established fashion item (visit the fashionable 'Lanes' in Brighton and you'll see what we mean). But this paragraph wouldn't be complete without a mention of the revised Sinclair ZX Spectrum?
Actual services, as well as products, have sprung up. Old fashioned Barbers shops and 'male grooming' services are the first that come to mind, giving (again) a nod to the 1940s and 1950s. Cinema's sometimes actually choose to remain 'retro' styled - take a visit to the Wadebridge Cinema in Cornwall if you are ever in the area. And what about milkshake bars and smaller hamburger 'drive in' restaurants that seem to be popping up everywhere?
This article isn't for one moment suggesting that you change your products or services to 'look old', but it's really an illustration that there is a lot of subliminal psychology involved in marketing products and services, and at the moment it's a play on peoples interpretation of nostalgia...