Nostalgia – It’s the Future!

It’s hard to believe, but nostalgia could be the future.

Researchers at the University of Southampton have been looking at the amount of time people spend thinking about the past. They have concluded that nostalgia is not simply a matter of sentimentality for its own sake – it can actually have positive psychological effects. This is because people tend to remember happy things or remember events in a positive way, as doing so provokes a happy or positive state. This then leads to a greater sense of purpose, as people feel they are creating a bridge connecting the past and the present.

The Power of the Past

Perhaps even more interestingly, the researchers also believe they will be able to prove that people are more likely to achieve a goal if they anticipate feeling nostalgic about it. Whilst this might seem fantastical, it is quite logical; optimism encourages enthusiasm and reinforces beliefs about success and happy outcomes.
So how can brand owners harness the power of nostalgia and use this to their advantage? Here are our favourite 5 ways for boosting positive memories:

1. Accentuate the positive (link to one of our favourite earlier posts). If you have something good to say, keep saying it – it will stick

2. Replay the glory years. We’re not talking about re-writing the past, but it makes sense to focus on just the best parts. Re-run favourite ads, re-issue classic packaging, re-launch old flavours

3. Shared experiences are good experiences. Encouraging, even slightly exaggerated, story-telling about previous events helps people feel good about being involved

4. Look forward with an eye on the past. Promising something is going to be legendary, never to be forgotten, always to be cherished is a good way of tapping the benefits of anticipated nostalgia.

5. Simple visual consistency. Visual devices, made familiar through repetition are easier to remember
If there is anything we have forgotten, get in touch and give us a reminder…

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