Nostalgia: A brand’s greatest weapon

No New Ideas?

camera taking photos and printing copiesOne of the trends that I have noticed that is causing outrage is the idea that people don’t have new ideas. Especially when it comes to movies. There have been a lot of movie remakes, many of which are sequels to previous successful films in decades gone by. Recent ones are Top Gun: Maverick, Star Wars (lately it’s consisted mostly of new series’ like The Mandalorian— fun fact, that word was apparently in the Google dictionary because I misspelled it and Google showed me how to correct it), The Matrix Resurrections… the list goes on. 

The company that is likely getting the most fire from this is Disney, given all of their live-action remakes, not to mention their contributions to the Star Wars series and even additional sequels that were not asked for, like a new Toy Story movie (I hear there is even going to be a 5th installment). There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for all of these remakes. And why is that?


Nostalgia: A Branding Powerhouse

Nostalgia is arguably the most powerful thing a brand can offer clients. In recent articles we have mentioned just how crucial brand loyalty is: The Three Types of Logos, and Logo Redesign Part 1, In those articles, we discuss many of the aspects of crafting brand loyalty through familiarity, primarily in logos and branding. The key takeaway is that you want a lot of eyes on your brand so that it seeps into the minds of consumers, even subconsciously. The more people see your brand, the more they will feel familiar with it, and what does familiarity do? It causes loyalty and can lead to a superpower: nostalgia because in order to feel nostalgic about something, you must have grown familiar with it– though typically in a positive way. 

old and nostalgic images

In the world of business, one thing that is often discussed is that when it comes to customers, the majority of your equity is going to come from repeat customers. So naturally, a lot of people you are speaking to are your repeat customers rather than new ones. 

Do you see why companies like Disney would go out of their way to capitalize on nostalgia? Because a lot of their customers are repeat customers who of their grew up on their movies, many of whom feel highly attached to the Disney brand given its ‘magical’ and ‘happy’ feel which permanently crafted a very powerful sense of nostalgia. This nostalgia is what brings those consumers to their movies, in spite of the fact that they are remakes because they remind them of how they felt as kids. And then they share it with their children. So, even though Disney may be irritating people with their remakes, they are not losing their customers, because their films highly defined their childhood. 

But their movies aren’t the only thing doing the heavy lifting, it’s also their branding. 

Brand Loyalty From Childhood

Disney cap with nostalgic photographic effectsWhat is it that you think of, when you consider the Disney logo? 

For me, I think of the titular “D” and it’s probably not for the reasons you’re thinking. It’s not some design reason, but it has to do with a silly childish misunderstanding. As a child, I thought about it… a lot. My grandmother lived in Florida, and the occasional times my family visited her, we went to Disney World. As a child, even just the mention of my grandmother would link me to memories of Disney, so needless to say, I thought of Disney a lot, and most times that I thought of it, I wondered why it was called “Disney” and not “Gisney”… 

…I was very young! You can’t deny that the Disney “D” looks a bit like a “G”, maybe a backward “G” but a “G” nonetheless!  So whenever I saw the Disney “D” I thought “Isn’t that a ‘G’”? It bothered me a lot, and it wasn’t until I studied the logo in irritation, thinking “How is that a D?!” And then I thought “Well why is there a line in the G– oh, I see it”. And from then on, I attempted to see the proper letter, but found it took a while to retrain my brain. Yes, this was a big issue for me as a child! I doubt so many people considered the Disney logo with so much thoughtfulness at a young age. 

Unending Loyalty Due to Comfort

A girl standing in disney worldHence, Disney’s brand has seeped into my bones! Now As we have mentioned before branding inspires familiarity which is crucial for a loyal following, and boy has it worked on me! I may not be the biggest fan of a lot of what Disney has been doing, but I am a die-hard fan of many of their movies (particularly Pixar). I keep holding out hope that Disney will still introduce me to a new great movie despite my disappointment in many of their latest films. 

That’s how much their brand has a hold on me. And even just seeing their logo, I often think back to how silly it was for me to misunderstand their logo for so long, and I think back to fun memories I have from the movies, going to the Disney theme park, and so forth. Just seeing the logo is comforting, and it immediately makes me think of the Disney jingle! 

That’s the power of nostalgia and that’s how it can lead to undying loyalty from customers. Technically, I probably should have given up a while ago or gotten irritated with the new things the company produces, but I haven’t. I still, go out of my way to watch their new movies based purely on my nostalgia and hardcore loyalty to the brand. The fact of the matter is that it’s a comfort to me. 

And that comfort stems from familiarity. 

Brand Loyalty is Powerful

Buzz Lightyear Standing with a look of importance and powerI swear this is not an advertisement for Disney… though at this point, given that I have mentioned it a lot, just how much has it brought up memories for you? See what I mean? Brand loyalty is powerful. Now perhaps this is a bit of an extreme case, especially because most brands can’t compete with the childlike wonder aspects, as well as the artistry and so forth that Disney offers, but there are things businesses can do. They can make people see their brand as often as possible. They can try to introduce people to their brand in a positive way. 

Remember, a lot of nostalgia is impacted by positive memories. 

Get people to see your brand, introduce yourselves in a positive and impactful way that will inspire a great sense of familiarity, and who knows? Maybe several years down the road, people will feel a strange sense of nostalgia for your brand. If you want more input or tips, or have any questions about how you can gain brand loyalty, chat with us at Full Scope Creative! We have some great designers and expertise in crafting a successful brand.

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