The festive period tends to have a particularly powerful effect on the majority of us in the context of nostalgia. It’s a time of year that conjures up a unique form of magic, as we remember the countdown to Santa’s visit and the reunions with friends and relations popping by with gifts and good wishes.

It’s no surprise then, that many retailers utilise the power of nostalgia within their Christmas marketing campaigns. And as we continue to grapple with the effects of the seemingly never-ending COVID-19 pandemic, nostalgic marketing – particularly at Christmas time – has taken on a new level of significance.

Now, more so than ever, people desperately want to be transported back to a time that represents fun, innocence and togetherness, and evoking positive memories through marketing is the perfect way to do this.

In this article, we examine why and how your business should harness the power of Christmas nostalgia to boost your sales ahead of the year’s busiest retail period.

Why use nostalgic marketing?

Nostalgia is an emotion that can bring both comfort and a sense of longing for the past. When using it for marketing purposes, it is essential to tap into both of these feelings. By providing a sense of comfort, you make the consumer feel at ease. By inspiring a sense of longing, you create the need for something, which you hope can be filled by what you have to offer.

What’s more, a study conducted by researchers at the Grenoble School of Management in France found that nostalgia reduces people’s desire for money, while simultaneously increasing their willingness to pay for desired objects.

But while this type of marketing can help you to boost sales at Christmas, it’s important that you utilise it as a way to set your brand apart from the crowd.

With reports suggesting that the average person is exposed to between 4,000 and 10,000 adverts a day, it is vital for retailers to tap into subject matter that strikes a unique chord and has both relevance and resonance.

Nostalgia Sells - how harnessing the power of Christmas can boost your online sales - ParcelPlanet (2)

How to boost online sales through festive nostalgia

The key to increasing Christmas sales through nostalgic means lies in understanding how nostalgia can be marketed.

Connect with your customers

Firstly, you must figure out how to connect your brand with a feeling, memory or experience that will resonate with your desired demographic. You are essentially associating your brand with something that is meaningful to the customer.

To do this successfully, it is integral to do your research in order to understand who your target audience is and what is important to them.

In doing this, it’s also important not to forget who you are as a brand. Ensure that whatever campaign you opt for aligns with your brand’s tone and style, as well as ethos and culture statement. If you veer from this, your campaign may seem trite and is unlikely to sit well with customers, especially repeat ones.

Successfully recreate a period in time

Once you have a specific focus for your campaign, you can then begin to roll it out. For smaller businesses with less budget to work with, this can be achieved through making stylistic changes to your website or social media channels. Choosing fonts, colours or images that are indicative of a certain period or trend can pack a visual punch, triggering the desired memory in a potential customer.

If your brand has a lengthy history, this will be an even easier task to achieve. Paying homage to old company logos á la Burger King, or rehashing adverts from days gone by is a sure-fire way to pluck at a customer’s heartstrings, while reminding them that you are a reputable, long-running business.

The fact that Coca Cola’s famous ‘Holidays Are Coming’ advert still tops the polls in terms of the ads that hold most meaning with consumers, highlights the importance of nostalgia as a marketing tool, particularly at Christmastime.

Inject nostalgia into your digital marketing

#ThrowbackThursday has been a successful tactic for stimulating nostalgia when used across a brand’s social media channels. Digitally marketing your brand or products in this way appeals in particular to millennials, or the ‘children of the 90s’ demographic, whose lives have been impacted by recessions, joblessness, astronomical rent and housing prices, and now, a global pandemic. Harking back to simpler, happier times is a particularly effective strategy among this audience, who are seeking familiarity and comfort.

Carrying a nostalgic theme through to your festive email marketing is also a winning technique, with reports suggesting that 66% of shoppers will purchase a product after viewing it via direct mail. So, whether designing a Christmas e-card in your chosen style or giving customers a retro reminder of your products that may have nostalgic significance, building a strategy around this element of your business is likely to yield positive results.

Give a nostalgic item a modern edge

Most of us have particularly fond memories of certain toys we loved to play with as youngsters. These flashbacks can become particularly significant at Christmas time when we see new generations delight at the gifts Santa has left under the tree.

Well, what if it was possible for our adult selves to get just as much enjoyment out of our former toybox classics as we did as kids? It is a possibility and something that has been done to fantastic effect by brands such as Nintendo.

When marketing their Nintendo Switch, the company created an advert based around the trials and tribulations of two brothers growing up together and eventually growing apart. That is, until one of them extends an olive branch by sending the other a Nintendo Switch console so that they can play together virtually, once again rekindling their bond.

Tapping into the nostalgic potential of a product such as the Nintendo, which was a firm favourite in households throughout the eighties and nineties, while also showcasing its relevance in the modern world, is a prime example of how to combine nostalgia with innovation to successful effect.

The process first piques the interest of the consumer by transporting them back to a carefree time in their lives and evoking happy memories. It then gives one of their favourite childhood pastimes new significance by showcasing how the item has grown up with them and can still be relevant in their modern lives. Genius!

Nostalgia Sells - how harnessing the power of Christmas can boost your online sales - ParcelPlanet (3)

How to maintain increased sales beyond the Christmas period

Rolling out a well-researched, cleverly structured nostalgic marketing campaign could be an integral strategy for increasing your online sales this Christmas. However, if you’re looking beyond the festive period in the hopes of maintaining this hike in profits well into the new year, it’s important to combine your Christmas campaign with flawless customer service.

Outsourcing your order fulfilment to the experts is an effective way to do just this. ParcelPlanet provides a completely tailored, end-to-end order fulfilment service to ambitious brands looking to grow and excel.

Aside from providing storage and warehousing, and pick, pack and kitting options, our dispatch and delivery service allows you to offer your customers exceptional delivery times and reduced shipping costs, with access to all major courier services globally and shipping to over 250 countries and counting. This is ideal for ensuring customer satisfaction over the busy Christmas period – and all through the year.

Contact ParcelPlanet to discuss your order fulfilment needs today.