The Rise and Rise of Newstalgia

Newstalgia – (noun) something new and original that captures the look, feel, and essence of something treasured from the past.

In 21st century life, change is the only constant. This may be why so many people are embracing the days gone by. Look out the window and you’ll see one of those vintage push bikes spinning down the street. In kitchens

Lunar Unicycle
A mid-century idea that didn’t quite make the mainstream market, but a great idea, none the less.

 everywhere people are rediscovering home cooking, and in gardens they’re growing their own food. Couple this with the proliferation of vintage-look ads on buses and in shopping centres and you begin to think this is all a collective attempt at time travelling to a simpler life.

While anyone who actually lived in the ‘good old days’ know they weren’t quite as rosy as our memories, the nostalgia is still there. We don’t remember the nuclear threat, the iron curtain, the riots, wars or assassinations. We remember the smiling people on every ad, the innovations and inventions that were often more quirky than helpful, and the achievements.

We’ve noticed newstalgia even in our own showroom this season, with our most traditional Christmas giftwrap selling out, a whole month before Christmas. It’s a sign of the times, isn’t it?

Catch on to this current consumer obsession, and go back to the good old days – but don’t limit it to things you sell. Here are some ideas:

  • Back in ‘those days’ there was trust. These days everyone is bombarded with negativity by the media. They’re afraid of being swindled and sued. Ease their worry a little by building their trust in you. Offer guarantees that are realistic, and stick by them.
  • Keep an open mind. Innovate, mix up what you sell. The postwar decades were revolutionary (in more ways than one!) -people were no longer afraid of the establishment. They pushed boundaries and opened horizons in their achievements and inventions.
  • Good old-fashioned Customer Service. It must be said.  Was there more time in the day back then? No. People prioritized their time differently.  The shop assistants of yesteryear valued conversations with you more. Spend more time with your customers.  They’re used to being rushed, so surprise them with a smile and a genuine “how are you?”  Pass the time of day with them.  They’ll feel important & repay you in kind. 
  • Break Records. So many records were broken in that era, and it kept people excited. Don’t just be good, be the greatest. You will earn respect, publicity and interest. And you will hold your customers attention.
  • Predict and imagine. Back in the 50s popular magazines predicted all sorts of things, from (shock) shopping by picture-phone, to rolling robots in warehouses, to lunar unicycles. Ok the last one hasn’t happened yet… but don’t be afraid to imagine. Your predictions might seem ridiculous today, but in the future you may be looked on as an authority.

The mix of predictability and innovation endears us to the golden days of yesteryear. Capture that recipe and use it to your advantage, and who knows what the future might hold?

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