The power of nostalgia among millenials

I am very much a 1990s kid, so when the news broke about Surge soda - a very popular alternative to Mountain Dew in the 90s -  returning after its discontinuation in the early 2000s, I was pretty excited. I wasn’t the only one feeling a wave of nostalgia: within hours of the re-release announcement, Amazon ran out of their initial supply of 12-packs. They managed to re-stock, but by the following afternoon they had depleted inventory and have since run out of stock again after a third replenishment.

A powerful social media campaign, The Surge Movement, succeeded in convincing Coca Cola to revive the soft drink – the first time it has reintroduced a discontinued product and the first time a product has been sold exclusively online by the company. If Surge continues to be successful, Coca Cola says it may roll out other online exclusive re-releases.

Millenials are prone to nostalgia. We are looking back on our childhood years fondly, particularly after challenging economic years during the start of our adulthood. While every generation is nostalgic for its youth to some degree, digital technology has allowed my generation to bond with one another through “Hey, remember when” moments.

Your brand can profit from this through "nostalgia marketing" to millenials. Why not try re-releasing a vintage product? Is there a former marketing campaign for your dealership that was iconic in your community 20 years ago? A jingle kids used to sing along to on the radio or during TV commercials? Use those to coax millenials into rediscovering their youthful boating memories.

It may sound backwards to do something the way you did it in the past, and on the surface level it is. It also seems ridiculous for a generation comprised of young adults to long so heavily for memories of yesteryear. But Coca Cola and other brands have proved nostalgia marketing to millenials is real and it works.

Adults are more likely to engage in boating if they were exposed to the activity at a young age. There are millenials out there who have childhood memories of boating, waiting to be reached. Think of the ways your company was attracting young families to boating a couple decades ago and try to reintroduce those products and marketing efforts. If Surge is any indication, millennials will notice.

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