April 21, 2015
I was walking through an antique store a few months ago and stumbled upon the old-fashioned egg beaters featured in this picture. Almost immediately, I was transported back to my grandmother’s kitchen where I distinctly remember being excited about being chosen – over my sister – to spin the handle that brings the egg beaters to life. Never mind that the work could have been accomplished much quicker with an electric beater (which my grandmother did have), these egg beaters were magic.
So when I saw these egg beaters I knew I had to buy them. Regardless of cost, this was a joyous piece of my childhood staring back at me.
While I doubt very much this local antique dealer knew of my personal history with egg beaters and planned to capitalize on it, making ‘old’ new again is a powerful marketing strategy used by companies around the world. Think of how often Disney advertises that this is the last time you can buy DVD’s of the original Cinderella. Or how convenient it was that My Little Pony toys made a comeback right as those people who’d played with them became parents themselves.
Tapping into childhood memories is tapping into the core of many consumers’ emotions and can prove to be very profitable when done right. How does this play into the food world? Consider, for example, if there are any regional specialities that might have been made by grandparents or great-grandparents (and eaten by our generations) that no one makes anymore. I knew entrepreneurs who are successfully building entire businesses around everything from handcrafted pirogues to traditional Swedish cakes as time-crunched consumers look for ways to step back into a slower, calmer, easier times. With each bite of these goodies, they’re able to shed years – even if only for a few minutes – and relive those childhood memories while also, in many cases, sharing with and building new memories memories with their own children.
All of this is to say, whether you create a business around a bygone recipe or simply offer one product that spans time, it can do more than just build sales for your business. By offering your customers a taste of their past you are also cementing their loyalty to your brand.