The radio playlists have become festive, the shops decked with tinsel, and Christmas lights hang from neighbours’ houses, turning Basingstoke into Bas Vegas. I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel nostalgic.
Nostalgia is very comfortable, like your favourite ever jumper. It feels nice. It’s also a great filter. Like Match Of The Day, it allows us to remember the highlights, subtly glossing over the rubbish bits, especially when it comes to Christmas. The hours it took trying to get the tree lights to work and being stuck indoors for two whole days having to spend time with extended family members we couldn’t care less for.
Most people my age speak nostalgically about the shop, Woolworths, especially the pick and mix. But it didn’t stop the 100-year-old retailer going to the wall when people stopped shopping there. And we all love and bemoan the state of the high street… as we sip a glass of wine in triumph from the comfort of our sofa, clicking the buy now button.
Nostalgia only goes so far and counts for nothing on a balance sheet. Times change, things move on rapidly, and so must you, just to stay still.
The same is true of marketing. Around 1999, the web exploded, and SEO got you somewhere quickly and cheaply. In 2005, Adwords followed suit. Now, they are both flooded. It’s no longer easy pickings. Social media, once fresh and exciting, is now a free-for-all as the “look at me” messaging evolves.
One of my clients runs the odd event as part of a wider marketing strategy. Events that once flourished are now less engaging to people, especially with post-Covid apathy. We introduce new ideas, and they are thriving. We see the formats appearing elsewhere from people in the same space, so it’s time to shake off the comfy jumper and think of something new. Again.
It’s not true that if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got. The question is, what do you need to do differently now before you’re left on the shelf like a ZX Spectrum or a quarter of Rhubarb and Custards?