Nostalgic Purchases Survey: Consumers Prefer Established Brands

Nostalgia can be a powerful tool for marketing various types of products. According to research from NPD Group, there are several areas where nostalgic purchases are surging, ranging from fashion accessories to kids’ toys. So how many consumers can be swayed by nostalgia when it comes to making purchases? And what types of purchases are most likely to be impacted by that nostalgia? We asked 1,000 respondents about their buying habits and how they can be impacted by nostalgia.

old nintendo

Nostalgic Purchases

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest online survey, 5% of respondents said that they’ve bought nostalgic purchases, or items that were popular in the past and have come back into style, within the past day. 10% have made nostalgic purchases in the past week. 15% have done so within the past month. 12% have within the past three months. 16% have within the past year. 13% said it’s been more than a year since they made any nostalgic purchases. And 30% said they aren’t nostalgic consumers at all.

Looking forward, 56% of respondents said they are at least somewhat likely to make nostalgic purchases within the next year. According to Personality Radar, those who are likely to make nostalgic purchases are established homeowners with significant disposable income.

Popular Categories

Of those who have made nostalgic purchases, 56% said that they like purchasing nostalgic or retro home items. 54% have bought entertainment items based on nostalgia. 50% have bought nostalgic food items. 45% have made nostalgic fashion purchases. And 28% have bought nostalgic tech items. Nintendo was the most popular brand that people associate with nostalgic purchases. But respondents also named favorite brands like Hasbro, Disney, Coca-Cola, Atari, Sony and Levi’s.

More specifically, 57% of respondents said that they have purchased classic board games. 45% have bought movies or tickets to movies that are remakes of older films. 39% have bought vintage style clothing. 36% have bought DIY or craft supplies. 25% have purchased record players. And just 17% of overall respondents haven’t purchased any of those specific items, which make up just some of the nostalgic purchases that are currently popular.

Nostalgic Marketing

In general, 62% of respondents said that they’ve purchased items specifically because they evoke a sense of nostalgia. 63% think ads that use nostalgic imagery or storylines can be effective. And 80% said that they are more likely to trust brands that have been around for a long time.

Key Takeaways

The majority of consumers seem to make purchases based on nostalgia at least on occasion. But it seems that not all of those buyers even realize that they’ve made nostalgic purchases. Nostalgia can certainly be a powerful marketing tool. But it seems that simply having a strong brand or focusing on a brand’s long history can be an even more effective route when it comes to building trust with consumers. Basically, brands don’t need to be blatant about using nostalgia in order for it to be an effective selling point. You can use subtle things like retro branding or marketing materials that call attention to your company’s history and still benefit from consumers’ affinity for nostalgia.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Nintendo by Emilio under CC BY-SA 2.0

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on July 24 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anne Pilon
Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.