Nostalgia sells, and nostalgic packaging plays a big role in that. 

Utilizing elements from popular design trends of the past is a powerful tool on its own. Certain fonts and colors, image stylings, and more can evoke strong emotions in people. It's becoming increasing popular for products ranging from shoes to soft drinks to market throwback styles or recipes. These tactics allow former customers to re-engage with a product while allowing a new generation to discover it.  In our image-saturated world, something that can grab and hold attention--especially if it's due to resonating with the viewer--is a win for marketers.

As more and more brands jump on the throwback bandwagon, it becomes clear that execution plays a big part in how well a product is received. Fast Company detailed how different brands are optimizing product launches with success or...less than success.

How Nostalgic Packaging Can Bring in Bucks

First off, we love nostalgia in the USA. 

The Journal of Consumer Research reports that we're more to spend money when we're feeling nostalgic:

“We found that when people have higher levels of social connectedness and feel that their wants and needs can be achieved through the help of others, their ability to prioritize and keep control over their money becomes less pressing.”

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Which explains why adults might love to shell out money for shoes they always wanted as a child, like the Adidas relaunch of Stan Smiths. But why do millenials and Gen Z seek out retro designs and references? Turns out, it's just part of an ongoing cycle. 

Generations are constantly rediscovering past generations. Resurrecting past trends starts with groups creating demand for products that are generally hard. And from there others learn about it and want to recreate the experience. The demand for vinyl, or records, in the past few years is proof of this. While it's infinitely more convenient to stream a curated playlist from a smartphone, people crave the experience that goes with listening to an album from start to finish, reading liner notes, viewing album art. The resurgence of Polaroid and Fujifilm instant photos is another example. 

Products and nostalgic packaging that can tap into the collective cultural memory are the most effective. So much so that some organizations have taken to hiring a kind of 'chief memory officer.' Their primary task? Sorting through company history and culture to reference for product and campaign launches.

When it comes what not to do, the answer is easy: don't force a trend. It's can be risky to bring back an old packaging style without an existing desire for it. But when it comes to custom packaging design, there are plenty of elements to implement to match a design from days of yore.

Ready to dig into the past and find a style of nostalgic packaging that works for you? Contact Sunrise today!

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