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What's Old?

By JAMES COAKES Published 11th Jan 2016
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We can be a bit obsessed with novelty, particularly in marketing. 'What's new?' is the big question; how can we differentiate ourselves from the competition, steal their march and come up with the next big thing?

The packet of Monster Munch that I had with my lunch made me stop and think. The word 'New' is crossed out and they have replaced it with 'Old!' That struck me as very unusual, but nostalgia is a very powerful emotion. There is much discussion about the crisps and sweets of our childhood, and such complaints as Mars bars becoming smaller (they actually increased in size from 49g to 65g between the 1980s and 1990s and now they are back down to 46g). Then there is the story of 'New Coke' and how Coca-Cola faced a huge backlash when they changed their recipe, despite it proving more popular in blind taste trials. Nostalgia sells, in some markets.

When you focus too much on novelty in your marketing one of the dangers is that you may lose touch with the benefits that caused your customers to choose you in the first place. Thinking about new ideas can be very compelling, and understanding what it is that your customers want to hold on to less so.

Now what is it that is old and valuable in your business proposition, and where are you putting it on the packaging (or offering)? It could be the thing that customers actually want from you.

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