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How to Use Nostalgia to Increase Foot Traffic and Build Customer Loyalty

May 21, 2018 2:34 PM

Using nostalgia to increase foot traffic

I’ve been binge watching Cobra Kai lately. It’s taken me back to the 80’s when I watched the movie Karate Kid over and over again. After watching the first episode, I was hooked and signed up for YouTube Red to access all of them.

That’s the power of using nostalgia as a marketing tactic. It drives action and affects purchasing decisions. It may even be the secret to help your customers find the fountain of youth.

Whether you’re a roller skating rink, bowling alley, or an arcade, you can tap into this emotionally charged approach.

I know what you might be thinking; you don’t want to be associated with being stale. You can come across as lame and needing change with the times. Like these guys... 


It’s a skill you can develop, refine and capitalize on to drive action. Take the Star Wars franchise for example; they have mastered the art of getting their audience involved and evolved over the years:


Here’s how you can use nostalgia to increase foot traffic and build customer loyalty:

First, map out the steps in the customer journey. We’ve outlined this in simple steps in a previous post, which you can read here. The idea is that you practice empathy to identify each step in the path to purchase.

Next, create your touch points for each step in the journey. It’s easier and cheaper to develop videos nowadays with iPhones and editing software. Here’s an excellent example of putting together clips to tell a story. 


Once you grab their attention, you can drive action by testing promotional offers. The right offer can drive engagement and get them through the doors. Be sure to capture information and track who the customers are so you can segment them accordingly. Remember, the bigger the promotional offer, the more information you can ask customers in order to get it.

Now that you have identified your target segment, you can send contextualized and personalized messages that entertain, educate and delight them. Instead of blasting them with more promotional offers, you can try mixing it up with helpful articles or blog posts and give them a reason to spend their special occasions with you.

Once you have identified your loyal customers, you’ll earn the right to ask them to promote your business. The ability to turn loyal customers into promoters is the goal of your customer advocacy efforts. This approach produces customers who don’t just buy from you but sell for you.

Wax on... Wax off...

There’s a fine line between being lame and being nostalgic. You don’t want to dwell in the past. You want to evolve with the times—and your audience. If you keep training hard, you’ll be on your way to building human connections and lasting relationships with your business. 


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