Saturday, June 3, 2017

Brands that Harken Back to Simpler Times

Some people embrace change and even are the drivers of change. They are the visionaries. They are constantly thinking several steps ahead and imagining what could be. They are very comfortable with uncertainty and have no interest in clinging to the past. They can create order from seeming chaos. And many of them are happy to "blow up" the status quo to create something entirely new. These are the people who are creating the disrupting technologies and companies. These can also be the social entrepreneurs. While some people are wired this way, for many others this can be quite unsettling. 

Many people worry about their futures in an ever changing world. "Will I be safe?" "Will I be comfortable?" "Will I still have a job?" "Will I be ok?" "I am falling further and further behind." "I am not sure I know how to navigate all of this." "This is frustrating." "This makes my head spin " "I just wish everything would slow down a bit."

This second group of people, which I suspect is the majority of people, often are nostalgic about the "good and days." They like the simplicity of Mayberry RFD or Leave it to Beaver or even American Westerns in which good and evil are simply defined and clearly recognizable. 

Some brands can win by focusing on the needs of people who long for simpler times. Give them old fashioned hospitality. Be friendly with them. Make things simple for them. Use humor. Focus on traditional values. Infuse your brand with nostalgic elements. Provide them with certainty and anchors. Present simple choices. Speak in "black and white." Use symbols that harken back to simpler times. Take on the personality of Andy Griffith or Aunt Bee. This can be a winning approach for some brands. 

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