Brand Love Language Part 4: Home Ec + Hopscotch

Lela Barker

This week, we’re continuing our brand love language series with part 4. Be sure to add the download at the end of this post to your word keeping toolbox.  We also welcome you to catch up on Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.


Today we’re talking about the good old days! More specifically, we’re delving into nostalgia marketing and how it can be used to capture the hearts of our clients by evoking happy feelings.


Nostalgia Marketing is about connecting with your audience through joyful memories of the past, often from childhood. Nostalgia is kindled by many things, including aromas, sights, sounds, design and even language. Our focus in this series is on language and how certain words can blast us back to another time or place taking our clients along for the ride.


Research shows, taking a walk down memory lane is a good thing and we should do more of it. Studies, by Dr. Constantine Sedikides, a psychology professor at the University of Southampton, indicates that the emotions of nostalgia make us feel happy, inspired and more optimistic towards the future. Who doesn’t need a little more of that?


As I’ve referenced in this series, language is powerful tool that can evoke strong emotions that influence half our buying decisions. We attach a host of personal meanings to words so it’s easy to understand how certain words, especially those from our childhood, can stir up emotions. For example, when someone says “tomahto” rather than tomato, I think of my grandmother years ago when I sat in her kitchen and giggled over her pronunciation of that word. Or, hearing my grandmother’s name, Dorothy, and the names of her pinochle friends, Mildred, Harriet and Pearl – evoke loving, romanticized images of domestic bliss in my mind.


Part 4: Home Ec & Hopscotch


So how can we effectively use nostalgia to add value to our conversations? To start, tune into you audience demographics to target what resonates with them. 18-year-olds versus 38-year-olds are likely to be nostalgic about very different things. A throw-back reference to 8-track tapes would certainly elicit a confused look from most teenagers these days. Yet, references to mixed tapes, lip lickers lip balm or New Kids On The Block might generate good fodder for a 30-something audience ( ahem … including me).


To help you brainstorm ideas, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite retro and nostalgia-inducing words for you to download. Feel free to add your own words, too, since what might kindle happy memories for me may stir an entirely different emotion for you. To inspire you even further, visit my favorite resource for vintage name inspiration, the U.S. Social Security Office. The Office lists the top 100 names from every decade since the 1880s. Plus, head over to Pandora and listen to music from another era, like the 40s, for a slew of inspiration. Not only will the music transport you to another time and place, but glance through the lyrics of each song to uncover dozens of charming, scarce words.


CLICK HERE to download the word lists from Part 4: Home Ec + Hopscotch


I’ll be back next week for the last installment in the series + a BIG surprise! Don’t miss it!

About the Author

Lela Barker

Lela Barker hails from the deep-and-dirty south (ATL, represent!), where she spends her days helping makers and product designers navigate the pitfalls of product pricing, brand development, and wholesale strategy. She launched her apothecary brand in 2003 and bootstrapped the hell out of that little business to cultivate a portfolio of 1500+ stockists worldwide, generating $12million in revenue and establishing successful distributorships in the Middle East, EU, Scandinavia, and South Korea. Lela is the keeper of a well-worn passport and the maker of the finest lemon meringue pie you’ve ever put in your mouth.

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