I read an article recently on how Everything Old is New Again when marketing to boomers. In it, the author talks about rekindling their nostalgia for products by taking them and making the products relevant again (such as milk in glass bottles, Detroit’s muscle cars, or the original food trucks like Good Humor).
I wondered if this marketing ploy has more to do with the speed of change, and less to do with pumping out new products for consumption.
I realize it is is always about chasing the dollar, since those over the age of 49 will soon control 70% or more of disposable income, but if the way to boomers’ wallets is through nostalgia, what does that say about the relevance of products that are not readily understood? Is the sheer amount of what is introduced simply too much to process? Information overload is all around us. It can swamp you rather quickly. So if something ‘new’ feels the least bit familiar, gives your brain something to grab hold of that reduces the anxiety felt when having to absorb yet another wave of information.
What if the pleasure could be increased by stopping to ask ourselves exactly what the appeal is? And is there some other way to achieve the feelings of satisfaction that are typically fleeting at best? After all, we tend not to remain satisfied for long. In my experience, the deepest satisfaction comes from achieving a significant goal. That path, however, requires the ability to delay satisfaction, something that is not easy to do on a repeat basis
The usual advice is to make sure you are aware of your triggers for purchases and to avoid or eliminate them. But I think you might have more success if you are able to access what internal need you are meeting in your deliberations. If you purchase, consume, or do whatever is in front of you, what place in your life will it occupy next week or next month? More importantly, will you have to dust it? I jest, but it is true that much of what we choose requires additional expense, time and care that may not add anything to our lives.
So pause before your nostalgia has you pulling out your wallet for that limited edition vinyl LP by your favorite indie band, and recall the fact that the last turntable you encountered was your twentieth high school reunion. And it was a picture in the yearbook.
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