My parents have lived in the same house since the ’70s, and it’s weird how my memories of it all sort of blur together. In my mind’s eye that house is like a temporal vortex caught between worlds. One, the modern era of Blu-ray players, wifi and universal remote controls; the other, a land of tan bathroom counter tops and Oil of Olay.
Olay… It’s funny how some memories stick with you forever. As far back as I can remember, my mom has liked Olay, and I can’t remember ever not seeing a jar of the Beauty Fluid somewhere in the house.
Sometimes, when I’m out browsing beauty aisles, my eyes will settle for a moment on something from Olay, and I’ll feel a little closer to home.
Nostalgic brands are like comfort foods
There’s a neat article in the April issue of Global Cosmetic Industry (GCI) magazine about nostalgic brands (Aspirational Consumers Turn Nostalgic, by Miriam Quart, GCI, April 2011) and how some brands that were once considered “the bee’s knees,” but have since fallen out of the limelight, are now staging comebacks. For many of us, beauty, fashion and personal care products from Olay, St. Ives, Infusium23, Pert, Levi’s and others still conjure up memories of “the good ole days,” and consumers tend to think of their old standbys as tried-and-true gems.
It’s a sign of the times
“Marketers used to be able to bank on ‘aspirational’ consumers indulging in affordable luxuries…” Quart says in the article, “but there has been a dramatic shift in consumer behavior during the recent economic downturn.” Some feel a little less optimistic about things, more unsure, and they’re turning to those old familiar, comfortable brands they’ve long known and loved.
Sometimes it just takes a reminder
Smart companies are capitalizing on the goodwill they earned over decades by reminding people that they’re still around, and instead of focusing on completely new lines, they’re attempting to leverage their legacies by repromoting classic products, sometimes “with a firty twist,” the focus of St. Ives’ new campaign.
Many of us grew up with St. Ives at home, but over the years, after similar offerings from Aveeno, Bath & Body Works, Healing Garden and Dove, St. Ives seemed to drift away. Today, the company is hoping to reconnect with younger consumers interested in natural ingredients and value.
I’m all for seeing classic products stage comebacks. I figure if I liked something once, maybe I’ll like it again.
How about you? What are some nostalgic brands (beauty or otherwise) you’ve found yourself returning to lately?
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,