How Limited Too Used Nostalgia to Market to Millennials
In early August, Limited Too launched a one-week pop-up shop in various locations in New York City, including Union Square, Herald Square, the Flatiron District, and Third Avenue. The pop-up shop was designed to look just like the store that Millennials remembered from their childhoods. The walls on the inside of the pop-up shop were lined with the signature blue and pink flowers that used to be featured inside Limited Too stores. Music from the 1990s and early 2000s, including Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, and Mandy Moore, was blasted from the speakers, much to the delight of Millennial customers who sang along to every word of their favorite childhood songs. The products were covered in colorful glitter just like those that lined the shelves in the original Limited Too stores. Those who are old enough to remember Limited Too are too old to wear their clothing or use their products, but that didn’t stop them from coming out in droves to see the pop-up shop. Why? According to some marketing experts, Millennials love nostalgic experiences.
Millennials have packed schedules, responsibilities, and families that cause a great deal of stress in their day-to-day lives. As a result, this generation loves looking back at times when life was simpler, meaning when they were children and had less responsibility and more freedom. Brands that tap into Millennials’ childhood memories can quickly become associated with the positive feelings Millennials experience when looking back at the past. This may explain why so many brands are looking back in order to move forward with their marketing.
How effective is nostalgia marketing? Just last year, Pokemon Go tapped into Millennials’ memories of having fun with their Pokemon cards in order to launch one of the most popular apps of the past few years. Before Pokemon Go launched, many people thought Pokemon was a thing of the past, but this app made it relevant again by tapping into Millennials’ nostalgia.
In order for brands to succeed at nostalgia marketing, they must be able to make the old new again. For example, if Pokemon had simply launched new Pokemon cards, they would not have seen the same level of success because Millennials aren’t interested in trading playing cards anymore. Instead, they took the concept of Pokemon and made it relevant in today’s world by turning it into an app and incorporating advanced technology into the game. The key to succeeding at nostalgia marketing is tapping into the memories of Millennials while also offering something new at the same time. Brands that fail to do this risk being seen as irrelevant or out of touch with the modern world.
How Limited Too Succeeded
Limited Too’s recent pop-up shop is a perfect example of effective nostalgia marketing. The brand recognized that the customers that used to shop at their stores are now parents themselves. Although their old customers cannot purchase the products for themselves, they can decide to purchase them for their children, instead.
An article on Business Insider highlighted this event and spoke to one of the many Millennials who visited the pop-up shop. The woman was excited to see one of her favorite childhood stores come back to life, so she brought a friend with her so they could both shop for items for their daughters. Another Millennial that was interviewed traveled a great distance to bring her little sister, who was not familiar with Limited Too, to the pop-up shop. The Millennial did not buy anything for herself, but she did help her little sister pick out a number of different items. These two examples show that with this pop-up shop, Limited Too brilliantly used nostalgia marketing to target their old customers and introduce their products to a new generation of young consumers.
The pop-up shop was also perfectly timed to coincide with the back-to-school shopping season, when parents are typically planning on spending more money on apparel and accessories for their children. Limited Too took advantage of the season by offering wide variety of back-to-school accessories, including glitter notebooks, sparkly pink backpacks, and of course, back-to-school clothing.
Besides Business Insider, other press outlets including Buzzfeed, Allure, Retail Dive, New York Post, and Elite Daily covered this experiential marketing event. Clearly, Limited Too was incredibly successful at tapping into their childhood memories in order to generate buzz for their business. In fact, the event was such a success that the marketing director of Limited Too stated that the brand is now considering launching pop-up shops in other cities across the country, including Los Angeles and Chicago.
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