Nostalgia – It strums a forgotten chord in some precious part of the heart. No one is immune to what nostalgia does to the mind. As a human race we look back at the past, at what had been with an affection that sometimes often perplex logic. The people who make up the business world, the entrepreneurs and the consumers are no different. Everyone unites at what had been. The evolution of business, the evolution of humans and life as we know it is one human story. People look back at a successful past for an assurance of a successful future. This is where heritage branding comes from. It is an assurance of companies that has a heritage to live up to the same expectations in the future. A company that is built on Heritage Branding is built on the foundation of trust, results and a promise of a better future.
So what is heritage branding?
To put in lay man’s words, heritage branding is the way of branding that taps into the company history and weaves into it consumer experience to procure loyalty and increase sales.
One of the most popular brands globally that uses Heritage Branding is LEE. This company was founded in 1889 by H.D.Lee. This company has grown to be synonymous with ‘Blue Jeans’. The company works on its branding by telling stories and giving out content that honours the past. A past that also urges consumers to stay fashion forward.
It is not necessary that the new age entrepreneurs have a decade long history to be able to do heritage branding. Every brand has some history. Some part in the making of a company that makes a connection with people. Something that evokes nostalgia in consumers. The idea is to evoke that nostalgia through your brand story.
The fact there has been a shift in how people look at companies now works for the advantage of the new age entrepreneurs. Ever since the beginning of the business world, consumers looked at a company that has been around for a long time to be trust worthy. With changing times, trust and quality is not associated with how long you had been. It is associated with how long those people in business has been together and how efficiently they have met consumer expectations. Yes, the decade long history do subconsciously work on a consumer’s psyche, but you can out do that by telling your brand story in a fresh way.
So how do entrepreneurs build a heritage brand out of their business that has been in the market for twenty years? Can heritage branding help a comparatively new company to stand at par with a company that has been successfully functioning since 1800s?
Yes, it can. Here’s how?
1. Pen your History:
As an Entrepreneur there must be some business story in you. Maybe of humble beginnings, the struggle and the success that naturally you arrived at. If you have inherited your business maybe you have a family history that backs your present business. Tap into that history. Once you find the connect pen it down. Pen down and see how you can weave your story into the fabric that makes your consumers. Maybe your multi-dollar hotel business started off with the fame of a small shawarma stall ages back when your ancestors decided to fan the flames of Middle Eastern culture lest modernity took away from it its roots. Look at how your business history can make a connection to the consumer’s heart. Once you reach there, build up on it.
But no matter how indistinct you might feel about your story do not fictionalise it to reach consumers. Keep it simple and authentic. Keep your story feeling like a conversation that you would have with your friend over a cup of coffee. A story that can be told, shared and related to.
2.Focus on People:
It is important that you tell people about the corporate elements that has built your brand. But do not stick only to that. Go beyond. Go to the story where people both consumers and in-house workers have worked together to build up the brand. Show your consumers how people-friendly you are.
When you are working at this point of your brand story, throw in a mix of Nostalgia. Nostalgia can be evoked through any element of your brand story. The location, the product you sell or the people you cater to. For Example, if you are focusing on creating a heritage brand story by your location, you can start off by how your presence has shaped the locality. Showcase to your consumers how something that started off as a business has eventually become synonymous with living in that locality and an inseparable part of the locality history. Show how your future generations are committed to continue the legacy of the locality’s history.
3. Do not forget to Innovate your Brand:
We all love centenarians who are in sync with times. The present generation can make a connection to them because they bring with them the wisdom of the past and a great perspective for the future. The same holds with companies. No one would like to associate with a company that has not moved with the changing times, no matter how interesting or strong their heritage. Nostalgia is the foundation resting on which the dreams of future believes in itself. A company that is creating its heritage brand story must always act as that foundation that gives wings to the dreams of a future.
Heritage branding has long existed in the business world. It had been communicated as word of mouth. Then came the way of creating legacy. The present age marketing scenario is very cut-throat and futuristic. Everywhere it is the same thing that every company is saying differently. A little mix of Heritage marketing would surely help a new age entrepreneur to create a great brand and customers. Give your company the wisdom of heritage branding and give yourself a fair chance.