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6 Nostalgic Brands That Are Making A Comeback!

Nostalgia Brands

By Julia Koh & Syira Junaidi
September 2019
If you think there are a lot of old brands resurfacing back these days, you’re not alone. There’s an emerging number of brands that we haven’t seen for awhile, making a comeback in the market. Thanks to a strong need for nostalgia, the demand for old or retro brands is resurging.
We love to feel nostalgic. It’s a warm, happy emotion as we are reminded of the good memories that happened in the past particularly during our childhood or adolescent years. For many of us, childhood was a simpler time. Ask any millennial what their childhood was like and they’ll probably answer with Game Boys, ais krim Malaysia, Saturday morning cartoons, and dial-up internet. It was amazing.
Millennials are particularly keen on nostalgia, which is why you see a lot of #ThrowbackThursday on social media. As the largest consumer segment, millennials help drive retro brands back to popularity. Here we look at 6 examples of brands that are making a comeback:
  1. Snacks & Candies

    Haw flakes, sarsi lollipops, 88 bubblegum, candy drops in powdered sugar, and dried fish fillet that looked like grass were all staple snacks of 80s & 90s kids. And they are making a comeback to stores both online and offline. There are several ‘retro shops’ that sell food and toys popular among Malaysian kids back in the day. The stores even have a retro ‘kedai runcit’ vibe with wooden racks and hand-painted signs to kick up the nostalgia feel a notch.

  2. Games

    In 2016, the world’s first augmented reality mobile game was released; Pokemon Go. As an endearing brand many millennials grew up with, the game was a huge success and became a phenomenon around the world. Aside from video games, playing cards like ‘Snap’, ‘Old Maid’, and ‘Happy Family’ are also making a comeback recently. They are re-emerging on shelves in bookstores. You can even get them on online marketplaces now.

  3. Beverages

    Against the flurry of Western-brand soda drinks that dominate the market, some consumers are thirsty for something different. Rather than sexy, bold Mountain Dew flavours, consumers are getting more interested in old-school, local soda brands like Long Chan from Melaka and Air Botol Cap Ayam from Kelantan. These brands haven’t been through many changes since the pre-independence era. Consumers love the classic taste of sarsi, ice cream soda and fruit flavours, but they also appreciate the authenticity these ‘otai’ brands offer. A sip from a Long Chan can make you feel special because you’re drinking something shared only between Malaysians.

  4. Music

    Of course, we still listen to hit songs from the 2000s, ‘90s, all the way to ‘60s. Good songs don’t get old, that’s why they’re called ‘evergreen’. But even in this decade, certain musical genres are making a comeback. For example, some K-pop stars like EXID paid tribute to ‘90s culture with this song. There’s the distinctive funky hip-hop synonymous to pop songs made in that era. You can also appreciate the oldies theme in Faizal Tahir’s ‘Ragaman’. In this P.Ramlee-inspired reggae song, the singer adopted the art style of old Malay films from the ‘60s into his music video.

  5. Fashion

    What’s new in fashion today is old fashion, such as batik shirts, sarongs, floral dresses and baju kurung with vintage patterns. These styles are popular among young people, more so among young Muslim girls. These clothes are often loose and comfortable, and many prefer them over leggings, crop top or jeans. We also bet you have met a millennial who wore those oversized round glasses at least once. You can thank John Lennon for that.

  6. Entertainment

    There are so many movie remakes these days. From The Lion King to A Star Is Born, movie remakes bring us back to the time when we first watched them. But more than movies, TV shows like ‘Spanar Jaya’, a popular series in Malaysia, is making a comeback this year. On Netflix, Stranger Things is a popular series partly thanks to its constant reference made on ‘80s culture.

In Conclusion

Nostalgia is not just exclusive to millennials. Everyone can feel and love to feel nostalgia. We’re seeing a comeback among old retro brands due to the demand of the customers, which most of them happen to be millennials.
What we can learn from this trend is that authenticity really matters in the long term. A brand can endure generations of change by being authentic and true to who they are and what they aim to do. And in a world filled with spams, ads, and noises, customers crave for something meaningful to them and nostalgic brands can provide that.
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