Reminders of Old Times Resonate in Tough Times

Reminders of Old Times Resonate in Tough TimesYesterday’s Get to the  Point! (Marketing Prof’s deliciously pithy daily bite on high-impact marketing) pointed to the resurgence of nostalgic references (both narrative and graphic) in these tough times.

The e-alert highlighted for-profits who are using old commercials and/or cultural references–including VW’s focus on the lovable bug, and McDonald’s returning to its classic Big Mac anthem (“two all-beef patties…..), but there’s a great opportunity to integrate these reassuring elements into your nonprofit marketing too.

Of course, it’s always more challenging to market a program or an issue, vs. a consumer product for which  buying is largely emotional. And its important for most nonprofit organizations to emphasize their innovation, not their traditionalism, but look back into your org’s past to see what treasure you may find.

Do you have:

  • A photo of a classic celebrity (Dean Martin, Jacky O) at a long-time-ago fundraiser?
  • An old brochure showcasing programs that are no more, but have been replaced by new ones addressing the same core issues in more effective ways (ideal to link the new and old)
  • An antique special event photo featuring attendees decked out in the duds of the day?
  • A donor or volunteer who hasn’t been active for quite a while, but might respond to an alumnae campaign?
  • A memory to share about the way your org used to do things, tied to a certain time, that is so different now (even how you used to reach your base via operator, vs. email now)?
  • A story to tell about the way your org used to do things, that is the same now, and working extremely effectively (ala some things never need to change)?
  • An idea for a refreshingly-different fundraiser (anyone for the roaring 20s)?

These are just a few ways for your organization to look back while continuing to move forward, providing satisfaction and reassurance in these uncertain times.  What strategies can you add to the list?

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Nancy Schwartz on August 12, 2008 in Branding and Messages, Nonprofit Communications, Strategy, Unique Approaches | 0 comments
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