Typically nostalgia has been a valuable sales and marketing tool that has extended the life cycle of legacy brands. This study sought to determine how nostalgia could be leveraged to increase the willingness of consumers to adopt new brands.
Support was sought to confirm that a positive impact of nostalgia as an influencing factor is that it increases consumer willingness to adopt new brands in emerging markets characterised by rapid social mobility
This research clearly differentiated between the factors that drive consumption of physical products in relation the drivers of consumption of intangible services and illustrated that the benefits conspicuous consumption triggered by past deprivation is not limited to the acquisition of physical products.
The results of this qualitative research, which was conducted through face-to-face in-depth interviews with south African consumers, provides new insights that can be used by businesses to leverage the ability of nostalgia to drive exploratory consumer behaviour and growth in emerging markets where upward social mobility has resulted in increased spending power.
Additionally the research found that the advent of social media has facilitated the development of nostalgic, virtual, verbal consumption; essentially it can be regarded as an extension of word-of-mouth referral. This online socialisation is increasingly driven by the aspiration of the upwardly mobile populations that characterise emerging markets and is closely aligned with nostalgic memories from the past.
In summary the findings of this research confirmed the ability of nostalgia to drive new brand adoption and demonstrated that through nostalgic virtual verbal socialisation, even non-tangible service and information goods are conspicuously consumed by the upwardly mobile consumers in South Africa.
Dissertation (MBA) --University of Pretoria, 2014.