Nostalgia, that wistful yearning for the past, has proven time and time again to be a powerful force in shaping consumer choices. Consumers tend to seek solace in brands that evoke feelings of familiarity and comfort and it’s this sentiment that has fuelled a significant boom in demand for nostalgic properties.
The nostalgic boom presents a lucrative opportunity for brands to tap into an emotionally charged market. Reintroducing classic properties or reimagining vintage can create strong emotional connections with customers, and this is evident where many brands and retailers are now focusing on evergreen properties as a reliable avenue for successful licensing deals. The enduring popularity of nostalgia in consumer choices can be attributed to the timeless appeal of “what’s old is new”, as Mellany Masterson, Head of Nelvana Enterprises notes. Making something from the past cool again remains a perpetually stylish concept.
The success of collaborations hinges on two critical factors – nostalgia and innovation. Brands that successfully tap into the realms of familiarity and comfort while integrating them into the interests, and lifestyles of today will often see success. When done properly, this emotional resonance translates to increased brand loyalty, and introduces the property to a new generation of customers who are eager to partake in the nostalgia.
Merchantwise, positioned at the forefront of nostalgia-driven properties, boast a portfolio featuring beloved icons from the past. The team has been actively pursuing strategic partnerships and collaborations with iconic properties such as Strawberry Shortcake, Teletubbies, Astro Boy, and cult-classics like Goosebumps and the Karate Kid franchise.
Strawberry Shortcake, an iconic symbol of childhood innocence for those who grew up in the ‘80s, is making a triumphant return, leading the charge, and setting the gold standard in nostalgic licensing for what it means for previous icons to be reimagined for the present and future.
PJs and sleepwear extraordinaire, Peter Alexander launched a ‘berry’ cute Strawberry Shortcake collection in summer 2023 that is as irresistibly sweet as it is stylish, featuring whimsical prints and vibrant colours inspired by the charming world of Strawberryland.
Rock Your Baby – Australia’s leading retailer for chic and stylish kidswear have launched a brand-new Strawberry Shortcake collection, blending timeless charm and contemporary style. The collection is all about living and bringing the sweet life to your little one’s wardrobe, one strawberry-inspired piece at a time.
Goldie + Ace have taken Australia down memory lane with their new Strawberry Shortcake Vintage collection. Promising sweet styles for little smiles, the collection features iconic vintage prints of Strawberry Shortcake and friends immersed in soft pastels and playful details, designed to embrace the spirit of yesteryear with modern touch of elegance.
The market is also witnessing a remarkable flourishing of other nostalgic brand properties, from a renaissance of cult-classics like Goosebumps and Cobra Kai, to vintage icons in kids’ entertainment such as Teletubbies and Astro Boy making a comeback – the market is yearning for sentimentality.
Kicking off summer 2024 in true Teletubbies fashion, Merchantwise has partnered with Peter Alexnader to bring Australia a Teletubbies x Peter Alexander festival collection that will make any Teletubbies fans say ‘Eh-Oh!’.
Goldie + Ace have launched an Astro Boy kidswear range, where futuristic fashion meets playful comfort. Inspired by Osamu Tezuka’s timeless creation, the collection encapsulates the spirit of Astro Boy with iconic prints from the original series.
Bringing the thrills to the streets, Merchantwise have partnered with Culture Kings to launch a new streetwear collection that merges the haunting allure of R.L. Stine’s iconic Goosebumps series with streetwear. Relive your childhood terrors with Goosebumps’ signature designs with a Culture King twist.
Stepping onto the dojo floor in style – Merchantwise in collaboration with Jitsy Club have launched a new Cobra Kai martial arts gear range. Inspired by the hit series and a nod to the iconic Karate Kid franchise, the range embodies the discipline and spirit of what it means to be Cobra Kai (or Miyagi-do).
Recognizing the profound impact of nostalgia, brands that embrace this are well-positioned to not only thrive in the current market but also to build enduring relationships with consumers. The nostalgic boom in Australia is not just a trend—it’s a testament to the enduring power of emotion, familiarity and comfort in shaping consumer behaviour.