What is it about retro technology that keeps consumers coming back? It’s not like that smartphone in your pocket can’t stream your favorite songs, let you watch a movie or even play a quick game. The movement of retro technology is real, and odds are, you’re noticing some familiar items from childhood popping up on retail shelves once again.
Being a kid reminds us of when times were simple. Generations growing up today don’t recall the days when information wasn’t readily available right at our fingertips. Old and arguably “outdated” technology is definitely making a comeback, but why is that the case?
Nostalgia Marketing and Old Technology
Nostalgia is an extremely powerful marketing tool. This concept plays with our emotions as consumers try to grab hold of the past with products that take them back in time. Millennials seem to be the biggest players on the nostalgia train, as this generation frequently supports retro technology.
Reaching for older devices, including radios, DVD players, alarm clocks, cameras and more, seems to unplug consumers from smartphones, tablets and computers. The retro comeback may have something to do with modern devices being able to do too much. People want an experience they can actually connect with.
Technology companies are able to pull on the heart strings to bridge the gap between generations, providing an enjoyable experience that’s familiar to all.
Old Technology Is Coming Back in the Form of Vinyl Records
Retro technology is now in high demand around the world and online. What retro technology is getting a second life? You can easily find the boom in the music, film and gaming industries.
It’s no secret that the music industry went digital back in the 1990s. Compressed files enable listeners to transfer their favorite songs and albums to MP3 players, iPods, tablets and more by dragging and dropping. Regardless of advancements in the industry leading to streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, people want vinyl records.
Some of the biggest artists on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart release their music both digitally and pressed to vinyl. Consumers enjoy the crackling nature of records as they get a chance to hear familiar songs in a whole new (technically old) way. The total retail value of vinyl shipments in the United States equated to $419.2 million in 2018 alone.
Polaroid Cameras Get a Second Life
Despite being able to save thousands of photos on phones and tablets, nothing is quite like printing photos instantly. Surprisingly, the Polaroid camera company almost filed for bankruptcy at the start of the 21st Century, but the retro technology boom put this vintage camera style back on the market with colorful options and film packages.
Consumers can hold camera lenses up to their eye, point and shoot for printed photos they can share with friends and family. With a number of companies experimenting with instant-print technology, it would appear that Polaroid-style cameras are here to stay.
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System Relaunch
Gamers are excited to get their hands on vintage games. Nintendo released its latest console, the Nintendo Switch, back in March of 2017, but consumers were in for a surprise. The Nintendo Switch would offer exclusive new releases as well as the virtual Super Nintendo Entertainment System. With a paid subscription, gamers would have access to pre-installed 1990s classic titles with updated saving and multiplayer capabilities. This marketing strategy is ideal for gamers of all ages and thrives on the idea that retro technology is indeed making a comeback.