Back to the Future: Lessons from 90’s Branding

Born in ’88, I had a lot of fun in the 90’s. It was a time for lots of firsts: creating my family website, getting lost in Shockwave’s interneat games (shoutout to the space monkey and Lenny the Australian!), and those big-ass colossal cell phones.

It was a time of evolution in the tech world and in branding.

The 90’s were anything but subtle. They weren’t afraid of bold colors and loud patterns and we’re seeing some of that come back again today like Spotify wrapped and Target’s in-house brand, like Wild Fable, that features clothing and styles reminiscent of the 90s.

We also saw a rise of brand personalities that people could relate to like Apple’s “Think Different” campaign or the friendly M&M characters. Brands became more than just their products, they embraced personality and had heart.

As the 90s came toward an end, we saw everyone freak out over Y2K. Concerns about planes crashing, computers blowing up, and just the world of technology ending as we know it. Perhaps in another world, it did. The internet blew up in the 90s and brought us into the online world we know today. It taught us the importance of a digital presence and how fast a landscape can change in business.

Today we’re seeing this with AI—how can we keep navigating the landscape we’re in now with the help if AI, what does that look like for brands going forward?

Nostalgia marketing is a fantastic way to create emotional connections, re-introduce your services in a new and fun way, and to have fun.

Speaking of fun, make sure you download this cootie catcher! You can use to reconnect and play with your brand, but in 2000s style.

Looking for more nostalgia branding inspiration? Check out this blog post.

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