Vintage Businesses… Quirk or Quality?

vintage business

The image of a business is an essential component in its overall success. The style and image of a brand will be a contributory factor in what brings customers back and what can make it gather momentum and success. While each business needs to strive to make itself stand out, what is the importance of a quaint or vintage type of image in the modern business market? How does it appeal to the customer, and why?


The popularity of a vintage image in the modern world is very plain to see. The importance of retro and quirky clothing has made it near impossible for people to buy anything for cheap from thrift stores anymore, and the fact that anything is over 40 years old now carries a kitsch appeal, as shown by the popularity of stores like Cath Kidston.

So what can you do to emulate this kind of appeal? The first thing to bear in mind is that these stores all carry a unique style that is marketable. You recognize the vintage look from a mile off. The logo or the banner design is very important to its overall image, and putting it on everything, from clothes to trinkets, is a nice little way to put your brand out there.

Small items seem to carry a bit more kitsch value than anything, like candy, you can have printed pouches with your logo on the bag, and it becomes a lovely little memento of the customer’s shopping experience.

The world of vintage and retro is so popular now that by adding another business in this vein can be viewed as oversaturation, so this is a task you have to overcome in order to make your business viable and relevant. The trick to making a vintage or quirky type of business relevant is to pop up in the most quirky of places.

This may sound like making random choices on a map and saying “let’s sell there,” but it’s more about finding the fringe markets, which can be done via social media, limiting the amount of bad employees to maximize customer experience, or by aiming your product to a very specific market.

Vintage comes with certain connotations, such as hipsters, vegans, or a throwback era. Although these are all very small sections of a market, this gives you some idea of the scope of its marketability. Nobody could have predicted the resurgence of vinyl, especially as it is the biggest selling musical format.

While many view vintage as a quirky, fringe market, its appeal is so widespread that you can be very precise in your marketing tactics. Before long, it won’t be the zeitgeist anymore, and popular culture will move onto the next “classic” thing, but as trends have dictated, we are looking more and more into the past to get inspiration.

This means a massive dissatisfaction with a contemporary culture so you may be able to start a business that leads the way instead of following the trend. Creating a movement in business is all about finding Year Zero, and with vintage, that ship has sailed, but it is ripe for profit.