Heinz in Greenfield Village

Using principles of psychology can aid a brand.  This has certainly been the case for Heinz as it has developed into a leader in the prepared foods industry.  My family toured Greenfield Village at the Henry Ford Museum last year.  One of my favorite parts of the tour was seeing The Heinz House, the boyhood home of H.J. Heinz and the home where Heinz first began his food processing and packaging business.  The home was moved to this location in 1957, presumably because it provided a great opportunity for Heinz to connect with a broader audience in a meaningful way.  No doubt Heinz (the company) understood the value of the psychological principle: nostalgia. From his book, Heaven and Hell: The Psychology of the Emotions, Dr. Neel Burton (2014) writes, “Nostalgia can lend us much-needed context, perspective, and direction, reminding and reassuring us that our life (and that of others) is not as banal as it may seem, that it is rooted in a narrative, and that there have been—and will once again be—meaningful moments and experiences.”  It is the narrative that PR professionals have been tasked with developing in an effort to build relationships with consumers.  In fact, Heath (2012), “Nostalgia is a powerful mechanism for promoting your business, product, or service; most people look at days gone past with a favorable view”.  PR professionals should study its company’s past and define what has worked, what has helped it develop brand equity.  It should also use it as an opportunity to connect with consumers who appreciate a nostalgic connection with the company.


Burton, N.  (2014, November 26).  Psychology Today.  The Meaning of Nostalgia: The psychology and philosophy of nostalgia.  Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hide-and-seek/201411/the-meaning-nostalgia

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