The Wii is a home video game console, launched in the major global markets at the end of 2006. It is released by Nintendo, which is one of the most influential and reputable leading brand in the world’s game industry with age-old history, exclusive brand culture and loyal fans. Over the past few years, three main game companies have been vying for market share and sales in a highly competitive market: one is Nintendo’s Wii, which we will mainly focus on in this essay; the other two are Sony with its PlayStation3 and Microsoft with the Xbox 360, which are both really powerful competitors of Wii.
Base on the current worldwide sales data, Wii have won the two others and become as the best-selling home game console. However, to be compared with PS3 and Xbox 360, Wii is neither the earliest nor the most technologically advanced console. The reason why and how Wii leads the generation over the two others in worldwide sales does rise up my interest intensively, therefore I am going to evaluate and present the Nintendo’s successful marketing strategy in the following paragraphs, using ‘marketing mix framework’ (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion).
Brand As I have mentioned above, Nintendo is one of the highest competitive worldwide game companies, created many well-known, household industry icons such as Super Mario, Wii Fit, Wii Sports and The Legend of Zelda, all of which not only improved the brand to be more recognizable and irreplaceable but also enable it to gain customer loyalty. With the strongly helpful background, Wii was born with people’s expectation. It is a fantastic beginning to get marketing success.
Name Name is the face of the product to give the customers a first impression. Wii was formerly known as “Revolution”, which also has a good meaning that emphasizes on the change and innovation. However, a good meaning is not enough for being an impressive name, basically, easy to read and easy to remember are the key cores. Wii sounds like “we”, which indicates that this console is not only for everyone but also for people who want to play together with family or friend. Moreover, no matter where people from and which language they speak, Wii is brief enough and easy to pronounce. In addition, the distinctive “ii” spelling that symbolizes the image of people gathering to play and the unique Wii Remote and Nunchuk.
The Wii remote, controller of the console, is the core-product of Wii system. It is a great revolution that makes gamers personally to go through the situation and directly perceived through the senses as a real world rather than virtual space, which is different from not only the old game pattern but also the other two main competitors. In order to make the most of this unique remote, Nintendo developed a series of games like Wii sports to offer an easier and more accessible way to play games by moving as you naturally world in those sports or with those weapons. Attract by this genius and innovative remote, light users and even those people who would never think about gaming become unable to stand, not to mention those traditional video gamers. Wii’s target customers cover all ages and both genders, and some games require more than two players, so it is quite suitable to play together with friends and family.
The wide range of the audience of gamers is the key factor that makes Wii a very successful home video game console. Wii accessories Nintendo has developed a range of accessories to work with the console that help the gamers to better experience its motion-sensitive feature, such as Nunchuk, Wii balance board and so on. For me, who has no interest in home video games, Wii-Fit coupled with Wii Balance board does catch my eyes as well. Wii balance board enables Wii console to catch the motion of players’ feet therefore players can experience more activities like yoga and ski. Actually, as being the third best-selling console game, more than me, it has attracted large amount of weight-conscious women—again a very non-traditional consumer group in video game market.
Cost of console At ￡179, Wii also will appeal to price-conscious buyers, versus ￡299 for the Xbox 360 and ￡249 for the PS3. Aiming at wide-range of customers, especially those nonprofessional gamers, Wii does not focus on high-definition or high quality graphics that lead to very realistic vision
effect. It helps Nintendo keep the cost down and offer customers a more competitive selling price. There also is a side benefit that Wii does not require expensive HDTVS hence customers could save more than difference in product prices if they are not expecting to purchase a HDTV.
Cost of complements For home video console, just console itself and controller are not enough. Customers purchase it for playing games, so the price of games should be concerned about as well. As the research of the range of games based on different consoles, It seems that Wii also has won the price competition in this round, at least ￡5-8 less than the two others’. Furthermore, Wii offer various accessories to generate revenue.
There are plenty of ways to get a Wii, both in-store and online, satisfying all kinds of customers. High Street Retailers Nintendo has distribution centers around the world, distributing the regions version of Nintendo’s systems or games. Retailers get their inventory directly from Nintendo. Besides Nintendo stores, Wii are sell by many other retailers located everywhere around the city, like Argos, Tesco Direct and some other department stores, not to mention those electrical retailer such as Comert.
Online Stores Nintendo has an official website sharing information and news of their products, Wii included obviously. Customers can learn more about the product before purchasing. Alternatively, there are lots of websites deliver Wii directly to your home, such as game.co.uk and Amazon.co.uk. Moreover, you can even get one overseas if lacking of stock domestically or that special offer really interest you a lot.
Hands-on Sampling Nintendo have held lots of Hands-on Sampling to introduce the innovative and attractive features to customers more visually. Wii Ambassador Program: the yearlong initiative identified ambassadors in markets throughout the USA; Wii Mall Experience: six interactive Wii kiosks for a two-month period in 25 Westfield shopping centers; Nintendo Fusion Tour: an annual showcase for music and video games visits cities across the USA; And a series of extra activities. Uses Both Push/Pull Techniques — Majority Pull Pushing is to use good advertising that emphasize the strength and uniqueness of the product to the target potential customers. Pulling is demonstrated by keeping the inventory low that leaves customers returning to check availability and rises up the popularity. I.e. The UK suffered a shortage of stock when Wii was initially launched.
Brand Partnerships 7-Eleven: Giving away 711 Wii consoles by offering customers chance to win Wii as a prize by entering the codes printed on the sides of special Nintendo-branded Slurpee cups, as well as introducing a new limited-time-only Nintendo-themed Slurpee flavor and prints ads in Blender, Electronic Gaming Monthly and DC Comics.( At USA in 2006) Pringles Snack Stacks: Giving away 100 Wii consoles supported by 7 million Wii-themed Pringles Snack Stacks packages and an additional 2 million Wii-themed Pringles canisters on display at Wal-Mart stores for the first three weeks of December. (At USA in 2006) Comedy Central: Giving away a Wii every hour Thursday through Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend as the grand prize and a Scion tricked out to look like a Wii. It also will be featured in a series of vignettes spoofing reality TV show.
In terms of the study of the marketing strategy of Nintendo Wii above, the reason why and how Wii is a marketing success seems to be more distinct and sensible. That is to say, Nintendo is selling their innovative motion-sensitive home video game console in the various convenient places at the relatively cheaper price using the most suitable promotion. Despite the great achievements in the past years, Wii also should keep up with the time. Since X-Box 360 and PS3 are keen on using wireless to play with other gamers, lots of Wii fans appeal for this function as well, but it seems like that Nintendo has just ignored those voice until now. However, as a whole, Wii widely expended the audience of gamers, leading to the marketing success eventually.
1. Carless, S. (April 27, 2006). Breaking: Nintendo Announces New Revolution Name – ‘Wii’. Retrieved December 01, 2011, from http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=9075 2. Nintendo Details Wii Marketing Campaign. (November 13, 2006). Retrieved December 01, 2011, from http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/pr/12383 3. Wii shortages frustrating gamers. (8 December 2006). Retrieved December 01, 2011, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6161717.stm