How Nintendo is Killing Their Brand

Mario Kart 2015Although this post isn’t exactly about marketing, SEO, graphic design, or other entrepreneur type topics, I feel it’s still semi-related to the field in a sense because of branding and poor marketing choices.

According to TechTimes, Nintendo announced last month that more than two million copies of their new Mario Kart 8 for Wii U have already been sold during the first quarter. The game accounts for about 64% of Wii U software sold from April to June. Although the reports show a slight turnaround, Nintendo’s latest financial report shows that not even a popular game is enough to save the company from a weak quarter.

Nintendo posted an operating loss of $92.5 million during the period. This represents a 52% decrease from the same period a year earlier. Nintendo’s revenue also decreased by 8.4% at $730 million.

Ironic enough, the company seems to be very calm about its poor performance, enough so, in fact, that its explanation of its decline read more like an entry from an economics textbook:

“The operating loss was 9.4 billion yen because total selling, general and administrative expenses including fixed expenses exceeded gross profit,” Nintendo said.

For us Millenials who grew up with Mario Party, Smash Brothers, Mario Kart, Donkey Kong, Yoshi’s Story, and all the other great games produced by Nintendo, it’s hard for any of us to image the gaming giant is struggling to make it. But then again, I think about the consoles that sit in my living room and among them are a Nintendo (original), Nintendo64, and a GameCube. I have a Wii, but I only use it for movies, Netflix, Spotify, etc. I have never used to to really play games other than the Mario Brothers games, which brings me to my next point…

All of the great games that attracted consumers to the Nintendo brand have now vanished. Why though? Partly because Nintendo’s developer/marketing team’s ideas that Nintendo NEEDS to stay up with Xbox and Playstation. However, that’s just not the case. The reason the brand is now dying and a gaming legacy is ending is because your company is moving away from its core strengths… MARIO, LUIGI, PEACH and TOAD!

super-mario-brothers-gameMillennials, like myself, know that kids these days have to have an iPhone or some sort of gaming device in their hands to keep quiet (well, I’ve been told that’s the trick). But why not stick a Gameboy in their hands? Oh yeah.. that’s right… because the Gameboy now has two screens, is touch and comes with a stylis. What the heck is that about?

Not only do we now have to deal with a stylis for a Gameboy, but we also now have these wand things we sling around to drive a kart that’s associated with the Wii. No wonder Nintendo’s brand is dying. They are changing the way their consoles work from the all ways that we fell in love with it.

So, Nintendo, let me give you some pointers on how to make your brand king again:

First, get rid of the Wii. It’s fun for some people, but for most of us gamers who will continuously invest in games, we want hand held controllers. Come up with another GameCube… maybe a GamePyrimid lol. Idk. Then, make the controllers wireless. Re-create the old games with better graphics, new tracks, BUT include the old ones too. Then, add a chatting feature like XBox and Playstation for gamers to play Mario Kart (or another great Nintendo game) while talking to others. Maybe even come up with team battles where you get points for your finishes for each series of tracks and are playing against other people’s teams. Also, reintroduce Mario Brothers for the GameCube (or the new gaming device). Quit trying to be cute with the games. If you want to be cute, perhaps have an option for players to choose their kart color or something… kind of like Crusin’ USA.

Here’s another idea… how about taking the Mario Brothers characters and creating sports games similar to like a Backyard Football/Basketball/Soccer for kids who like both Mario and sports. Why did no one think of this?

This is what will happen…

Young kids will buy the gaming console and LOVE the old games (just like Millennials did as kids) as well as the new games that will go with it. Then, Millennials, like myself, will go out and buy the new console and all of the games (both old games and new ones) and once again be an owner of a brand new Nintendo. Then, they will introduce THEIR kids to the Nintendo brand. And BAM! I’ve just revolutionized your brand. …and I’m just getting started!

According to Bloomberg, Nintendo is getting a LITTLE smarter with their brand, but still have a long way to go. Apparently, they are relaxing their incredibly tight grip on their characters and are considering coming out with movies, theme parks, apps, etc. all using Nintendo characters. Who does that sounds like *cough, Disney*? I don’t know about you, but I would be more than willing to drop $99 for admission for a day at a Nintendo theme park. How great would it be to race in Mario Karts, save peach, throw virtual turtle shells and banana peels? That would be awesome!

So to conclude… Nintendo, just get your act together and make my generation proud of you again. It’s time to bring it all back home to the core fundamentals of the game.

Who’s with me? I would love your thoughts and comments! Please feel free to comment below! And don’t forget… there’s a subscribe button on every page. Never miss a beat!


(Source: Bruce Einhorn, Bloomberg  |   Christian Bautista, TechTimes)


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