How to approach the game console market and succeed? - Nintendo - p1

While the last 15 years of the video game history has been dominated by companies focused on winning market share and less on developing the gaming experience, with Wii, Nintendo has tried a different approach and set new standards by introducing a revolutionary game console which addressed not just the existing customer groups but also the non-traditional gamers.

The Wii new main target consumer groups are moms, families and non-gamers, so the people who are not usually spending time and money for buying and playing games.


Moms: This consumer group was selected for the influence on the whole family to promote and advertise the game based on the idea that if the mom likes it then the whole family will. The same strategy has been used to promote the Nintendo DS. Moms want the best things for their children and families and are motivated by cost. Nintendo did selected socially active moms (Wii Ambassadors) to promote the game using the very successful “word of mouth” strategy mentioned above. Nintendo’s expectation was that the selected housewives will pass the information to their friends and relatives, that Wii is a game for the whole family.

The game designer S. Miyamoto declared for BusinessWeek that the Nintendo Wii was created thinking of moms. He said, “Our goal was to come up with a machine that moms would want — easy to use, quick to start up, not a huge energy drain, and quiet while it was running… Also we thought a low-cost console would keep moms happy.”

With games like Wii Fit or Wii Fit Plus Nintendo targeted the moms’ fitness goals and at the same time tried to entertain them. With trainings of 20-, 30- or 40- minutes those games should fit to the available time that they have and they are a good alternative to the gym class or fitness centers. More, the TV commercials for Wii Fit Plus show that it does not take long to do the exercises necessary to keep your physical condition and healthiness. Expansion packs as Calorie Check, let you determine how much calories you require daily, in order to lose a certain amount of weight, within a certain time and come to complete the program focused on moms.

Families: One of the amazing things about Nintendo Wii is that everybody in the family can enjoy it. The ultimate family game console includes a lot of characteristics that children, parent and grandparents will find useful. Wii Sports gets the whole family involved. With games like tennis, bowling or baseball kids as well as adults jump up and down and challenge each other. The Mii Channel let you create profiles of yourself or family members and then use them during games, for example to cheer the current player as he or she bowls. People are not sitting anymore in front of the TV. Players have to be up and moving around. Especially on bad weather, when outdoor activities are not possible, Wii becomes a good way to spend time together.

But sports are not the only features that Nintendo Wii is using to attract families. Adults’ games that should be prohibited for children can be restricted by the parents using a password system. The Photo Channel let you not only store or edit the digital photos but also share them with the others, during family reunions or birthday parties. More, the Internet Channel allows the Web surfing using the TV and the News Channel or Forecast Channel gives you all the world weather information or reports.

Non-gamers: Nintendo Wii is one of the more intriguing game consoles that succeed to reach outside the traditional market for games and win over non-gamers. Nintendo of America’s Director of Public Relations, Anka Dolecki, revealed in an interview, given to BusinessWeek, the secret of Wii: “Wii has a simple, smart interface that everyone can understand the moment they pick it up. There are no complicated buttons to master. And our huge success with Brain Age for DS has shown us that seniors respond when you make fun, interesting applications that appeal to them.”

With games for adults and Baby Boomers’ generation as well as for young kids, Nintendo Wii broke down the barriers between the hardcore gamers and the audience that normally do not like the video games but have money and time for recreational activities like clubbing or playing sports. Wii Sports or Wii Play became popular not only inside families or younger adults groups but also among residents of many nursing homes. Inside the family or together with the friends these games are the perfect ones for organizing little mini tournaments. You can take the console with you in vacations and have fun playing everywhere. Nintendo Wii also targeted the elderly population and helped to improve their condition and their mental sharpness by developing games like Wii Brain. In the end, Wii is not only an affordable alternative but also a game that everybody enjoys playing.

Nintendo Wii — positioning map

Related post: How to choose the best selling proposition in the game console market and succeed? — The Nintendo Wii Case Study Series

Does this topic look interesting to you? then keep close for the next posts in this marketing and market approach series case study.


― Claudiu

Originally published at on June 9, 2015.

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