Nintendo Wii…Ingenious Marketing Strategy!

Our family just became one of the millions of U.S. households that have gone Wiiiiiiii…!  That’s Nintendo Wii…we got one…and all three of us are hooked!

Since I have never been hooked by video games, I pondered what was different about this console.  Nintendo has figured out a way to grab a part of the market that wasn’t spending $$ for consoles/games: Boomer Families.  Ingenious!

By focusing on making fitness fun and providing an experience that seems very customized (and also allows for good healthy competition), they appeal to people like me who need a workout buddy, a coach…in the comfort of my own home.  Ingenious!

And they have created experiences that allow families with kids of all ages, or even couples without kids, to use technology to interact with one another instead of zoning out in front of their computers or TVs.  Ingenious!

According to Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Rachter, “over half of Wii households are nontraditional, meaning that they would not have bought a console but for the novelty of Wii.”

Not unlike their key competitors, Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo did the traditional ‘limited supply’ thing to work up frenzied demand when they launched their Wii for Christmas 2006…we are all used to that and still get sucked in by wanting our kids to have the coolest new thing. NOT so ingenious…

By going beyond that traditional ‘create demand’ marketing move, however, and actually offering a device that appealed to an entirely different market, Nintendo has been able to go from one of the lesser players in this $7B+ annual spending market for gaming hardware to being market leader, projected to sell 26 million units this fiscal year ending March 2010.

They were able to do this by finding a niche beyond what they were known for: kiddie games.  Hard core gamers dismissed Nintendo as not a serious alternative to the PS3 and XBox…but Nintendo didn’t sit in their comfort zone…they must have done some research and found a new market…with money…Boomers!  Ingenious!

The other thing they did was innovate their product by introducing an entirely different controller…a device that almost brings virtual reality into our homes…no more memorizing buttons to make things move around the screen…you move and your online ‘Mii’ moves…Ingenious!!

Their next marketing move looks to be reducing the price of their consoles by $50 to $199.99 for Christmas this year…watch for that…PS3 (drowning behind the Wii and Xbox currently) will try to regain its place in the market by cutting prices also…

If you haven’t checked out how the Wii could transform YOUR household into a place where people play games together vs. sequestered in separate rooms…think about it…I’m a convert!  I still chuckle at the pride my 15 yr old son had in helping me set up my Mii profile (customizing my hair and facial features and all!) and then seeing how good my balance and posture were compared to his, based on the original fitness tests the Wii administers to establish your baseline ‘fitness age’ and BMI…we were INTERACTING!

More important than all of those revenue and unit sales figures, Wii may have figured out a way for technology to bring families together vs. isolate them…Ingenious!

About Jen Berkley Jackson

Jen Berkley Jackson, founder and owner of The Insight Advantage, has extensive experience in using various methods (surveys, focus groups, one-on-one interviews) to integrate the voice of the customer into all functions, helping organizations increase market share, revamp product lines/services, and ultimately increase customer loyalty and retention.


  1. I find it simply amazing that this game can cross 3-4 generations of people. You can find the Wii game bringing joy to environments from elementary schools to assisted-living environments to Gen Y and Gen X households. I have not dissected the marketing tactics followed by Wii across lifecycle and marketing segments, but it would be an interesting case …

  2. Jen–you’re absolutely right!

    A WII Fit was my Mother’s Day/Birthday present this year, and it’s been great. It’s great fun to try and do some of these exercises–and watch your Mii fall flat on it’s face when you fail. With the Wii Sport, we are in to virtual bowling, tennis and baseball, too.

    Like you, we were a household without a prior game system, but this one just seemed different. Be wary, though. A trip to Best Buy or Fry’s will yield hundreds of ways to part you with your money–not only a wide spectrum of games and fitness activities, but a full range of different controllers you can purchase separately too.

    Now if I could only get my virtual age down somewhere close to my teenagers, I’d be very happy!

  3.' Lorretta Stewart says

    As a true nintento lover I like your blog and will make some more comments after more reading.

  4. There are so a lot of big releases coming to the gaming entire world in the next couple a long time that many players are turning into perplexed and starting up to wonder if they are heading to be in a position to get a console gaming method in the long term that has a remote control at all. The swift answer to this is yes, the genuine question is what that remote will glimpse like and how it will interact with the gaming console. Hardcore video games will by no means give up the remote command fully since it presents way to much precision and management that cannot be in comparison to any movement based mostly program controls at this point in time.

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