QUESTIONS & IDEAL ANSWERS:
1. Conduct a 4C's Stakeholders Analysis of the Nintendo Wii Market in 2006. Please note that an analysis is more than just a list. You need to describe each stakeholder and how they affect the strategy.
• Consumers (note: there's more than one target segment): The case notes that Nintendo targeted non-gamers in addition to gamers. This included consumers of any age and gender. Conversely, competitors like Sony focused on teens and males. The case also mentions moms/housewives and families as targets of Nintendo marketing. The ideal answer analyzed gamers and a few non-gamer segments, such as moms. Analysis should have included qualitative description -- why is this segment interested in the Wii? -- and quantitative data, such as the segment's size and value. Finding quantitative data required research beyond the case, perhaps to the U.S. Census website. Such data is not easy to find, but this extra effort is what distinguishes an "A" paper. Extra credit was given to creative segmentation, such as targeting businesses and office workers, who might play the Wii on breaks, or doctors who would recommend Wii to their patients.
• Company (keep this brief: focus on 2006 -- no Nintendo history required): A company analysis is not a history report. It should describe the company's brand, resources, internal stakeholders, strengths and weaknesses. An ideal answer noted that Nintendo has a long reputation in gaming, but with the Wii it built a family-friendly brand "that puts smiles on surrounding people's faces." In contrast, the competition had numerous violent games. In addition, unlike Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo is not a diversified company. Its total income is much lower than either of its primary competitors (the case Appendix contains these figures), which meant fewer resources and much more at stake. Either the Xbox or the PS3 could fail, and the parent companies would survive; Nintendo could not afford to have the Wii fail. At the same time, the gaming focus helped position Nintendo as the only pure gaming company: its name is synonymous with electronic gaming. In terms of internal stakeholders, the case talks at length about Satoru Iwata, whose vision drove the company. In a footnote, the case mentions that Iwata had experience as a game developer. By contrast, the CEO's of Sony and Microsoft have no game development experience.
• Competitors (keep this brief: describe both direct competitors and indirect competitors, but focus on strengths and weaknesses -- how much of a threat do they pose?) The case discusses the key direct competitors, Sony and Microsoft. Sony had a strong reputation in high-quality electronics, and its PS2 and PS3 systems emphasized technological sophistication. Sony focused on hardcore gamers with increasingly violent games. This recipe translated into early sales success -- but also high prices. Sony's weakness was its increasingly bureaucratic nature, and the decline of its other businesses. While Sony was cutting costs and laying off workers, they also had production problems with the PS3 -- a complicated and expensive piece of technology that is supposed to be a multimedia entertainment hub. This made Sony vulnerable to a challenge. Microsoft was primarily a software company with a controversial brand. Research beyond the case reveals criticisms of Microsoft's monopolistic tendencies, and the fact that Apple was positioning Microsoft as dull and low quality. Research also reveals significant quality-control problems with the Xbox. Microsoft relied heavily on market timing and quantity of games to promote the Xbox, along with Xbox Live, which enables consumers to play each other online. Despite weaknesses, Microsoft and Sony were still formidable competitors -- Nintendo knew it couldn't compete by doing the same things they were. Nintendo had to do something vastly different -- even disruptive. Indirect competitors include PC games, Web-based...
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