‘Marketing is a social process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and values with others.’
When most people think of marketing, they think of selling, distributing and advertising, as we are daily swamped with sale calls, Internet pop-ups, and television commercials. Although these tactics of marketing are true, they are ineffective with no the sound basis of knowledge about the market, the environment, and most importantly having a solid understanding of how customers behave, their motivation for purchase, their awareness and their preferences. All these strategies must be integrated to ensure that an organisation is successful in its operations.
Nintendo Co., Ltd. is a toy and home entertainment company that is famous worldwide for its popular home video games and revolutionary consoles. Nintendo has changed the concept of home entertainment all over the world. 1 Nintendo design, manufacture and manufacture a wide range of products ranging from the revolutionary battery-operated Game-Boy in the 1980’s, the Game Cube, and Super Mario Bros to name a few. Nintendo’s current line-up of video game systems includes the Nintendo DS Lite and Wii. Nintendo continues to create its unique software by ensuring that the ‘hardware and software are created with only one goal in mind, an enjoyable playing experience for all’.2 This approach has allowed Nintendo to produce products and characters beloved by people around the world.
Marketing has become extremely important in the 21st century due to the changes in our modern society, where buyers and markets have become too diverse and complex to have one simple marketing strategy to meet the needs of them all. This is due to cultural changes and technological advancements, which has created a market that is fragmented. This change has been evident in Nintendo, as over the past two decades, the video game industry has grown ‘exceedingly, with annual sales rivalling box office receipts for the movie industry’3. Therefore we can see that marketing is essential to Nintendo as due to the changes in their market size they have had to implement a strategy to persuade people from all over the world to play video games regardless of age, gender, culture, and even lifestyle.
In order to understand the current significance of marketing to Nintendo, and other organisations we have to progress away from our prior understanding of marketing and move towards the new sense of ‘satisfying customer needs’. 4 Figure 1.0
Selling can only take place after the product has been produced; it is a forceful approach, which focuses on maximising profits through sales volume. On the contrary, marketing is instigated long before the company has even made the product. Marketing is an Integrated Plan, which includes product, price, promotion and distribution, backed up by a satisfactory environmental assessment, consumer research, and opportunity analysis with emphasis of maximising profits through customer satisfaction.
During the 1960’s to the 1980’s Nintendo was a company that was product-led, it began a drive towards diversification and innovation, which eventually led to it becoming a household word in the late 1980s. They did this so that they could break in to the gaming industry and reduce their risks by having various products in their product line. However, Nintendo is a company, which has always been at the top of their game, even back then they understood that the success of marketing lies with the customers. An example of this can be found when they entered the United States, where the ‘of the U.S. home video industry had plummeted from a $3 billion peak in 1983 to a $100 million trough in 1985’5. However, Nintendo test marketed its games during the slum and found that the problems were caused by an excess of uninspiring,...