In his review of the Nintendo Switch, Kyle Orland said “[the Switch] seems to pull portable gaming upward more than it drags home console gaming downward.” In one sentence Orland has summed up the consensus on the Nintendo Switch among reviewers.
But what does that mean for the system? Most likely it means sales will be good. If first weekend sales are any sign, then it will outsell the Wii U and the Wii. Last January some ambitious Nintendo executives claimed it would outsell the Wii.
Experts project Nintendo will sell 40 Million units by the end of 2020. This would make it worse than the Wii in sales, but well ahead of the Wii U, which only sold 13 million units.
In this series, we will examine how the Switch can be a mega success comparable to or better than the Wii. Each article will explore how Nintendo can compete in different spaces to help the Switch beat the Wii. This time, we will focus on the Switch’s marketing campaign.
Diversify the Marketing
Nintendo has accomplished a lot in the marketing for the Switch so far. Their marketing has made it very clear that the system is out there for people to find. People know that Nintendo has a new system and that it will work on the TV or on the go.
Nintendo has telegraphed the Switch a console custom tailored for the lives of young people. But Nintendo has limited their outreach to that age group. They’ve clinched the biggest demographic for video games, but the Wii’s popularity exploded because everyone bought it.
As a general rule, if your marketing only caters to one group, you are doing it wrong. Nintendo needs to show everyone else they are missing out without a Switch.
Here are some groups that Nintendo should target to expand their market:
The Tired Worker
They get home from a long day at work, turning on the TV only to have their kid complain about wanting to watch cartoons. The worker looks defeated but changes the channel and undocks the Switch. With a giant smile on their face splats some punk inklings that remind them of their kids (wearing similar clothes).
The Stay at Home Parent
They are trying to get chores done, and their kid won’t stop bugging them, so they sit them in front of the TV on the Switch. As they’re about to head out to get lunch with some friends, they pull the Switch out of the dock for the kid to play on the go. While they visit and eat with friends, the child plays a fun co-op with the friends’ kids, who also have Switches.
A kid bullied by older kids who have Switches on the bus. They go home with their friends and train on Mario Kart by playing together. After a couple weeks of harassment, the group shows up on the bus with their own Switches. “It’s game time!” The kids face off against the bus bullies and whoop them. The bullies realize the kid isn’t half bad and appreciate his Blue Shell dodging skills.
This ad would start out following someone running late for their flight. The passenger gets to their gate in the nick of time and gets in line to board. The PA comes on: “Sorry folks the flight is delayed an hour.” Everyone sighs and finds a seat at the gate. Then the worker smiles and pulls out his Switch. So do a dozen other travelers. Soon they are playing together: two playing Arms with an audience, a group playing 1-2 Switch. Any number of airport combinations would join in.
Everyone understands that you can play the Nintendo Switch on the go and on the TV. Nintendo needs to show people why that matters to them. Young Millennials and older iGenners understand how it will fit into their lives. Nintendo needs to show everyone else how it will fit into lives and make their lives better too.