Nintendo’s Switch & Second Chance Marketing

By Madison Taylor
September 20, 2017

Nintendo® has certainly taught us one immutable fact – that second chances are often what success is built upon. Yes, it’s impossible to argue with Nintendo’s success and influence over the years, but just as equally as important is the number of times they’ve pretty much fallen flat on their face, only to rise up, shake it off, and succeed once again.

Just a handful of years ago, Nintendo seemed to be unstoppable in the console market. Its motion-controlled Wii® system had sold more than 100 million systems. Its follow-up, however, was an unmitigated disaster. The Wii U® simply failed to capture interest. It only sold a paltry 13 million or so units.

Instead of feeling sorry for themselves, however, Nintendo sucked it up and pushed forward. The result has proven that even in marketing, everyone gets a second chance. We’re talking, of course, about the Nintendo Switch® … and you can certainly learn a lot from how it’s been handled.

The Major Misstep

It’s no secret that product names are – let’s just be blunt – super freakin’ important. Nintendo knows this. From the N64® and Gamecube® to the Virtual Boy® (also a failure) and 3DS®, this is a company whose product names have just as much variety as the levels in one of their best platformers. With the Wii U, though, they decided to reach back into the days of the NES/SNES®, and that has been identified as a major misstep as many owners of the Wii didn’t realize it was a new system. Fortunately, Nintendo learned from its prior mistake and named their newest console the Switch. Simple, effective… and some might even say elegant.

What’s in a Name?

Anyone who has ever attempted to launch or market a product knows that the name is often one of the most important factors. When Nintendo decided to – excuse the pun – switch to a new console, it kept the name secret for months. It was initially known as the NX and only became the Switch at the time that a full announcement (along with a commercial) was made. If your company has made mistakes on the naming of a product or how the product was marketed, don’t give up. All you need is a little innovation and a new strategy to make that second chance really count.

Building Up Excitement

Even though their marketing campaign had to begin quickly, Nintendo certainly didn’t waste any time. They slowly leaked a very small amount of information and allowed speculation to fuel their marketing for them. While you may have neither the marketing muscle nor bottomless bank account of Nintendo, what you do have at your disposal are plenty of social media platforms that you can use to help build awareness of your new product or even your brand in general. Couple that with a real go-getter of a marketing company like Madison Taylor Marketing (shameless plug alert!) and you can turn your first, second, or even third chance at marketing into a success.

Forget the Past… and Do It Fast

When it was first announced that Nintendo’s new system was to come out before the Wii U’s ink was dry – so to speak – people had their doubts. But Nintendo did the smart thing and put all of its marketing prowess into the new system. They decided to unceremoniously drop the Wii U and create a marketing campaign for the Switch that included such things as an extended commercial to show its variety of uses, announcements of several game titles featuring their beloved characters, and a number of ads that showcased the system’s unique features. The takeaway here is that if your company makes a marketing blunder, don’t dwell on it. Just broom it quickly and move on to the next, better thing!

Marketing isn’t an exact science, but it certainly comes close with the right marketing agency at your disposal. Whether you need to fix an image by launching a new marketing campaign or desire to develop a brand new strategy from scratch, the professionals at Madison Taylor Marketing can help. Click right here to give us a shout and before you know it, your marketing efforts will be driving revenue to new heights.