As a result of this request, an appropriate analysis was undertaken during the past month in regards to the product, pricing, and promotion strategies. A report has been assembled and attached which shows the product, pricing and promotion strategies when communicating with the target market.
This report offers information such as product, price and promotion relating to the Mario Game Franchise range in the marketplace. Also, included with this report will be a formal examination of your direct and indirect competitors.
This investigation indicates that the Mario Game Franchise has had a successful marketing potential for the selected market. There have also been some additional justified recommendations made which could be implemented to further improve this products marketability.
The Mario Game Franchise is an expanding popular gaming product due to its long last success since its establishment in 1981. As this product has been on the market for 32 years it seemed appropriate to conduct an investigation in relation to pricing and promotion strategies which have contributed to its overall success. This will ensure the Mario Game Franchise is in the most suitable marketing position and maintains its competitive advantage over other gaming companies in the industry. Appropriate justified recommendations will also be provided in regards to the marketing mix adjustments that could be implemented to better suit the target market. The following issues have been investigated through researched analysis are as follows: (a) product and target market description (b) product strategy (c) promotion strategy (d) pricing strategy and (e) marketing mix adjustment strategies. Results have been obtained through research into Nintendo’s Mario Game Franchise and sourcing appropriate literature to appropriately investigate each individual aspect of the product. Price, promotion and product are the three fundamental aspects of ensuring an effective target market is reached and further business continues to be successful through using marketing mix strategies.
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The target market for Nintendo’s Mario Game Franchise is nearly every gamer as they advertise through the use of, Platform, Role Playing, Party, Racing, Sport, Puzzle, Fighting, Edutainment and Rail Shooter, along with great storylines and graphics. However this is limited inside of countries that are mostly English or Japanese speaking do the language options in the game. Nintendo Mario Game Franchise is a product that requires consumers to shop around for the best price as they can be quite costly. Nintendo ensures advertisements, personal selling, sales promotions and public relations are working effectively in relation to the target market (for the Mario Game Franchise) and securing loyal consumers, emphasising the importance of the Nintendo brand. The Status Quo Pricing sustains a focus of their products, existing prices or meeting the oppositions pricing to ensure a competitive advantage is maintained by Nintendo’s Mario Game franchise. Nintendo has a vast range of products which can be sourced from a variety of different stores and locations.
The following recommendations were made in relation product, price and promotion strategies to help improve mix marketing. These are as follows: 1) The core component of the product could be altered so that the games have more language options for those who are not English or Japanese speaking. 2) Try and form some agreement with Sony and Microsoft so that they can sell the Mario game Franchise for PlayStation and Xbox. 3) Make more games that target the female gender, such as they did with the New Super Princess Peach game. 4) Create a reward for those who archive something virtually impossible in the game as they have done in the New Super Mario Bros.2 game. 5) More advertisements could be implemented on television, billboards, radio, social media and magazines displaying the new changes accompanied by appropriate music, emphasising the Mario Game Franchise. 6) Increasing awareness of the Nintendo range through advertising their website.
If Nintendo implement these suggested alterations it will further improve Nintendo’s competitive advantage as the intended target market will be better catered for.
Authorisation and Purpose
The Mario Game Franchise has been around since its release in1981 and has successfully stood the test of time. Due to the countless success of this product the pricing and promotion strategies have been reviewed. This will ensure the Mario Game Franchise maintains its successful market position now and long into the future. The focus of the report will be structured around product, promotion, pricing and market mix adjustment strategies implemented by the Nintendo Company with appropriate justified recommendations provided as authorised by Mr Satoru Iwata.
There have been few limitations encountered during the process of compiling this report. These limitations are as follows:
Sales of the product
This limited the amount of information which was available about the Mario Game Franchise making it difficult to thoroughly cover each aspect of the report.
Scope of the Report
The report will focus on the broad issues of product, promotion, pricing and market mix adjustments in relation to the Mario Game Franchise. These issues will be broken down further and are as follows:
- Product and Target Market Description
- Product Strategy
- Promotion Strategy
- Pricing Strategy
- Marketing Mix Adjustment Strategies
The information provided about the Mario Game Franchise has been sourced from reliable sources such as the Nintendo website, relevant literature and other related advertisements.
Product & Target Market Description
Description of Product
The Mario Game Franchise is a collection of various video games catering for all gamers and their personal taste, and stares the fictional character, Mario (Deezer 2013). This gaming franchise comes in a selection of genres types such as Platform, Role Playing, Party, Racing, Sport, Puzzle, Fighting, Edutainment and Rail Shooter which have been designed to suit all gamers (Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported 2013). Mario has now become one of the biggest franchises in the gaming industry. Due to this Nintendo’s Mario has climbed to the top and has remained at the top due to its creative and innovative thinking. One way they have achieved this is by making the most of seasoned technology (Ryan 2012). The Mario Game Franchise can be purchased at various retailers such as EBgames, JB-HI-FI, Big W, Target, DickSmith, ect. ect. ect for the Wii, Wii U, Nintendo DS or Nintendo 3DS at an approximately starting price of $30 to over $100 (Electronics Boutique Australia Pty Ltd 2013).
Target Market (Four Descriptors)
The Geographic Segmentation largely depends on region, country, diversity, market and climate (Lamb et al. 2009). The four primary factors when it comes to consumer goods are as follows: generating improved sales, popularity, competition and a regional approach (Lamb et al. 2009). The Mario Game Franchise cater for a range of gamers and their preference in genres, but they do not cater to all regions and countries, only being available to those who are English or Japanese speaking, with a very few other language options being available for other players (Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported 2013). This will influence the nationality of the buys of Mario Game Franchise to English and Japanese speaking gamers, hence targeting a specific cultural and regional audience (Lamb et al. 2009).
The Mario Game Franchise has specifically targeted their marketing strategies towards a specific demographic base, which may include gender, salary, ethnicity and family (Lamb et al. 2009). By implementing this approach warrants the company’s decision to target a wide variety of gamers, as the demographic is large and age segmentation can influence what and how a family/individual consumes (Lamb et al. 2009). This company targets nearly every gamer’s genre interests when advertising through the use of, Platform, Role Playing, Party, Racing, Sport, Puzzle, Fighting, Edutainment and Rail Shooter, along with great storylines and graphics. Income segmentation also influences the consumer as affordability of the product will also impact the demographic. Therefore the Mario Game Franchise range is for medium to high income earners as a large income is required to be able to buy and continue the Mario saga, excluding people with a lower income (Lamb et al. 2009).
Benefit Segmentation refers to the notion of grouping consumers into categories based on the benefits they seek from the Mario Game Franchise (Lamb et al. 2009). This product effectively reflects the variables and consumers’ requirements and how they align with each other (Lamb et al. 2009). The Mario Game Franchise focus on the needs or wants of its clients which allows them to develop subsequent target markets (Lamb et al. 2009). This is done through television advertising as well as online advertising such as, banners, emails, and small ads on YouTube videos showing how the player is having great fun playing the game or others enjoying themselves while watching someone playing the Mario Game Franchise (Lamb et al. 2009). By having an interesting and strong story line it is catering to the majority of gamers out there, as all gamer’s value an interesting and strong story line in any game they play, benefiting the Mario Game Franchise range (Lamb et al. 2009).
Usage-rate Segmentation is actively utilised by the Mario Game Franchise range as it categorises the type of user such as first-time, previous, probable, light or irregular, standard and heavy (Lamb et al. 2009). When marketing this product adequately consideration has been implemented to target standard and heavy consumers (Lamb et al. 2009). This allows the Mario Game Franchise to appeal to a specific audience (the type of user), generating 60% of all purchases (Lamb et al. 2009).
Product Type and Marketing Mix Implications
The Mario Game Franchise would be classified as a Shopping Product as they are relatively more expensive than convenience products and the consumer is more likely to shop around for the best price, causing them more time and effort (Lamb et al. 2009). Consumers regularly purchase brand named goods and are attracted to well establish brands such as Nintendo, making the Mario Game Franchise highly wanted. Nintendo will also be more selective at choosing which distribution outlet will sell their product (Lamb et al. 2009). These Shopping Products have been deigned to target everyday individuals as consumers will characteristically compare products on such bases as quality, style, suitability and price (Lamb et al. 2009). The Mario Game Franchise is of a high demand based on its popularity, consumers will purchase the product continually due to this reason (Lamb et al. 2009). The Mario Game Franchise has multiple competitors, e.g. Sonic Franchise by Sega, so the Nintendo name (brand) is important to consumers (Lamb et al. 2009). This is because the consumer believes they develop an invested interest or relationship to the product (Mario Game Franchise), so it is vital to find, maintain and support a stable client base (Lamb et al. 2009).
The Positioning Strategy of the Mario Game Franchise is use or application, product class and quality as they utilise new types of genres which will automatically expand the brand’s market (Lamb et al. 2009). Implementing this approach allows Nintendo to stress that its consumers are receiving something new and different every time they are purchasing a Mario game (Lamb et al. 2009). Also the box has been designed to appear fun and entertaining as well as interesting and challenging targeting all ages as well as justifying price and allows the consumer to believe they are receiving a quality game (Lamb et al. 2009). Nintendo effectively appeals to its target audience as their products has been one of the most recognizable videogames and have been around since 1981 (CBS Interactive Inc. 2013).
Product Description (According to Three Levels)
Every product available can be broken down into at least three layers which can be displayed as a sequence of concentric circles (Lamb et al. 2009). The inner layer is called the Core Product which is the essence of what appears on the shelf in the electronic or gaming store such as the Mario Game Franchise obtained by the consumer due to its entertainment nature and emotional benefits (Lamb et al. 2009). Video games can affect the mood of individuals, making people happy, alert and less aware of things responsible for causing a person pain, as well as causing them to have fun which is good for your health (Mic Network Inc 2012). The Actual Product is defined as attributes the brand possesses such as styling, packaging and various components. Nintendo is a well-established brand which contributes to its appeal such as writing style, colour, layout and shape of packaging and has been appropriately considered (Lamb et al. 2009). The Mario Game Franchise possess Augmented characterises as the product possesses a 7 day money back guarantee or longer in all gaming and electronic shops, for example EBgames offers a 7 day money back guarantee on all games (Electronics Boutique Australia Pty Ltd 2013).
The Mario Game Franchise utilises a vast number of tools to communicate with their target market (Lamb et al. 2009). These are as follows: Direct Marketing, Advertising, Sales Promotion and Public Relations (Lamb et al. 2009). Nintendo actively utilise the Personal Selling tool as representatives from the company persuade the buyer to purchase and stock their product(s) such as the Mario Game Franchise (Lamb et al. 2009). This tactic is evident as gaming and electronic stores have a vast number of gaming items (brands) which would all have undergone the process of presenting a planned presentation in the hope of a marketing sale (Lamb et al. 2009).
Direct Marketing allows consumers in a range of setting and environments to access the Mario Game Franchise through catalogues using various formats such as hard and soft copy (Electronics Boutique Australia Pty Ltd 2013). This provides the purchaser with convenience and allows the Nintendo Company to distribute to a broad geographic location, ensuring sale potential is maximised (Electronics Boutique Australia Pty Ltd 2013).
Advertising such as magazine, transport, billboard and television provide a form of communication with its consumers as the Nintendo Company and products such as Mario Games Franchise are mentioned (Lamb et al. 2009). This benefits the Nintendo name as it allows multiple people in urban, regional and city areas to become familiar with the brand and its products, allowing its consumer base to expand.
Sales Promotion is a perfect example of how Nintendo engages consumers through personal selling, advertising and public relations (Lamb et al. 2009). Promotions come in many forms which may include the following: demoes, competitions and star collecting which generates an immediate increase in demand (Nintendo Australia 2013).
Nintendo actively implements Public Relations as it invests large amounts of money to ensure a positive public image is constructed. By implementing this tool it will allow for public understanding and acceptance as communication, suppliers, shareholders, government, officials, employees and community in which it operates. Nintendo has successfully maintained a positive image as the public is aware of the companies’ objectives guaranteeing favourable publicity, contributing to the company’s overall success (Lamb et al. 2009).
The promotional sources selected are an example Nintendo has utilised to communicate with their selected target market. This tool has been made to target the younger generation of gamers by showing mostly teens playing the games and having a great time.
1. Paper Mario Sticker Star Commercial from 2012 for 3DS (Advertising)
2. New Super Mario Bros. 2 Commercial from 2012 for 3DS (Advertising)
3. New Super Mario Bros U Commercial from 2012 for Wii U (Advertising)
- Nintendo can reach a higher quantity of people in a variety of locations of locations
- Tailor advertisements for the demographic that occupy an area
- Allows Nintendo to construct a positive image and create relationships with the audience
- Creativity can be maximised to engage the audience and provide a well-rounded campaign
- Message processes are received instantly by the target audience
- Television advertisements only run on average for 35 seconds, limiting the amount of information which can be covered effectively
- Costs are ever increasing (creative and promotional)
- Short life span of the advertisement due to the audience growing board and the message losing its original charm
- Products may be sold out due to advertisement/promotion before the advertisement concludes, creating an issue in product availability
- The mute function, fast forward and or changing the channel can cause an advertisement to become ineffective as the message is no longer received by the audience
This advertising tool has been structured to effectively reflect the needs to the target market as it illustrates how a positive relationship is formed with the demographic (Lamb et al. 2009). This ensures a positive image is constructed and Nintendo’s comply with the needs and wants of their consumer base when marketing The Mario Game Franchise (Lamb et al. 2009). There may be more disadvantages compared to advantages in relation to the promotion sources, however, the positives far outweigh the negatives.
Pricing Objective & Strategy
Status Quo Pricing sustains a focus of their products, existing prices or meeting the oppositions pricing to ensure a competitive advantage is maintained (Lamb et al. 2009). For example, it can be assumed that Nintendo’s Mario games are priced competitively in relation to its competition such as Saga’s Sonic games. This Pricing Objective type Profit possesses a significant advantage letting the company know whether the cost of producing the product is covered by the price (Hearst Communications, Inc. 2012). Industries which utilise this Pricing Objective type Profit determine the number of products sold which influences profit through economies of scale playing in Nintendo’s favour when valuing the Mario Game Franchise (Hearst Communications, Inc. 2012). Therefore Nintendo implements this objective when selling the Mario Game Franchise as it allows consumers to be drawn to the product, illustrating their quality compared to other brands.
- High Quality
- High Price
- Low Price
- All Games are the genre “Platform” and are for the “DS”
(GameStop 1999 – 2013)
The maturity stage is referred to as a stage where sales increase at a decreasing price rate (Lamb et al. 2009). The Mario Game Franchise has been compared with competing brands such as Saga’s Sonic, Namco Bandai Game’s Pac-man and Activision’s Crash Bandicoot which will provide a comparison in price and quality at maturity (GameStop 1999 – 2013). Mario Game Franchise has been around since 1981 and has a well-established name, contributing to its success over the past 32 years (Deezer 2013). This has allowed Nintendo to sell their Mario games at a higher price of $34.99 (GameStop 1999 – 2013). In the future the price may fluctuate due to the economy, additional competition in the gaming industry, or the successes or failure of future gaming consoles, but the quality will remain consistent (GameStop 2013).
Marketing Mix Adjustment Strategies
Marketing Mix Elements
Below are some marketing mix elements which could be adjusted to better suit the target market of the Mario Game Franchises.
Nintendo’s current Mario Game Franchise has been strategically designing their product for their target market, however, if recommended changes were implemented it would/could increase sales. For example, the addition of more language options in their games would make for a wider range of gamers in more countries which would boost their sales greatly, as well as matching their competitors who already do this. They could also look at the possibility of coming to some agreement with Sony and Microsoft with regards to selling the Mario Game Franchise for PlayStation and Xbox, again creating a larger range of consumers who do not own a Nintendo Console and are not willing to get one as they already have a gaming console.
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The overall theme and idea of the game could be altered to suit specific genders such as females, as the majority of the platform games are more targeting the male consumer. For example creating more games based on the New Super Princess Peach idea, which was a Mario platform game for the DS where they had swapped the Male and Female role of the normal game around. Also make it so that if the player achieves something that is virtually impossible in a game they are rewarded with something from Nintendo themselves such as a certificate or trophy, like they are doing in the New Super Mario Bros. 2 game, where if the player gets one million coins they will be sent a certificate by Nintendo.
The Mario Game Franchise is currently priced anywhere from $30 up to $100 depending on the console the game is for. However if the suggestions above were implemented it would allow for a larger range of consumers, leading to more product sales, allowing for a decrease in price making them more price compatible with their competitors. The consumers are more likely to notice the change of price in the Mario Game Franchise which is of high quality and be more enticed to buy it over other products, again causing more sales and a larger profit for Nintendo (Lamb et al. 2009).
The promotional aspect of Mario Game Franchise would remain mostly the same as advertisement would still be one of the major techniques utilised. However, more advertisements could be implemented on television, billboards, radio, social media and magazines displaying the new changes made to the game as suggested above, accompanied by appropriate music, emphasising the Mario Game Franchise. For example, the billboard advertisement will display a variety of cultural families having fun around a new game, emphasising how this game brings family and groups of people from diverse backgrounds together. This will attract people attention as the graphics will be appropriately formatted to display a beautiful image of smiling faces and people having a good time. Also by creating awareness through these advertisements that Nintendo has a website will help increase the promotion of the company and in particular the Mario Game Franchise. Additional information about promotions, products, game, franchising, community and the Nintendo range as well as when new games and their release dates can be found on the home page of Nintendo: http://www.nintendo.com.au/ :this will allow Nintendo to target large amounts of people in the space of a few seconds, allowing the message to be comprehended by the viewer.
The Mario Game Franchise uses an array of Product, Promotion and Pricing Strategies which consistently assist in the selling of their product. Also Marketing Mix Adjustment Strategies have been provided to assist Nintendo in further development of the Mario Game Franchise, with advertising and possessing a more refined target market. These strategies will assist Nintendo’s Mario Game Franchise in improving their marketing position in industry, allowing them to seize new opportunities and become more competitive.
It would be recommended that Nintendo’s Mario Game Franchise implement the marketing mix adjustment strategies previously made. This will ensure Product, Price and Promotional elements are effectively considered to further develop the Nintendo name and Mario Game Franchise. These suggestions are as follows:
The core component of the product could be altered so that the games have more language options for those who are not English or Japanese speaking.
Try and form some agreement with Sony and Microsoft so that they can sell the Mario game Franchise for PlayStation and Xbox
Make more games that target the female gender, such as they did with the New Super Princess Peach game.
Create a reward for those who archive something virtually impossible in the game as they have done in the New Super Mario Bros.2 game.
More advertisements could be implemented on television, billboards, radio, social media and magazines displaying the new changes accompanied by appropriate music, emphasising the Mario Game Franchise.
Increasing awareness of the Nintendo range through advertising their website.
If Nintendo implement these suggested alterations it will further improve Nintendo’s competitive advantage as the intended target market will be better catered for.
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