Global Marketing

Mario and Luigi need an Apple- An Example of Integrated Growth

Nintendoapple-logo9Yes friends Mario and Luigi, these lovable Italian stereotypes have represented Nintendo since the company’s inception. And of course we have Apple; represented by an apple. So what does this blog title really mean?

Team Alpha submits to you our Marketing Strategy of the day. What’s this strategic plan? You guessed it – Integrative Growth! Below we provide a quick integrative growth summary for Apple and

Let’s start with Apple. Although sales for Apple’ s I-Phone 5 have been solid, it’s no secret that Apple is being viewed in a vulnerable position having witnessed their stock prices falling . The overall perception is that Apple may be losing its innovation edge due in no small part to the loss of Steve Jobs.

On the other end of the spectrum we have Nintendo which launched the most successful Video Game console in history known as the Wii over 6 years ago. Their follow-up, the Wii U, launched this past November and is struggling out of the gate. Nintendo’s sales numbers pale in comparison to the Wii when it first launched. Despite this, the Japanese company is still solid with strong cash flow aided by their software sales and portable videogame system the 3DS.Nintendo-Wii-U

So both companies have found themselves in vulnerable positions and at a crossroads; something neither is accustomed to. The next 5 years will be critical and could ultimately decide their fates.

We know that Apple is developing a TV which analysts expect will hit the market in a few years. Nintendo has just released a new console and needs to secure its longevity. Therein lies Team A’s marketing strategy for these two companies, a joint venture into the TV market to sell the TV/Video Game Console of tomorrow. This merger and alliance is a match made in heaven and I’ll tell you why:

  1. Nintendo has always been the innovator in the video game industry and standard bearer. From software to consoles, Nintendo leads the pack when it comes to quality and innovation. This holds true with Apple. Always the innovator and synonymous with quality.
  2. If Apple wants to enter the TV market, and we know they do, they have to do something bold and let’s be realistic, voice command on your TV is more of a novelty than a true innovation. Nintendo basically invented modern video games. From creating the modern controller button layout, to motion controls, they need to continue creating and moving the industry forward.
  3. Both Apple and Nintendo share the same competitors like Microsoft and Sony which are themselves competitors in the videogame market (Playstation 4 vs X-Box 360). This joint venture will force both Microsoft and a Sony to re-evaluate their Videogame consoles and may lead to a similar strategy.

So the Plan is simple – an Integrated Growth Strategy. Create the first TV/Video game console that will be able to do everything a regular TV can do with the added benefit of being able to play video games. Popular 3rd party Software developers like Electronic arts and Konami will jump at the opportunity to publish games for this new hybrid TV/Console.


4 replies on “Mario and Luigi need an Apple- An Example of Integrated Growth”

Great article, and interesting idea. In the last 12 months Apple has seen several key executives leave the company. There seems to be a lot of differences in the direction that key products are being developed, and the lack of departments not able to meet key development deadlines. Apple has been developing the TV technology for several years, however the applications have to go beyond gaming otherwise other competitors can copy the technology, and consumers may be more reluctant to buy. One of the biggest reasons why the stock went through the roof was the anticipation that key products like the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5, plus other new products or improved products, would have offered innovative technology. Many industry insiders did not see the improvements, which is one of the many reasons why there has been a sell-off, including a short squeeze, on the stock. Don’t be shocked if in 2013 we see more important management changes at Apple.

Nice blog. #1 question…. how do you recruit for, identify the right person, and ultimately replace someone like Steve Jobs?! Putting on my executive hat… how do I acquire, develop and retain talent so that I’m not asking myself the #1 question at some point?

Sandro – I absolutely agree that the I-TV needs to go beyond gaming but in my view gaming is integral if they want to get into the TV market. Add apps, voice commands, etc but having Nintendo is key.

What Nintendo has cannot be replaced or copied. Microsoft and Sony have been trying for years. Their first party titles are top of the line. Sony and Microsoft have first party titles as well but they can’t touch Nintendo’s lineup or skill at innovating.

Now third party titles like Madden Football often appear on all current systems and this would be the case on the I-TV. The combined efforts of Nintendo and Apple would put Microsoft and Sony in a vulnerable position. This is when Video game consoles would disappear and the consumer would get a TV that is a true entertainment product that has games, internet, regular TV, Apps, etc. Bottom line is we as a consumer win. Plus it would free up some space in the living room!

Heather – You can never replace Steve Jobs. What you can do is find someone that has a vision and has a knack for innovation. Tim cook, the top executive at Apple, is top notch in Operations but in my opinion lacks that innovation and spark that made Jobs a legend.
I liken the search to finding a director for the new Star Wars movies. There you have a popular franchise that is going forward with minimal involvement from the creator. Disney paid billions for the rights so they have to ensure the first movies are top notch to secure their investment.
They need a young talented director with vision and passion for Star Wars. Lucasfilm and Disney believe they found him – JJ Abrams. His track record is impressive; He revitalized Star Trek.
Apple has to do the same thing. Find that young hotshot with a proven track record that has vision and passion. There is talent out there…. They just need to find it.

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