Despite his retirement last year, Reggie has not faded from the public eye. Throughout 2019, he spoke in numerous interviews and events, informing fans everywhere about his leadership mentalities and his time at Nintendo. Carrying this habit into the new year, he recently interviewed on Present Value Podcast, where he discussed, among other things, his resolution of a branding crisis at Nintendo when he originally joined the company. Reggie explained that early on in his time at Nintendo of America, company officials believed in the need for an updated brand with more adult appeal. Nintendo had plenty of ideas for how they would go about this, including a logo overhaul in a “graffiti style,” as well as other redesigns that Reggie did not elaborate on.
Thinking that this was the wrong idea, Reggie instead convinced the company to doubled down to instead flesh out the very best parts of their brand. He believes that this refocus ultimately led to several successful Wii products and has continued with the Nintendo Switch. Check out his full quote below.
From a branding standpoint, we had to be clear in what Nintendo as a brand stood for, as well as what the individual franchises stood for. I’ll give you an example.
When I joined Nintendo, there was a sense of almost shame that Nintendo appealed to young consumers, and the marketing team at Nintendo of America started doing things with the logo – that classic Nintendo logo in an oval – they would put it into graffiti style, or they’d do different things to try and age up the logo, and I put a stop to that because that is not our brand. And what we needed to do was yes, appeal to a broad swatch of consumers, but we needed to do it based on what the brand stood for, and not doing it in some false way.
Systemically, we went through and cleaned up the presentation of the brand, but we also created messaging coupled with content that really broadened the reach, broadened the appeal, and set the stage for all of the great products we would launch like Wii, like Wii Fit, and eventually the Nintendo Switch.
Thank you, Reggie, for convincing Nintendo that “growing up” was not the way to go. I don’t want to see a graffiti Nintendo logo unless it’s in Super Mario Sunshine 2, and I have a feeling that wasn’t part of the plan to age up the company.