Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Brand Symbols, Part 1

The almighty NES controller!
When they originally released the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in the United States, it was a smash hit, including my home.  Due to parental controls - in those days, that actually meant "parents" - I could only play it for 30 minutes every weekday.  Weekends were different, of course, and Saturdays were when the controllers got the most sticky from sweat and food residue.

Aaaahhhh...memories...When I think back on it, I remember those controllers better than I do the actual NES.  The machine was a squarish, boxy thing, but the controllers were so unique and easy to understand.  Up, down, left, right, B, A, Select, Start.  So accessible, and DURABLE!

The Marketing Take-away
Make your brand legendary; in this case, in terms of product accessory design.  Make it unique-looking; if it's the right kind of item, make it sparkle.  In some cases, you can re-define a category with it.  Prior to the NES, it was all about the joystick.  Now those are mainly used for flight simulators.  Not until the Wii Remote - aka the "Wiimote" - was there a popular alternative to the direction-pad-and-buttons combo.

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