Nintendo Once Wanted to Change Their Logo, But Reggie Talked Them Out of It
The iconic red and white almost didn’t stick around.
For decades, in spite of ups and downs, Nintendo has enjoyed a strong position in the games industry (to say the least), with very few others in this space being as influential or successful as they have been. And throughout it all, the Big N has stuck by its iconic logo, the white text of Nintendo in an oval against a red background. It’s something that’s become instantly recognizable- but there was once a time when the company was thinking of changing it up.
Speaking recently on the Present Value podcast (via Nintendo Everything), former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said that when he first joined Nintendo, the company was trying hard to move away from its kid-friendly image, and changing up the logo was one of the ways they were thinking of doing that. However, Reggie put a stop to that, wanting to keep the classic logo intact, instead pushing the company to make systemic changes and appeal to a broader market through content.
“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,” said Reggie. “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,” he continued. “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.”
Given the success Nintendo has enjoyed with content that has broader appeal, it’s easy to see now that Reggie’s solution was clearly the way to go- besides, Nintendo changing their iconic logo just in an attempt to change their brand image ultimately would have been not that effective, and a bit of a travesty, considering the history behind that logo.