While appearing on the Present Value Podcast, former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime dropped some interesting information about his time at Nintendo. Fils-Aime, who spent 13 years leading the company, was a prominent voice when Nintendo was thinking about changing the companies iconic logo.
“When I joined Nintendo, there was a sense of almost shame that Nintendo appealed to young consumers,” he said. At the time, Nintendo had been experimenting with some potential new logos, including replacing the classic oval that the company had been sporting since the 1970s with a more modern graffiti-based version, which the company hoped would appeal to an older audience.
Fils-Aime had a different idea, which was to leave the well-known branding alone while focusing more on other areas. He felt it was essential to keep the company rooted in honest messaging, and not just change things in a way to appeal to people that didn’t truly represent what the Nintendo brand and ideals were.
“Systemically, we went through and cleaned up the presentation of the brand,” he said, but the company also worked on creating new messaging, broadening the appeal of their content, and diversifying into new areas with products like Wii Fit.
While a logo might not seem like a big deal, branding is vastly important, and companies spend billions of dollars over time to try and develop the kind of brand recognition that Nintendo has. While companies like Coca-Cola and McDonalds might change recipes and flavors, those famous logos tend to stay the same for a reason.
For Fils-Aime, the logo needed to stay as it was, and the messaging and appeal of Nintendo products always had to be honest. “We needed to do it based on what the brand stood for, and not doing it in some false way,” he said when explaining why he shut down the new logo ideas.
Fils-Aime stepped down as president of Nintendo of America last year, and is now a professor at Cornell University in New York, his alma mater.