Anyone Can Buy a Product
Not everyone can create custom content that links back to a brand. A great example of loyal customers who love their company: Nintendo. Nintendo gamers love to riff, spin-off, and make YouTube videos about Nintendo products.
Amiibos are No Ordinary Toy
Take the example of Nintendo’s amiibo products. They’re plastic figurines with built-in NFC chips. As Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime put it at the June 2014 launch: This is no ordinary toy.” Players can use these figurines to create avatars on favorite games like Super Smash Brothers. Once a player taps the amiibo to their Wii U console, the amiibo becomes an interactive digital part of the game. The game sends information to the amiibo, and the amiibo can send information to the game.
But get this. An amiibo cost $12.99. Nintendo is banking on customer loyalty to add the rest of the value to compensate for its loss in price. Amiibos are all the rave among gamers because they love the novelty of the figurines, and they love how it gives them a tangible connection to what was once only a digital world. Not only can kids (and adults too) maneuver Link to fight Samus in Super Smash Brothers, but gamers can collect the toy to life figures for their own enjoyment.
However, it does not stop there and this is the crucial point.
Here is a case study in how one fan took their love of amiibos and not has he become a loyal fan, but he creates content for the company. It’s a valuable lesson. He crafted a zombified Princess-Peach-Mushroom-spawn-born-out-of-her-stomach work of art. The piece goes by the name “Princess peach zomiibo mod” and the artist reminds us that the figurine “just needs a nice coat of vanish [sic].” What a game this would be — especially if you are a Ridley Scott fan, a Space Balls fan, and a lover of all things Mario-related.
Seriously, we have to give props to this amiibo transmogrification. First of all, Princess Peach has those lovely, scary Horror movie “white eyes” and not only is she giving birth to her power-up mushroom spawn, but she is simultaneously eating his brains out. Is this what would really happen in a counterfactual, realistic Mario world? I never thought getting (or, eating!) a power-up would be so much horrifying one!
And don’t you now want to go and buy Amiibos? (so you can think up your own favorite mash-up?)
I go into the details of this custom-made amiibo not just because it is cool, but to illustrate how far fans will go to show dedication to the brand. One loyal fan on Reddit who obviously loves amiibos has created custom-made content that strengthens the brand, and adds to Nintendo’s legacy.
Do you think amiibos are Nintendo’s tangible answer to brand loyalty? Do you think fans go “too far” in their love of a brand? Tell us what you think. We’d love to hear what you have to say about the intersection between gaming and loyalty.
Image credits: flickr