Why Exclusives?

March has finally begun and that means many things.  Spring Break has begun; St. Patrick’s Day is on the horizon, and Shamrock Shakes have returned to McDonalds.  There are millions of fans of the green beverage; some of which become obsessed when they finally return.  The same can be said about the McRib sandwich, which appears to have its own legion of fans that follow the incredible sandwich cross-country to wherever it goes.  Why are customers so obsessed with these yearly items?  After much thought, it soon became apparent that McDonalds wasn’t the only company to make exclusives.

Video Game companies, from time to time, make games that can only be played on a specific console.  Nintendo has put full support behind their Nintendo DS and Wii U.  In recent years, consumers have slowly moved away from the once great gaming empire, in favor of systems such as the PlayStation and Xbox.  However, they are still holding their own.  How is this possible?  The answer is simple enough.  Nintendo has kept all their trademark names and never allowed them onto other systems.  Wouldn’t the gaming empire benefit from sharing with others?  Many fellow gamers that I had asked all agreed: should Legend of Zelda or Mario appear onto PS3 or Xbox, they would not hesitate to purchase the game.  Knowing that, why wouldn’t gaming companies allow it, but all businesses alike, try and keep these products for themselves and actually lose money opportunities?

The answer is very simple: to make a bigger profit.  Nintendo has slowly become a dying company.  They once ruled the gaming world with their arcade games, GameCubes, and of course, the GameBoy.  However, as the average gamer changed, so has their preference in gaming.  Gamers tend to prefer At-Home consoles such as Xbox, PS3, and PC.  Nintendo knew that they might possibly lose out to these other companies and instead prevented other companies from using their games.  It is actually a clever strategy.  The once dying company was now the only company that carried Mario, Donkey Kong, and Legend of Zelda.  People would purchase Nintendo’s systems just to play these legendary games.

The same strategy is used by McDonalds.  The eternally strong company purposefully made certain items available for only brief periods of time.  When these items finally return, business booms.  One McDonalds employee admitted that the busiest times of the year are when items such as the Shamrock Shake, McRib sandwich, and Holiday Pies return to stores.  Statistically, business increases by a minimum of 15% when these items return to McDonalds.

Exclusive items are truly an aggravating part of the business world.  However, they are the reason some companies make such a large profit.  McDonalds is a multi-million dollar company, and they only expand their profits when it comes to their exclusive items.  Game companies such as Nintendo make a profit mainly due to the titles it exclusively carries.  Bottom line: exclusives actually make more money than lose money.  The business world is quite fickle about many things.  However, one thing is common: if you own all of it, and you can make a profit off of it.

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