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Marketing Strategies of Angry Birds
Anqi Guo_Spring 2012
Content
1. Introduction
2. Forbes‘ view
3. Segmentation
4.Targeting
5. Mission statement/Firms strategy
6.Growth strategy
...
Introduction
Angry Birds is a mobile game1 developed by Finnish
multi-media entertainment company Rovio in 2009. It
has 40...
Forbes’ view
On 7/18/2011, Nicole Perlroth wrote on Forbes after her interview with the maker of Angry Birds, Peter Vester...
Segmentation
Basically, there are three types of segmentation in term of the development of Angry Birds—segmentation based...
Targeting
After the company segments its customers, it chooses the optimized
strategy to deliver the information of their ...
Mission Statement
―Rovio is an entertainment media company, and the creator of the globally successful Angry Birds franchi...
Growth Strategy
According to investorwords.com, growth strategy is ―A strategy based on investing in
companies and sectors...
External environment
According to businessdictionary.com, external environment means ―Conditions, entities, events,
and fa...
Sustainability, Global aspect
From the marketing perspective, sustainability is not merely a responsibility that the compa...
Pricing Strategy
Pricing is one of the four elements in marketing mix. It
estimates the cost of the product as well as the...
SWOT Analysis
Strength
1.Rovio knows how to ―entertain‖ people
2.Rovio has been in the game industry for a while
3.Angry B...
Conclusion
The success of the company is definitely a great combination of four Ps of the
marketing mix. This is like the ...
Reference for figures
1. Angry Birds Wallpaper, http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/appsblog/2012/mar/01/angry-birds-pete...
Reference for texts
1. Perlroth, Nicole. ―Audacious Birds‖. Forbes. 7/18/2011, Vol. 188 Issue 1, p28-32, 3p. Web database....
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Marketing Strategy of Angry Birds

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HADM 2410 Final Project, deployed marketing target customer, segmentation, pricing strategy, SWOT analysis towards the mobile game Angry Birds

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Marketing Strategy of Angry Birds

  1. 1. Marketing Strategies of Angry Birds Anqi Guo_Spring 2012
  2. 2. Content 1. Introduction 2. Forbes‘ view 3. Segmentation 4.Targeting 5. Mission statement/Firms strategy 6.Growth strategy 7. External environment 8.Sustainability, Global aspects 9.Pricing strategy 10. SWOT 11. Conclusion 12. Reference
  3. 3. Introduction Angry Birds is a mobile game1 developed by Finnish multi-media entertainment company Rovio in 2009. It has 40 million active users and has been ranked as the most popular paid games in Apple store for a long period of time. The general idea of the game is a trajectory game where angry birds will be thrown to pigs to score points as well as to ―revenge‖. It is this simple-manipulating game that has brought millions of dollars of profit to Rovio. Many companies from the field of entertainment and even other areas are curious about the sudden success of this game. It is necessary to bring some insight into the features of Angry Birds and learn from their development strategies. From the perspective of marketing, the secret of the game is obvious but hard to imitate – easy to play, broad channels through different platforms, a comprehensive segmentation, etc. If summarized in one word, the marketing strategy for Angry Birds is variety, whether it is variety of platforms, variety of products, variety of characters, variety of versions, or variety of targeted customers, variety of pricing strategy. This feature can also be summarized by the picture above where, with Rovio released different versions in apple and android platform, the download of the game grew exponentially. 1 Mobile game ―is a video game played on a mobile phone, smartphone, PDA, tablet computer, portable media player or calculator. This does not include games played on dedicated handheld video game systems such as Nintendo 3DS or PlayStation Vita.‖ Wikipedia.com
  4. 4. Forbes’ view On 7/18/2011, Nicole Perlroth wrote on Forbes after her interview with the maker of Angry Birds, Peter Vesterbacka. In her article, she made three points. Firstly, she explained the ―world domination‖ of the game by including an anecdote of someone in the tribe of Amazon Jungle played Angry Birds. Of course, she also presented data like ―Every month 50 million people play the game‖. The second point she made is that Rovio considers Disney as its biggest competitor, with China being the most potential and profitable market that Rovio is looking at. However, she also interviewed executives of Disney. He did not worry about the competition of Rovio because of its tiny scale compared to Disney‘s huge empire. The last point she made can be summed up in the idea of variety. ―If Rovio is a one-bit wonder, the company is ensuring it is as broad and profitable a wonder as possible,‖ as she wrote, Rovio has imitated Disney‘s strategy of creating a broad empire of products: toys, amusement park, movie, etc. In this way, the company is not only making money through paid games in apple store, but also the derived products that are sold successfully for the lovely and familiar images of birds and pigs. Bloomberg Businessweek has an article demonstrating the company in the context of Finland. The article compared Nokia and Angry Birds, both of which were originated in Finland. It delineated a relationship between these two companies by stating that Finnish government was looking for Rovio and other new technical start-ups to support the national economy after the decline of Nokia. However, the article also admitted that ―High taxes, a lack of incentives for investors, and the country's distance from major markets‖ did not provide a welcoming environment for Rovio and similar companies.
  5. 5. Segmentation Basically, there are three types of segmentation in term of the development of Angry Birds—segmentation based on different types of players and segmentation based on diverse platforms and devices of this mobile game. As the VP of Franchise Development for Rovio Mobile Ville Heijari said in a game conference Casual Connect Kyiv, ―First there are people who have heard of the game and may play it, and discuss it. Then there are players who pay money. The 3rd level of players are the engaged players who play regularly and spread the word. Finally, there is the core player base who love the game.‖ The goal of the company is to move people from the first level to the final loyalty level by creating a community of Angry Birds fans and rewarding them accordingly. The chart on the left shows the sharp difference among different usage of Tablet, eReader and Smartphone thus showing the different lifestyles of users holding different devices. For example, the dark blue bar demonstrates that Smartphone holders play around their devices more often when shopping than other device holders. The third segmentation strategy is about different platforms, which literally mean Android, IOS, Windows 7. But it also represents different types of reference group and lifestyles. It will be discussed more in the next section—Targeting.
  6. 6. Targeting After the company segments its customers, it chooses the optimized strategy to deliver the information of their products to the targeted customers. VP of Franchise Development for Rovio Mobile Ville Heijari‘s answer to preference for platforms shares the similar idea with the graph on the left. He pointed out that ―Apple will be the number one platform for a long time from a developer perspective, they have gotten so many things right. And they know what they are doing and they call the shots. Android is growing, but it‘s also growing complexity at the same time.‖ On the other side, from the chart it is obvious that IOS gamers spend much more time on mobile games, which means users of Apple Iphone are most profitable targets of the game. In term of different types of users, research show that single male, under 25 years old, are the majority of the game and are 76% more likely to convert to paid version of the game. Then Rovio launched their marketing mix to target these groups of people and occasionally attracted other customers as well. The figure on the left shows that, British Prime Minister David Cameron claimed that he had finished all levels of the game, which functioned as a great advertisement for the broad popularity of the game. It also represented the power of the word of mouth acting in the spread of Angry Birds phenomena.
  7. 7. Mission Statement ―Rovio is an entertainment media company, and the creator of the globally successful Angry Birds franchise.‖ On the official website of the company, it defined itself as an entertainment company rather than a mere game company. And in different interviews that the company officials went to, they all emphasized the unique mission of Rovio—To entertain people! ―Some of our competitors are in the business of play. We are in the business of entertaining people. That's why we bought the animation studio, and are creating books. It's about creating amazing entertainment experiences,‖ the executive Vesterbacka said. By ―entertain‖, the company not only aims to create a fun game but also provides great customer service to maximize the utility of customers, as the executive explains in one conference, ―Optimized for touch, great characters, everybody loves the birds. And we like to think that we know a thing or two about how to work together with our fans and community too, ie the future of marketing.‖ That is why in 2010, Rovio declared an Angry Birds day on December 11th to ―urge people to get together and get to know each other.‖ The figure on the right shows a snapshot of the day. The entertaining feature of the game is further proved by the chart on the left where more than 50 % of 1000 surveyed players felt relaxed after playing the game.
  8. 8. Growth Strategy According to investorwords.com, growth strategy is ―A strategy based on investing in companies and sectors which are growing faster than their peers.‖ While keeping releasing new versions and levels of the game, Retail of derived products and China are the two other main sectors that Rovio is investing a lot in. As Vesterbacka has claimed, ―Angry Birds is ‗the most copied brand in China‘ already, which is what led to the retail strategy there‖. The company opened an office in Shanghai, China in November 2011. The figure on the right shows the advertisement for a planned Angry Birds store in China in 2012. As an article explains, ―The decision to open the stores in China is due to the shear number of unofficial and knock of Angry Birds products and merchandise available in China and the rate it is selling!‖ In addition to retail, Rovio‘s interest in China is very obvious when a local amusement park in China launched a real-life Angry Birds game without the permission of Rovio. The figure of two Chinese female on the left shows how people play this game. The figure on the left shows the poster of the incorporation of the real-life game with the theme of ―International Stress Reduction day‖ in Window of World amusement park in Changsha, China. Instead of suing the amusement park, Rovio actually began to partner up with this park.
  9. 9. External environment According to businessdictionary.com, external environment means ―Conditions, entities, events, and factors surrounding an organization that influence its activities and choices, and determine its opportunities and risks.‖ A big factor of influence on game industry comes from social network websites like Facebook and Twitter. The popularity of these websites provides both opportunities and challenges to Rovio. ―Facebook is the other new frontier for Angry Birds, with the game having launched on the social network in mid-February 2012. Just over two weeks later, it has 3.9m monthly active users (MAUs) and 930k DAUs, according to analytics site AppData.‖ Vesterbacka commented positively on Rovio‘s corporation with Facebook. However, the Facebook also nourished many competitors of Angry Birds, including Draw Something which has already ranked over Angry Birds, shown in the left figure. The magnification effect of social networks allows the spread of the game but also requires accelerated update of levels to trigger consecutive waves of popularity on Facebook. Another big influence comes from the geographical location of the company. Since Finland is distant from main markets like UK, US or China, the strategy Rovio took was ―local grassroots marketing approach driving towards virility‖ which means ―first focused on making the game popular at home in Finland through word-of-mouth, then did the same in Sweden, then Denmark, and then other European countries. With demonstrable and increasing popularity they were able to have their game featured in the UK app store, which led to record growth, and then popularity expanded to the US.‖
  10. 10. Sustainability, Global aspect From the marketing perspective, sustainability is not merely a responsibility that the company holds for the welfare of the society. Rather, it brings a positive perception to its customers if the company has sustainability branding strategy, which markets the company for its support for the big Green Movement. However, Angry Birds and Rovio is very ambiguous about its attitude towards green movement because of two reasons. First, it is hard to measure the negative environmental effect of a mobile game if we want to separate it from the devices it is on. Second, Angry Birds has not launched any famous environmental campaign to show its social responsibility like Pepsi does. However, there exist some critics about the ―e-waste‖ of the game, as shown in the formulas above. The first figure is drawn by Ecosquid, who observes that ―The CO2 emissions savings from recycling 50M Angry Bird devices‖ would sustain ―19,287 years driving an average car‖. This data might sound meaningless if we assume that people who play Angry Birds already have the devices. However, one of the Rovio‘s officers once proudly claimed that people who never play games play Angry Birds. This is an indication that some people might become a device buyer because of the incentive of the addictive games. The other two chars show the potential waste of human times on games because of Angry Birds and Mobile Games in general.
  11. 11. Pricing Strategy Pricing is one of the four elements in marketing mix. It estimates the cost of the product as well as the demand from customers and then set appropriate prices that are acceptable for customers and at the same time, profitable for the company. Depending on different effects that the company tries to create, about quality or quantity, the company chooses different pricing strategies. In the U.S apple portable device market, Angry Birds follows the tradition of ―race to 99 cent‖ because ―they want to charge something; but if they charge any higher than $0.99 they are frightened of being pushed off the Top 25 list …‖ according to a case study by the APP outsourcing guide. Meanwhile, to equalize the effect of exchange rate, the apple store helps the company to set different prices for different countries, as shown in the graph above. There is also observed ―whale hunting‖ through setting higher price for the complete seasons and levels. Though being criticized for charging money for advanced lev els, Rovio has done a great job to catch the 5 % of the people who are willing to pay more than 20 dollars on mobile games, who is also considered the most profitable group of customers according to Flurry‘s research. The chart shows that transactions over $20 are the most profitable.
  12. 12. SWOT Analysis Strength 1.Rovio knows how to ―entertain‖ people 2.Rovio has been in the game industry for a while 3.Angry Birds has gained a big group of loyal fans 4.The game is easy to play, yet it has mystery and characters— all the elements that make it stand out from other games 5. It is easily convertible to many platforms Weakness 1. The amount of capital input is still not as many as what Disney get 2. The amount of characters are still limited, not enough to create an empire like Disney 3. The Angry Birds effect might fade soon 4. Rovio is located in Finland, far from the main markets it is looking at Opportunity 1. The retail of derived products like toys, real-life games, books and movies are expected to bring a big new market 2. Focus on retail in China can bring great buying power 3. The corporation with Facebook can bring more MAUs and DAUs and new types of profit-making mode 4. Themed Amusement parks like Disneyland can bring longevity to the company Threats 1. Angry Birds is in a fast changing, fragile industry 2. The competition is fast, intense, unpredictable and many times, fatal 3. Customers‘ taste and preference changes quickly; Any companies have to be very flexible with the development of the products 4. Conversion from IOS to Android platform requires a lot of effort but might give small profit increase
  13. 13. Conclusion The success of the company is definitely a great combination of four Ps of the marketing mix. This is like the game Angry Birds where players make good use of different features of different birds to hit the pigs and get scores. However, the contributing factors are subjective in a way that different people may value different parts of the strategy just like the figure on the right, which shows one player‘s view on different birds. We have to admit that it is not true for every other player. To me, the success of Rovio can be summed up in three aspects. Firstly, the company finds the right model—Disney to imitate and compete with so that it can adjust the pace of development accordingly by looking at how Disney develops. Secondly, right positioning contributes to the uniqueness and popularity of the game. ―Angry Birds has been more than a game for some time now: it's a mainstream entertainment franchise with a huge and global reach‖, Peter Vesterbacka told Guardian of UK. This idea of ―Entertainment‖ helps the company to develop around its customers, thus understanding its customers better and serving them better. The last factor is the open mind that the company holds through globalization and extended area of operations. As a result, the company is always extending its market.
  14. 14. Reference for figures 1. Angry Birds Wallpaper, http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/appsblog/2012/mar/01/angry-birds-peter-vesterbacka-rovio 2. Parabola, The anthropology of Angry Birds, http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/news/item/12503_The_anthropology_of_Angry_Bird.php 3. A Field guide to Angry Birds, Angry Birds characters, http://uniqueinterestingfacts.com/real-angry-birds 4. How Angry Birds ruled the Apple Store #1 spot for 250 days, http://www.148apps.com/author/bonnie/page/2/#ixzz1tq2i9q32 5. The chart showing the comparison between Disney and Rovio, Disney on steroids? http://northstream.se/blog/disney-on-steroids/ 6. I love Angry Birds, Angry Birds: World Domination? http://www.play-angrybirds-online.com/blog/ 7. Situational Usage, The Three Benefits of Digital Video and TV, http://blog.polk.com/blog/digital-marketing 8. Hours spent per month on mobile games, iPhone Owners Love Games More Than Other Smartphone Users http://www.idownloadblog.com/2011/07/13/iphone-owners-love-games/ 9. Prime Minister is a customer, The UK’s Prime Minister is an Angry Birds Gamer, http://gizmodo.com/david-cameron-angry-birds/ 10. Rovio logo, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rovio_Logo.png 11. Angry Birds Day celebration, Angry Birds – Unlikely Pop-Culture Craze Goes From Cellphone Screen to Mainstream, http://www.impactlab.net/2010/12/12/angry-birds-unlikely-pop-culture-craze-goes-from-cellphone-screen-to-mainstream/ 12/19. 55% of players feel relaxed/human time spent on Angry Birds, Are You Addicted to Angry Birds? http://aytm.com/blog/research-junction/angry-birds-addiction/ 13. Advertisement of Angry Birds shows in Chinese, Rovio knocking off the knock offs with Angry Birds stores in China, http://www.gizchina.com/2011/11/02/rovio-knocking-knock-offs-angry-bird-stores-china/ 14/15. Real-life Angry Birds game in an amusement park in China, Real-Life Angry Birds Game Illegally Staged in Chinese Amusement Park http://indie-games-ichiban.wonderhowto.com/corkboard/real-life-angry-birds-game-illegally-staged-chinese-amusement-park-0129940/ 16. Facebook like icon for Angry Birds, Game Angry Birds Will Present at Facebook, http://www.gadgetfighter.com/game/484/game-angry-birds-will-present-at-facebook.php 17. Rank of Draw something is higher than Angry Birds, Don't Look Now, But Angry Birds Space Has Fallen To Draw Something, http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-04-04/tech/31285074_1_app-store-free-app-zynga#ixzz1u78etwuJ 18. Recycle of the devices, The e-waste take on Angry Birds, http://ecosquid.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/the-e-waste-take-on-angry-birds/ 20. U.S game players by age, Almost two-thirds of smartphone users regularly play games on their phone http://www.parksassociates.com/blog/article/parks-pr2011-mobilegaming 21. Cost of Angry Birds across the world, An Analysis Of Apple’s Adjustment Of International App Store Prices, http://www.macstories.net/news/an-analysis-of-apples-adjustment-of-international-app-store-prices/ 22. In App Purchase Transaction size VS Revenue generated, Study Says Five Percent of Mobile Gamers Are Willing to Spend More Than $50, http://allthingsd.com/20110725/study-says-five-percent-of-mobile-gamers-are-willing-to-spend-more-than-50/ 23. Likability of Angry Birds characters, Which Angry Birds Character Do You Like Most?, http://mytechquest.com/interesting/which-angry-birds-character-do-you-like-most/
  15. 15. Reference for texts 1. Perlroth, Nicole. ―Audacious Birds‖. Forbes. 7/18/2011, Vol. 188 Issue 1, p28-32, 3p. Web database. 2. Ben-Aaron, Diana. ―After Nokia, Can Angry Birds Propel Finland?‖. Bloomberg Businessweek. 12/6/2010, Issue 4207, p48-50, 2p. Web database. 3. Dredge, Stuart. ―Angry Birds' Mighty Eagle: 'We have expanded the market for games'‖. guardian.co.uk. Thursday 1 March 2012.Web 4. Chulis, Kimberly. ―Overview of Angry Birds Monetization and Brand Strategy from Casual Connect Kyiv 2011‖. Smartdatacollective.com. December 28, 2011. Web 5. Fuld, Hillel. ―Peter Vesterbacka, Maker of Angry Birds Talks about the Birds, Apple, Android, Nokia, and Palm/HP‖. Techinmarketing.com. 27. Dec, 2010.Web 6. Gizchina.com. ―Rovio Knocking Off the Knock Offs with Angry Bird Stores in China‖. November 2, 2011. Web 7. Duryee, Tricia. ―Study Says Five Percent of Mobile Gamers Are Willing to Spend More Than $50‖, July 25, 2011. Web 8. Spencer, Graham. ―An Analysis Of Apple‘s Adjustment Of International App Store Prices‖. Macstories.net. July 15, 2011. Web 9. Mauro, Charles L. ―Why Angry Birds is so successful and popular: a cognitive teardown of the user experience‖. February 6th, 2011.Web 10.Murphy, Michael. ―Rovio: Angry Birds Day Declared as December 11th‖. Talkandroid.com. Dec 8 .2010. Web 11. Mazin, Lev. ―AreYou Addicted to Angry Birds? [INFOGRAPHIC]‖. Aytm.com. September. 2011. Web 12. Mansur, Rachel. ―Real-Life Angry Birds Game Illegally Staged in Chinese Amusement Park‖. Indie Games Ichiban.com. November.2o11.Web 13. Suvi. ―Disney on steroids?‖ . Northstream.com. 11 Apr 2012. Web 14. Davis, Nick. ―App pricing strategies and case studies‖. The App Outsourcing Guide. 2010. Print. 15. Ecosquid.wordpress.com. ―The e-waste take on Angry Birds‖. June 3, 2011. Web 16. ―Growth strategy‖. Investorwords. Com. Accessed on 4th May 2012. Web 17. ―External environment‖ businessdictionary.com. Accessed on 4th May 2012. Web

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