Positioned for Success: Angry Birds Makes Rovio Happy

By Jaron Zanerhaft

Like many other iPod users, I play Angry Birds— the game where you sling-shot different species of birds at barricaded and helmeted pigs who have stolen the birds’ eggs. This addictive little tactical puzzle recently drove Rovio, its mother company, into profits. I believe positioning is the responsible brand strategy here, that the 12 million “full” copies sold are a direct derivative of the 30 million copies downloaded of Angry Birds “Lite.”

The concept of a “lite” app is brilliant. It shows the consumer that you believe in your product enough to provide freely a somewhat satiating taste of it. Like samples at Costco do for their product, Angry Birds Lite hit an effective balance in creating both a position and desire for the full version of Angry Birds. By the time gamers found a place in their lives for the airborne pig-killers, Rovio had already worked its way into the gamers’ concepts of the market. Today, those who still want more can download Angry Birds Seasons or purchase a plush toy of their favorite bird or pig.

Truthfully, Angry Birds has found many places in our lives. The app is now available on droid cell phones; many other gaming systems, such as Playstation and Nintendo, have started the development process. Even an Angry Birds movie is in the works. I guess we all can relate to the birds’ drive to reclaim what is theirs, passion towards retribution and vengeance, and the desire to feed these elements of our dark sides vicariously. I play for the inane challenge, the fabricated feeling of accomplishment. It’s entertaining! And as Woody Allen once said, “I need the eggs.”

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3 Responses to Positioned for Success: Angry Birds Makes Rovio Happy

  1. julie says:

    Jaron, you are “branching out” in your writing style and subject matter…I loved it…I do hope you will continue to write so brilliantly about your innermost thoughts and complex issues which I so enjoy puzzling through.

  2. Michael K says:

    I play for the stars.
    I refuse to youtube the 3-star method, but I’ll play a single level hundreds of times only to get stuck with a 2-star score and at least temporarily go back to something more “productive”.
    Loved the article. Keep em comin’!

  3. Con Joker says:

    I cannot play angry birds as it is an obvious attempt by terrorists to train a whole generation to fly birds into buildings in order to destroy the pigs inside. I’m onto you Rovio. I’m onto you.

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