The Angry Birds Phenomenon
The video game Angry Birds certainly broke the mold. They came, they saw, and they turned it up to 11. As far as application development goes these days, they set the blueprint of exactly what you need to be doing if you want to be successful.
By that I don’t just mean develop an app that sells over 12 million units. Let’s be honest, Rovio got lucky with Angry Birds that it not only found a nice groove as an addicting game, but it also hit a very weak market at just the right time. This isn’t the first game they developed and there are a few failures in the bucket for them already.
No, what I mean about the blueprint for being successful is what they are doing with Angry Birds now. They are making it into a brand and working it successfully. You can get Angry Birds t-shirts, stuffed animals, and pillows. There are other items being sold as knock offs as well. Plus there is an Angry Birds cookbook on the horizon. All that and this app is also available online now too.
Sure, why not? You ride that hot hand into the ground if you have to when you are marketing a winner. The cookbook idea seems solid as it is based around egg recipes. While you might think that it won’t be a hot seller, consider that with the stuffed animals and t-shirts they have made $3 million in sales. Yeah, you would make a cookbook too.
Word on the street is they are going to try for an animation movie as well. I would guess they will use the Angry Birds in some way for the movie. It would make sense as it is the driving force behind their success.
After that brand has been firmly established with everyone recognizing the name then you can say. “From the makers of…..” on your next project. Even if the first few are duds, that brand name is going to get you some extra customers.
So What Have We Learned?
Step one is to get very lucky with a smash hit that completely fills a void. Obviously this is not as easy as it seems because it happens so rarely. But even if you toil away and find moderate success it is how you spin that success that sets the stage for your company and its’ growth.
Step two is to make that success story into either its’ own brand or your brand. Everyone knows Angry Birds; hardly anyone knows Rovio. They are very wise to attach their brand to Angry Birds right now until they have a string of hits under their belt. Then they can become more of a name like Rockstar Games did after the massive success of Grand Theft Auto – Vice City.
Step three is to diversify and make money however you can off that product. If you have a hit record and they want to use it for a TV show or on a commercial you sell it! Turn a video game app into a cookbook? Why not if it makes money and pushes the brand a little further. You are in business to make money and you need to get what you can when it is available.
Step four is to not think you are bigger than you are. Some companies taste success and immediately think, “We made it!” They move into big offices, hire a bunch of people, and start a massive expansion assuming the next big hit will be just around the corner. You have to be realistic and understand that you might have just gotten lucky. It takes a few successful ventures before you are ready to grow bigger than you are.