Angry Birds CEO At Peace With Chinese Counterfeit Merchandise
from the don't-get-mad-get-glad dept
Vesterbacka said that the increase in counterfeit merchandise has influenced Rovio's retail strategy:
There are a lot of Angry Birds products out there, but most of them aren't officially licensed. Angry Birds is now the most copied brand in China, and we get a lot of inspiration from local producers.This line of thinking really flies in the face of most content producers. While other companies are ranting, raving and trying to legislate counterfeiting out of existence, Rovio is working to compete against counterfeiters on their home turf. It recognizes that those who buy counterfeits do so because of an unavailability of the real thing. By bringing authentic merchandise to China, Rovio is hoping to increase its revenue and capture a market that is based around its properties. Not only that, but he even admits that Rovio is learning from those counterfeits, and getting "inspiration." It's a form of free market research, so that Rovio can understand ahead of time what consumers want... for free.
Right now, we've proven that there's demand, and we're going for 100 million downloads this year for Angry Birds, and again the same demand for the physical products.
The way we look at it is, of course we want to sell the officially licensed, good quality products, but at the same time we have to be happy about the fact that the brand is so loved that it is the most copied brand in China.
It's great for us to see the demand, and that's why we're building our own stores here. And actually we're building our first stores here, and not in Helsinki... We hope to have quite a few over the next 12 months.
There's no reason why this will not work. The Chinese people want Angry Birds merchandise. Rovio is providing said merchandise. That is pure supply and demand at work. It's crazy that many other companies do not get that pure and simple lesson. Perhaps it's time for the CEOs and boards of directors of other companies to take a note from the Rovio playbook and put it into action. They might find a world that doesn't need poorly written legislation like PROTECT-IP/E-PARASITE or secret treaties like ACTA, but rather companies who listen to fans and provide them the goods and services they desire.