Sony AIBO

Presented by:-
Section A - Group 6

Amol Parab – 13P030
Ritwik Raj – 13P103
Tarun Gupta – 13P177
Niket Gupta – 13P217
Bhaumik Shah – 13P236
Dhaval Thacker – 13P241

Introduction to Sony AIBO
 Sony AIBO was launched in spring 1999
 Termed as World’s First “Entertainment”
Robot
 Personality characteristics of a pet without
inconvenience of a real animal
 Only product after Walkman and Play
station to cause such a stir
 Success was unexpected as it didn’t have
any functional benefits, other than
entertainment


Instant Success in Japan

Time Product Units Price Distribution
channel
Spring 1999 AIBO ERS-
110
5000
•Japan: 3000
•USA: 2000
$2500 Internet
November
1999
AIBO ERS-
111
10000
•Japan: 3000
•USA: 2000

$2500

Internet
Feb 2000 AIBO ERS-
111
30000
•Japan: 27000
•USA: 3000

$2500

Internet
Nov 2000 AIBO ERS-
210
50000; most in
Japan
$1500

Internet
Retail Outlets
Spring 2001: “The world has no idea how to categorize this product”- GM, Sony
Robot Group
Consumer engaging features of AIBO
 Communication with Owner
 Ability to learn things over time through
training
 Walk well like a pet; imitate movements like
a dog
 Need to show emotions
 Development of “infant” AIBO depending
on level of interaction; with distinct
“personality”
 AIBO projected as true companion with real
emotions and instincts
Japan – Favorable Factors
 Many Japanese lived in small apartments
where real pets were not allowed
 Japanese are hard working – nurturing a
real pet was difficult in modern times (12
hour workdays)
 Japan’s growing elderly population buying
AIBOs as companions
 Japanese general infatuation with virtual
toys – success of Tamagotchi, Pokemon
 Japanese culture – Robots are depicted as
heroes in all of the cartoons
AIBO in American Market
 Tightly knit group of hard core AIBO owners
who are passionate about their AIBOs
 Older generation not comfortable with idea
of lifelike technology – loving something that
isn’t alive
 Product confusion in minds of the American
mass market – What does it DO ?
 Americans did not understand what they
were trying to sell. They looked for functional
attributes like a robot which could do
household chores
Contrast in Consumer Behavior

Japanese Consumers American Consumers
 Looking for a
companion
 Treated AIBO as a
family member
 In Japanese culture
Robots are heroes

Looked at AIBO as a
functional product
In American culture
Robots are often
considered to be
enemies

Issues with the American
Market
 Sales were not as per expectations
 People did not understood what Sony was actually
selling
 Americans were further confused by the low end
knock-off toys which sold for less than $50
 Increasing popularity of knock-offs made task of
educating U.S consumer more complicated
 There was no reference product against which
company can position AIBO
 Americans valued and understood functionality
more , currently company has positioned it as
robotic pet

Decisions to be taken
 Target Mass Market?
 Should they go for Mass Marketing and how
big the campaign should be
 Position as a “companion” or a “robotic
pet” OR position as “serious productivity
tool”
 What capabilities should be developed in
next generation robots
 Pricing of AIBO
Positioning
 As seen earlier due to the differences in
consumer behavior company needs to
change the positioning of AIBO
 Also there are already few players in
functional household robots and hence they
will help in development of the market
 Frame of reference – Need to changed
from “pet toys” to “functional robots”
 Positioning Statement – “For mainstream
American consumer , Sony AIBO is a
household robot, that is designed to perform
useful household tasks”

Recommendations
• Focus on the functional aspects of the product
and target it to mainstream American
consumer
• Initially Sony should focus on innovators and
early adopters and hence reducing the price
and selling it at losses is not recommended
• The focus should be on developing capabilities
which would help its owners in day to day
activities
• Focus should be on experiential marketing as
only the people who have used the robots
appreciate its features
Thank You!