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YUNUS EMRE SARIGÜL
iRobot: Finding the Right
» iRobot designs and builds robots that make a difference.
iRobot was founded in 1990 by Massachusetts Institute of
Technology robotics with the vision of making practical robots a
» iRobot is among the first companies to introduce robotic
technology into the consumer market. Home care robots have
been its most successful products, with over 5 million units sold
worldwide and accounting for over half of its total annual
» The company offers consumer products, such as floor vacuuming
robots, floor washing robots, pool cleaning robots,.
» iRobot also has long-term contractual agreement with U.S.
government to produce military robots.
» Its government and industrial products include the 510 PackBot
small, unmanned ground robots; and the 310 small unmanned
ground vehicle (SUGV) and 320 SUGV multi-purpose ground robots
that perform in battlefield and bomb disposal.
» The company also provides 1Ka Seaglider, an underwater vehicle
designed for oceanic missions to measure temperature, salinity,
depth-averaged current, and other data for scientific and military
» It sells its robots through chain stores and other national retailers, as
well as through on-line stores like Amazon ,Wall-mart and the U.S.
Home Care Robots:
˃Cleaning: homes, pools, gutters
˃5 million sold worldwide
˃30 national retailers; international retailers
˃55% of revenues
Government and Industrial Robots:
˃Ground and maritime unmanned vehicles
˃Divisions of U.S. military
˃46% of revenues
• iRobot’s promotion strategies are varied by product
• BUT they don’t use TV or radio advertising for none of
• Defense products are only for U.S. government so
promotion is not necessary.
• For consumer market they use social media to
promote support services and brand recognition.
• Another branding strategy is education.
• They recognized that fewer American children go to
science, technology, engineering, math areas.
• They launched Starter Programs for the Advancement
of Robotics Knowledge to increase the interest for
science and technology among the students from
elementary school to university.
• Also they started annual National Robotics Week
program to educate public about the impact of
robotics in society.
• Core competencies:
design, develop, market robots
•Innovative thanks to large R&D budget
• Existing alliances
• Healthy financial positioning
• Government contracts
• Limited visibility
• Patents expiring in 2019
• Dependent on 3rd party
• Government dependency (contracts, R&D
• Sensitive to economic climate (recession
in 2008 to 3rd Q 2009
• Expand marketing efforts
• Entry into new markets
• Product expansion
• Lower-tiered / priced goods
• International presence
• Competitors have more money and
knowledge in consumer space
• Product substitution (from blue ocean to
• Reduced government spending
• Break-up / non-renewing alliances
• Employees leaving
The long-term success in the consumer market would require
iRobot to develop more “blue oceans.”?
Did it make sense for iRobot to continue to develop new
consumer products or would it be better off focusing on the
military and aerospace marketplace?
They should continue to produce both for consumer
and military sector, because they get most of the R&D
resource from government.
They need to be innovative so that they could create
blue oceans to lead consumer market with
new, improved, innovative and differenciated products.
Feb. 2, 2021
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Mar. 20, 2016
Mar. 13, 2016
Nov. 21, 2015
Apr. 12, 2015
Feb. 19, 2015
Jan. 27, 2015
Jul. 9, 2014
Strategic Management and Business policy course case 13 IRobot Case Finding the Right Market Mix