How A Tiny Startup Scored A Partnership With CBS Local

December 2nd, 2014

CBS Local Digital Media Innovation Demo Day

NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 02: Winner and CEO of LISNR Rodney Williams poses at the CBS Local Digital Media Innovation Demo Day on October 2, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images for CBS Local Media)

During New York Advertising Week in October, CBS Local awarded $10K in ad buys to LISNR, the winner of its inaugural KITE-powered Innovation Demo Day winner.

LISNR is an audio-based mobile engagement platform that enables consumers to interact with media and the live environment around them.

This year, Sony used LISNR to generate buzz for musician J. Cole. Through LISNR, J. Cole fans could unlock and preview his new album when they arrived at certain locations, like Times Square in New York. Thanks to LISNR, Sony generated pre-orders for the album and J. Cole’s popularity increased on Twitter.

With 20 brand clients and counting, founder and CEO Rodney Williams knows what brands look for when they meet with startups. He shared his insights in this exclusive interview with KITE.

lisnrKITE: You came from P&G, where you were a
brand manager for Pampers. How do you leverage your brand-management background as a startup founder?

Rodney Williams: It’s invaluable. Understanding how to bring meaningful value to a brand is key to driving a sustainable relationship. I understand the challenges and the priorities that brands face daily. I worked on P&G’s largest brand driving innovation. My P&G experience has been critical for me driving the adoption of LISNR technology.

KITE: How does a pitch to a brand executive differ from a pitch to an investor or the press?

Williams: A pitch to a brand is all about the value that the technology can provide to the business. It has to be so compelling that brands look past that obvious risk of working with a company with limited reach or penetration. Value is important. Investors care about the potential, opportunity and traction. It’s that simple.

KITE: What is the hardest lesson you’ve learned about working with brands since founding LISNR?

Williams: You have one chance with the brand. Make it worth it.

KITE: One piece of advice for startups seeking partnerships with brands?

Williams: Your value has to resonate with a priority that it’s important to their agenda. Find a challenge they’re facing and address it.

Want to achieve the same level of success as LISNR? Claim your KITE profile here for exclusive access to potential partnerships with brands and revenue opportunities. 

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