What Working With PepsiCo Taught This Startup

February 25th, 2015

PepsiCo, whose brands include Tropicana, Gatorade and Cheetos, tapped KITE last year to identify a digital startup to partner with. Ultimately, PepsiCo awarded a $25K paid pilot to YouTube marketing company Channel Factory. While at the PepsiCo Digital Summit, Channel Factory also met representatives from BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, which eventually led to six-figure, follow-on revenues last year.

KITE recently touched base with Dylan Conroy, Head of Strategic Sales at Channel Factory, to chat about his experience working with PepsiCo.

Here’s a brief Q&A below:

KITE: What have been some of the challenges in working with a big brand like PepsiCo?

Dylan Conroy: The challenges are socializing the work you’ve done with other teams and media agencies. We got to work on the Snow Days campaign with Pepsi, but how do we take the success of that campaign and let others in the org know about it?

KITE: What are some of the pros and cons of a startup working with brands?

Conroy: The pro is that you get to build a relationship directly and workshop ideas directly. The con is that there tends to be a longer learning curve than with agencies, which are expected to know about every platform and opportunity in the space.

KITE: What have you learned through your partnership with PepsiCo?

Conroy: Truthfully, the rep that oversaw the PepsiCo relationship has moved on. I guess the biggest learning is that you have to capitalize on the momentum that comes off a win like this or often times it can die on the vine. You have a limited window to capitalize on a successful campaign.

KITE:  What advice do you have for other startups looking to work with brands?

Conroy: Spend time building a relationship and understand where your solution fits into their strategy. Timing won’t always be right, but if you’ve spent time developing a thoughtful relationship they will think of you rather than the competition when the time is right.