Episode #445: How Budge Studios built a mobile business of brands – with co-founder Noemie Dupuy
Do you covet thy brands? If so, you aren’t alone. Mobile app developers – mostly game developers – have been partnering with brands to bring their product to the (new) small screen since the very first app was conceived. While I worked at mobile game company Magmic, we launched several branded titles to mixed success – some won (New York Times Crosswords and Rubik’s Cube) and some lost (Breeder’s Cup Horse Racing and every movie supported title) – but there is no doubt that taping into an established audience of a successful brand can contribute to huge revenue streams.
This shouldn’t come as any surprise. Having a marquis brand as a partner helps leapfrog the 1.5 million “other” apps in the appstores and gives the powers that be (in this case the owners of the app stores – Google/Apple/Microsoft/BlackBerry/Amazon) something to grab on to – you see, it is far easier to sell people something that they know versus introducing something that they don’t. Business 101.
But there are pitfalls when working with large brands and there is no shortage of competition among companies vying for the rights to work with them. This is what makes Budge Studios so intriguing as they have managed to secure some of the top kids brands on the planet – remarkable for a company just shy of their third anniversary. In fact, as you’ll hear in this episode, they landed Viacom and Dora the Explorer by sending a cold email.
Noemie Dupuy, co-founder of Montreal-based Budge shares some of her great insights into approaching and working with brands including their negotiating strategies (simpler than you think), their revenue aspirations, their “all-in” approach to partnerships, their revenue tactics, how they market the games and their competitive advantage (aside from being incredibly smart Canadians).
If you’ve ever wanted to understand what it takes to secure and manage top brands for your business, Noemie’s approach and philosophy will give you great insight and tactics for your business.
Here is a quick reference of what we covered in the show. Click on the link and the video will take you to that clip
1. Where did the inspiration for Budge Studios come from 1:55
2. How did you close Viacom, owners of Dora the Explorer, by email? 4:30
3. How would you close this kind of relationship with a brand today 8:00
4. Why a “brand first” mentality for Budge? 11:00
5. How did you build from the one brand victory to the relationships in place today 17:20
6. How do you work with the brand in other mediums 19:43
7. Has Budge Studios ever turned down a great brand – why? 23:15
8. How does Budge deal with licensing terms from brands 24:25
9. When did you gain confidence to negotiate? 25:45
10. What is the makeup of the Budge Studios team 27:55
11. How hard can it be to market an established brand? 30:00
12. How Budge uses freemium as a marketing tool 32:15
13. How does Budge earn income from the brands 33:50
14. What do big brands think about getting into mobile? Do they get it? 38:00
15. In hindsight, what do you wish you had done earlier? 42:15
16. How do you convert players to revenue without harming the brands 44:15
17. What does the future of gaming look like as a result of mobile disruption 48:35
18. What platform is revenue coming from between Android and iOS 50:40
About Noemie Dupuy
Noemie is a founding partner of Budge Studios. With over 15 years of experience in interactive and traditional media, Noemie drives the growth of Budge Studios. She has a strong record of success in both Business Development and Digital Marketing strategy. Within the last 2 years, she solidified partnerships with Nickelodeon / MTV; Disney, Ludorum, Cookie Jar, DQ and American Greetings. Budge Studios apps have been downloaded by Millions of kids and parents worldwide. She was nominated as Quebec’s top 5 Women Entrepreneur of the year 2011 (Chatelaine Magazine).