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Powered by Battery  |  September 25, 2019
Building a Whopper of a Customer-Engagement Platform: Bill Magnuson of Braze

The Powered by Battery podcast features guests from inside and outside the Battery ecosystem discussing major tech issues of the day. Guests from the Battery portfolio in this season of the podcast represent a subset of business-software and enterprise-infrastructure companies, across investment stages and geographies, highlighting the trends of marketing tech; the broader use of big data and AI; productivity software; user experience; and healthcare software. The views expressed here are solely those of podcast guests, not Battery. If you’re interested in learning more about these companies, or others in the Battery portfolio, you can access more information here.

How do you get fast-food consumers to order Whopper sandwiches from Burger King when they’re physically near . . . a McDonald’s? And, at the same time, use that marketing ploy to drive increased user engagement with a specific mobile app and a big, consumer brand? It’s just one of the marketing challenges tackled recently by Braze*, the company formerly known as Appboy, a New-York based, customer-engagement platform.

In this episode of Powered by Battery, Braze CEO Bill Magnuson breaks down the role his company played in the innovative Whopper campaign but also talks about what it’s like to run a fast-growing tech company in New York; how to manage a company re-branding and name change; and how a highly technical founder can build a seasoned management team and a diverse board. Have a listen.

Key Takeaways:

  • The best marketing today—particularly mobile marketing—is not about providing a point solution but, instead, offering a broader technology ecosystem to understand and engage customers on their terms. The Braze-powered Whopper campaign, for instance, helped transform an app that had been primarily a coupon-delivery service into a mobile-ordering system that also offered a deeper connection to the Burger King brand.
  • Be very careful and methodical when doing a company rebrand and choose a great agency to help you. Also, be prepared to not get your first choice of name, given the complex global web of trademarks and other legal restrictions.
  • Technologists, in some ways, have advantages in CEO roles, because they work in environments that are constantly changing, and the tools they’re using are shifting as well. CEOs are in some ways in the same boat: They’re constantly solving a new set of problems as their companies scale, as well as building new business capabilities and new frameworks and processes.
  • Building diversity into boards of directors and leadership teams creates stronger, more durable and more creative companies.
  • Building a company outside the “Silicon Valley echo chamber” can pay dividends. These include taking advantage of different, and often more diverse, pools of talent to draw from and the ability to attract a more diverse customer base.
  • Marketing companies can still thrive in this era of GDPR and other online-privacy regulations. The largest tech players also will likely face more regulation going forward.

Battery Ventures provides investment advisory services solely to privately offered funds. Battery Ventures neither solicits nor makes its services available to the public or other advisory clients. *Braze is a Battery portfolio company. For more information about Battery Ventures’ potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies, please refer to our website. For a complete list of portfolio companies, please click here.


The information provided in this podcast is solely intended for the use of entrepreneurs, corporate CEOs and founders regarding Battery Ventures’ potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies. The information is current as of the date it was published. The contents are not intended to be used in the investment decision making process related to any product or fund managed by Battery Ventures. No assumption should be made that the investments identified above were or will be profitable. It should also not be assumed that recommendations made in the future will be profitable or equal the performance of the companies identified above.


Content obtained from third-party sources, although believed to be reliable, has not been independently verified as to its accuracy or completeness and cannot be guaranteed. Battery Ventures has no obligation to update, modify or amend the content of this podcast nor notify its audience in the event that any information, opinion, projection, forecast or estimate included, changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate.

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