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Guest

Dear Chobani: I Love You

By: Guest | February 14, 2013 | 
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Today’s guest post is by Howie Goldfarb.

I am sitting here typing this Valentine’s Day-related blog post Lindsay Bell asked me to deliver, while eating a banana Chobani, which is a brand new flavor.

I’m eating my banana Chobani with my really sweet chic designed 21st century Chobani yogurt spoon (see below).

How did I get such a sweet set up?

You see, I am a Chobani brand ambassador. If you know me online or in real life you know this.

What is a brand ambassador, you ask?

Us marketing wonks and wonkettes throw that term around a lot willy-nilly because, “Social media enables you to galvanize brand ambassadors to promote your product for free revving up sales and reducing the cost of marketing to zero!”

Uhm yeah. Sure.

From Wikipedia, the famous (possibly correct) bastion of information? “Brand ambassador is a marketing term for a person employed by a company to promote its products or services within the activity known as branding.”

So, the Walmart greeter. The person handing out free samples at the mall. Not quite what you imagined, right?

The fact is, we probably all have a brand or three – out of the hundreds in our lives – we love and go the extra yard or mile to promote.

Every brand wants you to promote them in a positive light. Good luck brands! Good luck to them!

When I discovered Chobani, I started talking with them through the social networks. They fostered the relationship to add to a top quality best in class product (my opinion). And throughout time…BOOM! Brand Ambassador. No I don’t have a T-Shirt (yet!).

This is what I do: Everyone who knows me online and offline know I love Chobani. I let them know. I talk to the Chobani team, headed by Emily Schildt, director of consumer engagement, almost every day on the Twitter.

When I open a fridge at someone else’s house and see Chobani I yell ‘WOOT! Chobani house! High five me!”

I take pictures from the dairy section of the Chobani shelves and say, “On vacation” and upload to Twitter.

I take photos of Chobani trees…

Chobani snowscapes…

And even make really amazing modern Cho-Art and post on the social networks…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have blogged about Chobani: Fun Friday – Chobani Rocks the Yogurt World.

I have spent time in the dairy section converting at least 30 people during the last two years to switch from some big mass-produced brand to Chobani. And because I’ve lived not far from their plant in upstate New York, I knowthe milk is from happy cows. I tell people this!

In return, just like last year this time, I got an email from Chobani, “Ashley Butler, community coordinator, says send us your current address so we can send you a case of our new flavors (12 cups).”

That is what happens when you nurture your relationships with your fan base in a real, human way. And that is what a brand ambassador does. Do you know many?

Happy Valentine’s Day Chobani! Now I am off to buy the wife some flowers!

Howie Goldfarb is vice president of marketing and corporate strategy at Web Choice Consulting, a full service integrated marketing and Internet agency. He had a 14-year career in direct B2B industrial sales before deciding to lighten up his dreary work life and move into advertising/marketing. He has a CFO’s view of marketing, bringing a dose of reality to the confusing world of jargon, spin, and hype. He currently lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont and is still seeking his first moose sighting.

93 comments
howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb

@vmccoy aww thank you for the share! Have a great weekend!

polleydan
polleydan

My wife has just got me on the Chobani bandwagon. She hooked me with the Chobani bites, and I love the pineapple and caramel and raspberry and dark chocolate flavors.

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb

@abbynicole1204 TY for sharing my @Chobani post Abby!

dbvickery
dbvickery

And why are the cows happy, Howie? Are you singing them the Chobani happy tunes? There's another viral video waiting to happen.

 

Enjoyed the pics, too - yeah, that is definitely over the top from consumer to brand ambassador.

Lennar
Lennar

@howiegoldfarb That is so awesome. And as do we! :)

scmmas
scmmas

@jeffespo @chobani @ginidietrich try their Pear Flavor! Refreshingly different. And thanks for the share. I am smarter for knowing you 2!

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb

@bdorman264 did you ask Charles Barkley if he eats @Chobani ? We should send you some to gift him.

Lennar
Lennar

@howiegoldfarb We are very honored and we look forward to seeing more of your study! Thank you for noticing our passion for engagement! :)

chobani
chobani

No tshirt!? We've gotta fix that. Email amy.keefe[at]chobani dot com and let's get you decked out in some killer CHO gear. Also, thank you so much for the kind words, Howie! We're extremely flattered and so appreciative. You rock, plain and simple! Amy @Chobani

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb

@mjpcongo @Shonali TY for the shares of my @Chobani post!

barrettrossie
barrettrossie

Great stuff @HowieG . 

 

My grandmother used to make Greek-style yogurt at home -- my mom still does -- so why would I give a rip about some store bought stuff?? j/k, I do like your brand. 

 

And really, it's not technically "Greek-style", it's really Lebanese style, but the Greeks had a better social marketing team. 

 

* * *On another note... I once got a gift package from Coke for writing a blog post about a little Coke ad/message that I liked on an airline napkin. It was a nice gesture.... but I thought it was inappropriate in that instance.  Of course, I didn't send it back. 

damian.dayton
damian.dayton

Companies have a hard time understanding the term "Brand Ambassador", and what to do with them.  It is so simple, they are the people that understand your brand better than your marketing department and who do a better job, for free.

 

If I could use college sports as an analogy, the Brand Ambassadors are your Super Fans and your marketing department are you cheerleaders.

During a time out, few watch the cheerleaders, but everyone does the wave, usually caused by a superfan. If you are a college, they are the people who paint their chests and scream the loudest. And if you are a smart company, you treat those people nicely, and maybe get them seats close to the front once in a while.I don't think you can make a brand ambassador, but I think you can give them a megaphone once you find them. To many brands are investing in their cheerleaders instead of their superfans. 

DwayneAlicie
DwayneAlicie

All of a sudden things so much more sense, and you just turned me into a Howie Goldfarb brand ambassador!

 

I love brand ambassadors! I love what it means to be one, I love how little it takes to turn a customer into one, but I also love how there's no recipe for that alchemy ... it's magic, like my spirit animal, the pink unicorn.

 

Happy Belated VD!

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb

@just_kate @AmyVernon thank you for the shares!

bdorman264
bdorman264

Dude, what time did you have to get the suit back? Are you the only Green Mountain boy that has a suit? 

 

I want to be a Brand Ambassador; Grey Goose or Budweiser, do you hear me? 

 

Good post sir, hope all is well. Pitchers & Catchers have reported....hope springs eternal. 

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb

@stacyh_realtor @jasonkonopinksi thanks for the shares! I love you too Jason don't be thinking I jilted you.

Nora Traube
Nora Traube

I love Chobani, they're my Valentine this year ;). My favorite is the pineapple with blueberry being a close second! Thanks for sharing the love!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@AlisaCosta OMG! You and ---->@howiegoldfarb. It must be genetic.

Chobani
Chobani

@ginidietrich Isn't he just the sweetest?!

Chobani
Chobani

@KinaniBlue Holllllar! #CNYrocks

The_SwedishFish
The_SwedishFish

@howiegoldfarb haven't seen it yet but I'm going to take a wild guess it wasn't in a positive light ;-)

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb

@sydcon_mktg @AnneReuss @RDopping @belllindsay TY for the shares!

Chobani
Chobani

@AnneReuss We love you MORE.

sydcon_mktg
sydcon_mktg

We have talked Chobani before @HowieG ! We love it at home too! My favs are Apple Cinnamon & Peach. My 8 yr old adores the new Raspberry with Dark Chocolate bites & wants it in full size!!! 

 

Gotta say, you clean up well for a Islanders fan! 

allenmireles
allenmireles

What a fun read. Thanks for the smiles, @HowieG. I swear I am half out the door to go purchase some Chobani right now after reading this. Seriously, this exuberant description of your Chobani Brand Ambassador experience is pretty compelling stuff--and will come in very handy in an upcoming meeting with clients who want to understand the whole brand ambassador idea. Thank you. *And you do clean up nicely. Howie in a suit. Imagine that.* And, @Chobani? Thanks for the tweet. I think I love you too! ;)

Chobani
Chobani

@rdopping We love you MORE.

Chobani
Chobani

@redtype It sure is!

Chobani
Chobani

@howiegoldfarb It's lovely, How! Thanks so much - enjoy your day.

Adam | Customer Experience
Adam | Customer Experience

So Howie, how do you feel about Chobani?

 

You know every brand has ambassadors, but as you demonstrate, the best brands know how to nurture and strengthen those relationships.

bobledrew
bobledrew

Toronto-based brewery Steam Whistle did something very similar with me. I wrote them a letter congratulating them on a principled stand they took on the issue of funding an arts festival that a tabloid newspaper felt was "sympathetic to terrorism"; even though I admitted I wasn't a giant fan of their product, a few days later they sent their local rep past with a case of beer. And by the time I finished it?  I had come 'round to liking their beer. Now, several years later? Steam Whistle in the 

yvettepistorio
yvettepistorio

I love Chobani...just wish they mad the Blood Orange flavor in the 32oz. I seriously will buy a store out of stock of this flavor.

belllindsay
belllindsay

You are a raving Chobani *lunatic*!!! :D 

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