Guest

Dear Chobani: I Love You

By: Guest | February 14, 2013 | 
106

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.

  • belllindsay

    You are a raving Chobani *lunatic*!!! 😀

  • 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.

    • HowieG

      @yvettepistorio it is coming Yvette! I just put in a request. Once they finish the R&D on the Kiwi Watermelon Flavor for me!

  • I would just like to know who the guy in the suit is and what he did with Howie.
     
    And great job, Chobani.

    • @Danny Brown I think Gini needs to do stuff like that with us. Aren’t we SpinSucksiacs??

      • HowieG

        @KenMueller  @Danny Brown t-shirts. Gini Dolls. Jack Bauer Stemware. Rides on her party yacht!

        • @HowieG  @Danny Brown uh…is that a euphemism?

        • belllindsay

          @KenMueller  @HowieG  @Danny Brown I think the pastoral background is funnier than the suit. Nothing hotter than a punk in a suit. Unless he’s in a kilt. 😉

        • HowieG

          @belllindsay  @KenMueller  @Danny Brown that is the restored 1840 house across from our 2 room 1890’s school house. Quite a difference lol @ginidietrich is supposed to buy it and make it a Arment Dietrich Ski Chalet

    • @Danny Brown Thanks Danny. I was simply going to say “You own a tie?” but you stepped all over that. Now I guess I have to leave a real comment about the post or something.

    • HowieG

      @Danny Brown i look like a real estate agent LOL

    • @Danny Brown @HowieG cleans up nicely doesn’t he?

  • 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

    • rdopping

      @bobledrew mmmmm……Steam Whistle. My favourite local brew. Another Torontonian here! Nice!

      • HowieG

        @rdopping  @bobledrew wasn’t Steam whistle founded by the McKenzie Brothers?

        • belllindsay

          @HowieG  @rdopping  @bobledrew Koooo roo koo koo, koo roo koo koo!

        • rdopping

          @belllindsay @HowieG @bobledrew hosers

        • rdopping

          @belllindsay @HowieG @bobledrew hosers

    • @bobledrew Steam Whistle are awesome! I simply tweeted something about them (can’t recall now, wasn’t anything of major import), and Marina, their CM, tweeted me and asked me to DM my address. A week later, i had 10 tickets to the Steam Whistle tour, and at the end of the tour, my friends and I each received a six-pack of their beer.
       
      Awesome, awesome, awesome. 🙂

      • rdopping

        @Danny Brown @bobledrew who wouldn’t like THAT.

      • @Danny Brown  I guess that was your “other friends” on that tour.

  • rdopping

    For heavens sake Howie. Yoghurt is for Norwegians. Don’t you know that?

    • HowieG

      @rdopping you do know chobani comes from Turkey which I think a few hundred years ago ruled over Norway?

  • 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.

    • HowieG

      @Adam | Customer Experience you are so right Adam. Chobani is good at listening. Most Brands talk at you and that is all they do.

      • @HowieG  @Adam | Customer Experience and they clearly relish the opportunity for fun, meaningful human interaction, which is huge

        • HowieG

          @JoeCardillo  @Adam | Customer Experience I have been tweeting the brands in my state of vermont lately and so few talk with you. Most ignore. Occasionally I get a ‘Thanks for calling us out’. I get when major brands have so many tweets they can’t respond to them all but so few experience that.

  • Chobani

    @howiegoldfarb It’s lovely, How! Thanks so much – enjoy your day.

  • Chobani

    @WevolvMarketing We love you too, see? –> http://t.co/HdgC4obw

  • Chobani

    @redtype It sure is!

    • redtype

      @Chobani sweet! What about them spoons, in stores too? 🙂

      • Chobani

        @redtype Not quite yet!

  • Chobani

    @belllindsay We love YOU! http://t.co/HdgC4obw

    • belllindsay

      @Chobani HA! @howiegoldfarb warned me about you lot. 😉 When are you coming to Ontario…??

      • Chobani

        @belllindsay We’re pushing to come back but not sure at this point!

        • belllindsay

          @Chobani Stooopid politicians. Or something. I’m dying to try Chobani.

  • Chobani

    @ROB_Fckn_C Thanks for sharing this! Believe it or not, we love you! http://t.co/HdgC4obw

  • Chobani

    @rdopping We love you MORE.

    • rdopping

      @Chobani Hahahaha that @howiegoldfarb is a master of disaster. Surely your product ROCKS if Howe says so.

  • 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! 😉

    • HowieG

      @allenmireles for your meeting Allen there is the reverse side. Piss off a customer they will tweet and blog and tell thousands or more how much they are pissed kind of like my war with mashable that I guess I won because during that time their readership dropped 40%. I spent almost a year highlighting their poor reorting after I got banned from commenting on their site.
       
      In the B2B world that is a called a terrorist when someone in your client’s company is trying to get you tossed for a competitor from my direct sales days.

  • 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!

    • HowieG

      @sydcon_mktg just wish the Islanders would clean up the penthouse vs the basement every year

      • @HowieG LOL…my Hawks cleaned up pretty well this year so far…no regulations loss!!!

  • Chobani

    @AnneReuss We love you MORE.

    • AnneReuss

      @Chobani Yess. That line is no longer reserved for boyfriends. 😉

  • howiegoldfarb

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

  • 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

      @the_swedishfish actually I wasn’t harsh to them. Just an example of when you ppiss off someone they will hound you via social for months

      • The_SwedishFish

        @howiegoldfarb very true. How’s the weather in VT? Crazy blizzard stuff?

        • howiegoldfarb

          @the_swedishfish it is 36F today so short sleeve weather. had a big snow last friday. need more!

  • Chobani

    @KinaniBlue Holllllar! #CNYrocks

  • Chobani

    @ginidietrich Isn’t he just the sweetest?!

    • ginidietrich

      @Chobani If you think obsessed is sweet! 🙂

  • ginidietrich

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

    • howiegoldfarb

      @ginidietrich I don’t know her! @AlisaCosta

      • ginidietrich

        @howiegoldfarb Riiiiight @AlisaCosta

  • Northern_Munky

    @howiegoldfarb Agree – that’s why we do random stuff like this: https://t.co/Cor5LKfP – Attendees incl. followers who replied to a tweet.

    • howiegoldfarb

      @northern_munky that is cool. I like the fun stuff on social. You have to give a reason for people to talk with you.

      • Northern_Munky

        @howiegoldfarb True, either with stuff like that, or just by having your content talked about for the right reasons. Compel them to share.

  • 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!

  • howiegoldfarb

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

  • What I got out of this post is that you make it a habit to open the fridges at homes you visit. Good to know if you ever come by my place.  Share that tidbit with Chobani – I see a viral video in the making.

    • HowieG

      @samfiorella the fridge is where the beer is kept. So when you say ‘brb have to use the bathroom’ i steal your beer and replace it with Chobani.

  • I think Chobani really needs to get on sending you a T-shirt.
     
    Also: You haven’t seen a moose yet? Are you even trying?

    • HowieG

      @AmyVernon omg I try Amy! Closest I have come is the father in law on a hike saying and pointing ‘Moose poop’

  • 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.

    • HowieG

      @bdorman264 it isn’t about owning suits in Vermont Bill it is having a chance to wear one. Next month starts Mud Season getting my waders ready.

  • Chobani

    @jenniferwindrum That post puts a huge smile on our faces! http://t.co/NGykFpRB

  • howiegoldfarb

    @just_kate @AmyVernon thank you for the shares!

  • 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!

    • HowieG

      @dwaynealicie you win best comment! Who said being late to the party is a bad thing Dwayne. @bdorman264 is good at this too. He refuses to go to any bars until it is last call.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • HowieG

      @barrettrossie LOL the @Chobani founder is actually Turkish and they did a great thing by taking a plant in upstate NY that I think Kraft was selling and reopened it for yogurt.
       
      I never got yogurt for writing a blog post for them. But when bloggers mention Chobani usually Chobani asks the blogger if they want to give away yogurt to their readers. Very smart!

  • howiegoldfarb

    @adamtoporek thanks for the shares!

    • adamtoporek

      @howiegoldfarb Any time Howie!

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  • howiegoldfarb

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

  • 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

  • Lennar

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

  • howiegoldfarb

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

    • bdorman264

      @howiegoldfarb I’m in; send over Charles is on this healthy kick anyway. I’ll tell him it was courtesy of you, the @Chobani Brand Ambassador

  • scmmas

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

    • jeffespo

      @scmmas I go with the original and add honey to it…

      • scmmas

        @jeffespo Did I tell you that I make homemade ranch dressing with plain greek yogurt? I’ll never go back to bottled.

  • Lennar

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

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  • 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.

  • howiegoldfarb

    @abbynicole1204 TY for sharing my @Chobani post Abby!

  • Chobani

    @abbynicole1204 Love you too! http://t.co/hkFCiMUl

  • 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

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

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  • I like Greek yogurt , however I’ve never heard of this product before, I’ll have to accompany my wife down the yogurt Isle next time to find out.  [This is the result of a redirect from http://bluestarstrategic.com/2015/03/03/c-is-for-more-than-cookie/ ]

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