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.

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106 Comments on "Dear Chobani: I Love You"

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belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 5 months ago

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

yvettepistorio
3 years 5 months ago

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
HowieG
3 years 5 months ago

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

yvettepistorio
3 years 5 months ago

@HowieG Woot!!! Thanks Howie!

Danny Brown
3 years 5 months ago

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

KenMueller
3 years 5 months ago

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

HowieG
HowieG
3 years 5 months ago

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

KenMueller
3 years 5 months ago

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

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 5 months ago

@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
HowieG
3 years 5 months ago

@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

Adam | Customer Experience
3 years 5 months ago

@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
HowieG
3 years 5 months ago

@Danny Brown i look like a real estate agent LOL

allenmireles
3 years 5 months ago

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

bobledrew
bobledrew
3 years 5 months ago

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
rdopping
3 years 5 months ago

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

HowieG
HowieG
3 years 5 months ago

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

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 5 months ago

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

rdopping
rdopping
3 years 5 months ago

@belllindsay @HowieG @bobledrew hosers

rdopping
rdopping
3 years 5 months ago

@belllindsay @HowieG @bobledrew hosers

Danny Brown
3 years 5 months ago

@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
rdopping
3 years 5 months ago

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

samfiorella
3 years 5 months ago

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

rdopping
rdopping
3 years 5 months ago

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

HowieG
HowieG
3 years 5 months ago

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

Adam | Customer Experience
3 years 5 months ago

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
HowieG
3 years 5 months ago

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

JoeCardillo
3 years 5 months ago

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

HowieG
HowieG
3 years 5 months ago

@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
Chobani
3 years 5 months ago

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

Chobani
Chobani
3 years 5 months ago

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

Chobani
Chobani
3 years 5 months ago

@redtype It sure is!

redtype
redtype
3 years 5 months ago

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

Chobani
Chobani
3 years 5 months ago

@redtype Not quite yet!

Chobani
Chobani
3 years 5 months ago

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

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 5 months ago

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

Chobani
Chobani
3 years 5 months ago

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

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 5 months ago

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

Chobani
Chobani
3 years 5 months ago

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

Chobani
Chobani
3 years 5 months ago

@rdopping We love you MORE.

rdopping
rdopping
3 years 5 months ago

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

allenmireles
3 years 5 months ago

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
HowieG
3 years 5 months ago

@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.

sydcon_mktg
3 years 5 months ago

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
HowieG
3 years 5 months ago

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

sydcon_mktg
3 years 5 months ago

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

Chobani
Chobani
3 years 5 months ago

@AnneReuss We love you MORE.

AnneReuss
AnneReuss
3 years 5 months ago

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

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb
3 years 5 months ago

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

The_SwedishFish
The_SwedishFish
3 years 5 months ago

@howiegoldfarb haven’t seen it yet but I’m going to take a wild guess it wasn’t in a positive light 😉

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb
3 years 5 months ago

@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
The_SwedishFish
3 years 5 months ago

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

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb
3 years 5 months ago

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

Chobani
Chobani
3 years 5 months ago

@KinaniBlue Holllllar! #CNYrocks

Chobani
Chobani
3 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich Isn’t he just the sweetest?!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 5 months ago

@Chobani If you think obsessed is sweet! 🙂

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 5 months ago

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

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb
3 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich I don’t know her! @AlisaCosta

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 5 months ago

@howiegoldfarb Riiiiight @AlisaCosta

Northern_Munky
Northern_Munky
3 years 5 months ago

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

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb
3 years 5 months ago

@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
Northern_Munky
3 years 5 months ago

@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
Nora Traube
3 years 5 months ago

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
howiegoldfarb
3 years 5 months ago

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

samfiorella
3 years 5 months ago

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
HowieG
3 years 5 months ago

@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.

AmyVernon
3 years 5 months ago

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
HowieG
3 years 5 months ago

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

bdorman264
3 years 5 months ago

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
HowieG
3 years 5 months ago

@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
Chobani
3 years 5 months ago

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

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb
3 years 5 months ago

@just_kate @AmyVernon thank you for the shares!

dwaynealicie
3 years 5 months ago

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
HowieG
3 years 5 months ago

@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
damian.dayton
3 years 5 months ago
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.… Read more »
barrettrossie
3 years 5 months ago
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… Read more »
HowieG
HowieG
3 years 5 months ago

@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
howiegoldfarb
3 years 5 months ago

@adamtoporek thanks for the shares!

adamtoporek
adamtoporek
3 years 5 months ago

@howiegoldfarb Any time Howie!

trackback

[…] http://spinsucks.com/social-media/dear-chobani-i-love-you/#more-16414 Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb
3 years 5 months ago

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

chobani
chobani
3 years 5 months ago

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
Lennar
3 years 5 months ago

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

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb
3 years 5 months ago

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

bdorman264
bdorman264
3 years 5 months ago

@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
scmmas
3 years 5 months ago

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

jeffespo
jeffespo
3 years 5 months ago

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

scmmas
scmmas
3 years 4 months ago

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

Lennar
Lennar
3 years 5 months ago

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

trackback

[…] for Brands I see 10% on a good post. 3-4% on average. But if you really love a brand like I love Chobani a fan most likely would go to the page directly vs waiting for a post. In fact when I was actively on […]

dbvickery
3 years 5 months ago

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
howiegoldfarb
3 years 5 months ago

@abbynicole1204 TY for sharing my @Chobani post Abby!

Chobani
Chobani
3 years 5 months ago

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

polleydan
3 years 5 months ago

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
3 years 5 months ago

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

trackback

[…] Dear Chobani: I Love You – Forget about companies ignoring Tweets – Chobani makes this customer part of its marketing team. […]

trackback

[…] Likes. Views. Followers. Subscribers. Fans. Brand Ambassadors. […]

trackback

[…] you didn’t know I was a Chobani brand ambassador… well, I am. So let me get that out of the way right at the start. I am occasionally am paid […]

trackback

[…] Just like you see regulars at a restaurant, bar, store, etc., the same happens with your social networks. All you have to do is regularly interact with them. People are more likely to return when you acknowledge their presence. Respond to their comments, answer their questions immediately, or simply like a comment they make, and you’ll soon have yourself a hardcore brand advocate for life! […]

trackback

[…] or service. Using Social Media and Customer Service to grow strong bonds with your customers like Chobani has done with me. And using those existing relationships to create brand advocacy. That is the only way this works. […]

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