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…
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.