This guy turned a neglected factory into a $2B foodie powerhouse.

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And it all started with a piece of junk mail. Hamdi Ulukaya is the founder of Chobani. It’s the yogurt brand bringing Greek style to the dairy aisle. This business is so good it’s got me salivating.

I told y’all about Chobani a few months ago. In case you missed it, here’s the recap. → The year is 2005. Hamdi’s busy building a cheese business. Things are okay.

But not great. → That’s when he spots a flyer in the mail. There’s a yogurt plant for sale close by. It’s 100 years old. Being sold off by Kraft. → The price tag is $1 million. He wants to buy it. Now he just needs to find a milly. → The US government gladly loans him the cash. Kraft throws Hamdi the keys. Time to make yogurt. → After 2 years in the kitchen, the yogurt is tasting good. Thick and creamy. Just a little tangy. Hamdi calls it Chobani. Now he needs to break into the yogurt aisle.

Our dairyman makes some key decisions early: • Chobani will be mid-priced, in between American and European brands. • Chobani will be stocked beside other yogurts, not in the gourmet section. • Chobani will be sold in a wider cup, signalling that the stuff inside is different. In 2007, the yogurt lands in a Long Island grocery store. It sells out fast. Hamdi’s hustling to keep the shelves stocked. But it’s not easy. Customers are scooping it up. Indie grocers keep banging on his door. Then ShopRite calls. Next Kroger wants it. And Whole Foods too.

By 2010, sales surge to $100M. Chobani is a hit.  The only thing more delicious than the yogurt is the marketing. Hamdi and crew didn’t spend any serious money on paid ads until sales were well past $1B. Instead, they leaned hard on their customer community.

• They were early with social media. Chobani joined Instagram in 2011. Just a few months after the app launched. • They pushed hard on Facebook. Engaging with local shoppers. Gaining over a million followers. • They leaned into bloggers and influencers before it was cool. Squeezing into the feeds. Hamdi built his customer community in real life and online. Dominating the yogurt aisle, one creamy cup at a time. #marketing #brand #growth

P.S. At Influicity, we build customer communities that drive growth. I love sharing stories like Chobani who demonstrate how it’s done.

P.P.S. If you liked this, then you’ll love my book. It comes out next week. It will teach you how to build a brand people are obsessed with. Grab the first chapter now at the link in my profile.

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