The other day Kama and I were at Whole Foods. While I was waiting for her, I noticed a temporary table that was offering samples of yogurt. I decided to learn more.
As I approached the table, McKinsey (I got her name at the end of the conversation) looked my way. I asked her, “so how is this yogurt different from Chobani (another brand of yogurt).” She looked at me and said, “is that a serious question?”. “Yes”, I said.
She went on to tell me the story of how Ellenos yogurt got started. It all started when Yvonne Klein, a flight attendant, landed in Melbourne Australia. Some of her coworkers said that before they even checked into the hotel, she had to go try this yogurt. It was just so good!
At this point and being drawn into the brand story. I began to see the passion behind this brand.
McKenzie continued explaining how Alex’s recipe for this Greek yogurt was a family recipe perfected over the years through friendly family competitions with parents, uncles, grandparents, and cousins vying for bragging rights for the best yogurt.
After flight attendant Yvonne tried the Greek yogurt she declared it, “the best yogurt I’ve ever tasted.”
For nearly a decade, Yvonne and her husband Bob tried convincing Alex to relocate to Seattle Washington and start a Greek yogurt business. Finally in 2013, Ellenos opened its first shop at Seattle’s Pike Place Market.
What makes Ellenos yogurt unique? They say it’s the special family blend of probiotic cultures that they’ve nurtured over years and years of small-batch yogurt making at home containing no fillers. This family blend of probiotic cultures is what turns it into what they call Greek yogurt perfection. And as my wife said after tasting the yogurt, “wow, that’s really good.”
After talking with McKenzie, I told her that was a great story about how the Ellenos company started. She gave me her business card and a brochure.
When I got home, I looked up the Ellenos website and read the brochure McKenzie had given me. What surprised me was that while there was a short version of the story that led to the founding of Ellenos in the brochure, there was nothing about that story on their website that I could find.
This is one of the challenges with branding and that’s being consistent. Not only do we want to keep our fonts, design, colors, and copy consistent we want to keep our story consistent. And while the founding of Ellenos is part of the bigger story, it’s a key part. Learning that someone was so passionate about the yogurt that they would spend almost a decade trying to convince Alex to move to Seattle is moving. It says something about the flavor and the quality that they would work so hard to bring this family recipe to another continent.
Tell your story consistently. Tell people why you do what you do. It gives them more to connect with. More to resonate with. It helps them buy into your story.
Don’t just tell people you make great “yogurt”. Tell them why you make great “yogurt”. Don’t hide it put it out there. It’s part of what helps you stand out from the crowd and enables people to connect with you and your story.
Photo credit: You’re making us hungry, Maëliss Demaison!