In just five years, Greek yogurt brand Chobani has gone from entrepreneurial startup to a billion-dollar global company. Since joining in 2009, Nicki Briggs has been at the helm of the communications efforts that have helped facilitate the meteoric rise. Without national TV advertising until its fourth year, Chobani gained fans and market share thanks to great PR that showcased the inspiring story of its Turkish immigrant CEO Hamdi Ulukaya and the brand’s focus on natural ingredients.
During her time at Chobani, Briggs has grown the communications team from one to more than 40. She has harnessed the power of social media to reach out to consumers and influencers. Amid explosive growth for the company, Briggs led a successful employee engagement drive – not an easy task when 80% of Chobani staff work on the factory floor without regular access to the Internet or email. Her efforts to promote Ulukaya have garnered him a swath of industry awards and national media profiles, including coverage in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and a nine-minute feature on NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams.
Other achievements include forging relationships with healthcare professionals and athletes to generate a wealth of positive PR, and the bold sponsorship of Team USA for the 2012 London Olympics. The Olympics campaign – devised by Briggs and her team in just six months – delivered impressive results, including 861 million household impressions. This led to a surge in Facebook and Twitter activity and more than 1,500 employees, family and friends, and local people tuned in live to the Olympics opening ceremony broadcast in a field next to Chobani’s central New York plant.
On the first day of the Games, Chobani’s YouTube masthead takeover resulted in 54 million impressions – three times the industry average. During the month following the Olympics, the company gained a 20.6% share in the yogurt category – a new brand high.