Tom 50 Innovative Companies from Fast Company: Chobani

How does an unknown yogurt company beat out the likes of Dannon and Yoplait?

Chobani did it in less than five years by thinking outside the box and “not knowing the old way of doing business,” founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, told Fast Company. Ulukaya started the business in 2005 in an dormant Kraft yogurt factory in upstate New York.

While other yogurt manufacturers use a smaller cup a have a relatively similar look, Chobani, opted for larger cups and a shiny label that would catch shopper’s eyes in the dairy case.

It’s an all-American dream story that consumers are continually building upon — the company now has an ad campaign called “Chobani Love Stories” where consumers are able define what the company is.

Rather than Chobani calling all of the shots, the customer decides how they want the product to fit in their world, something that seems to be working out well for the company. Sales are expected to gross $1.5 billion this year.

It’s easier to do what we’ve always done, but this week, try to put the “old” way of doing things on hold for a while — forget what you know and explore a new way of thinking. You never know what your mind might find.

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