Through Facebook, a Brand-to-Consumer Conversation

Since we started working with Whole Foods Market, we’ve seen first-hand how much their Seattle customers love their brand. But recently we found out that Whole Foods customers in the Pacific Northwest have nothing on the residents of Anchorage, Alaska when it comes to passion for the brand – or social media momentum.

Last week, we learned about the Facebook page Bring Whole Foods to Anchorage. Created just two months ago by local consumers, the fan base has since swelled to more than 6,500 people. Fans have been peppering the wall with testimonials of their favorite products and suggestions for a store location around the city.

What makes this a great social media story, though, is how Joe Rogoff, President of the Pacific Northwest Region for Whole Foods Market, has responded. Joe learned of the page and jumped right into the discussion. He posted on the wall from his personal Facebook account to thank the fans for their support, adding, “I'll be headed up there to take my first look around late summer. I've heard that there's a demand, and you guys have certainly reinforced that!”

The conversation has continued back and forth with fans responding and Joe posting feedback to the comments, as well as sharing a recent video we developed with the seafood team about the story of salmon from ocean to table (much of which was filmed in Alaska).

While the process of actually bringing a Whole Foods to Anchorage is still to be determined, this remains an outstanding example of how social media tools like Facebook can empower consumers and influence companies faster and more effectively than any market scouting trip ever could. And kudos to Joe for his willingness to speak one-on-one with the page’s fans. That kind of authenticity and direct access is incredibly valuable to the consumer.

This also seems like a good time to announce that starting in September Curator will be handling PR and social media strategy for Whole Foods Market’s entire Northwest region, including Portland and Vancouver in addition to Seattle. We’re looking forward to working with Whole Foods to tell their story in all three unique markets.

And hey, maybe in a couple years, we’ll be making a few trips up to Anchorage, too.