by Jonathan Wolf, Product Manager, Bazaarvoice

I recently saw a Subway ad congratulating Jared “Jared from Subway” Fogle.  It’s been 10 years since Jared now-famously lost almost 250 pounds by eating his self-crafted “Subway diet". That got me wondering how this story came to light in the first place.

According to Jared’s page on Wikipedia, an old dorm-mate that hadn’t seen him in a long time ran into the new, skinny Jared and wrote an article about his amazing weight loss in the local university paper.  After a reporter for Men’s Health saw the story, the magazine wrote their own article, which was in turn noticed by a Chicago-area franchisee.  The franchisee took the story to Subway’s Chicago area advertising agency, who finally contacted Subway’s overall marketing director.

Whew!  By my count, the Jared story had to be told five times until it reached Subway corporate’s ears.  At each point, the story could have easily died, never to be heard from again.  Only through the persistence of the regional ad agency did the commercials we’ve all seen, which have dominated Subway’s marketing message for the last 8 years, even make it to TV. In the end, they found Jared and used Jared to become one of the most successful marketing stories told.

A decade later, many companies are starting to let customers tell their stories directly on their site, next to their brand, and to the rest of the customer community – at the same time.  More and more websites are providing an easy outlet for customers to stand up and declare their own success stories. 

At Bazaarvoice, we’re excited about a new product of ours that, among other things, helps you "find your Jared". It's called Bazaarvoice Stories which allows customers from companies like David’s Bridal share their stories.  Not only can prospective customers read these stories, but David’s Bridal found their own "Jared's" and promotes them here. I'm sure they can do a lot more with these incredible customers.

How would you find your Jared?  Maybe more importantly, how would he or she find you? 

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