For Love of a Product: From Brand Evangelist to Brand Influencer

When was the last time you became so connected to a new product or brand that turned you from a brand evangelist into an influencer? Can you think of one? Were you aware at the time that time that you became an influencer?

Normally, I do not start my blogs with thought provoking questions. I’m writing this because I never thought of myself as an ‘influencer’ since influencers have the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others. This is because of their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience.

What authority do I have?  
What authority or influence do you have?
What can you become an influencer of?

Besides an iconic car brand, a TV or appliance brand/manufacturer, your loyalty to a tooth paste or loyalty to a specific brand of coffee or wine, it’s hard to think of a new product that has entered the market which has convinced people to blog about it. 

This is how I, inadvertently, became both an evangelist and subsequently, the influencer…

I’m a griller! I absolutely love to grill. It is, hands down, one of my biggest stress reducers. In fact, my wife and I have an arrangement.  She will cook indoors whenever the weather is bad, and I will always grill outside even when the weather is halfway decent. So can you guess who does most of the cooking at home?

Over my lifetime, I have grilled on many different types of grills. I’ve grilled on natural gas grills, charcoal grills, propane grills and open fires.  I love the art of flame grilling and grew attached to my Weber Genesis Grill. However, earlier this year, the wheels on my Weber Natural Gas grill rusted completely off and it was time to look for something to replace it. I was set on purchasing another Weber Genesis grill at a cost of $1,249. I did purchase this one.

But what happened next was unpredictable. My social media scope of influence is small. I only have 3,000+ connections on Facebook. Earlier this year I noticed a couple of my connections in Alabama, Georgia and California had purchased a Blackstone Grill. Prior to this year, I had never heard of Blackstone Products, nor have I ever seen a Griddle used as a grill. I was fascinated at how each of these friends raved about their experience.

At Lowe’s, there is a special section in the seasonal outdoor department for Blackstone Grills. Over a couple weeks, I debated with myself and my wife about purchasing one. Because of the pandemic, we were cooking every meal at home. Since I looked at this as an investment, I went ahead and purchased a 36” Blackstone Grill from Lowe’s in the same weekend as the Webber Grill. The price of the Blackstone, $399.

Over the next month and a half, my wife and I were amazed as to what happened.  I had only grilled 2 times on my Weber Grill and about 25 times on the Blackstone Griddle. I started to post photos and videos about my experience because this excited me. The quality of food. The amazing, mouthwatering taste of the food drove me to flaunt my newfound love of grilling. 

I wasn’t surprised when friends started to ask questions. And, not surprising, a couple of those friends started to purchase new Blackstone Griddles. Within the last 3 months since I started raving about the Blackstone, I can count about 12-14 of my connections that have personally told me they have purchased a Blackstone Griddle.Blackstone Grill

The ripple effect continued. One of my good friends in California, Sandy Smith holds claim to the fact that she has now influenced more than 20 others to purchase a Blackstone. Other friends of mine that have purchased say that because of their posts, many others have purchased as well. I believe that within the last 3 months, I have been directly or indirectly responsible for the sale of 50+ Blackstone Grills. Even my brother-in-law got a Blackstone with an air fryer. The next president of the St. Louis PRSA Chapter bought one too.

My wife and I joke that I should take the Weber Grill back and get my money back because I am now not only an evangelist for the Blackstone Products, but I am now an Influencer – My preference is to grill on the Blackstone every chance I get.  

Although my distinct audience is small, and my niche of blogging/posting inspires a smaller collective of intrigued connections, I have helped spread awareness of the Blackstone brand and inspire a new way of cooking outdoors. Personally, I do not consider myself a Brand Evangelist or an Influencer but the people I’ve inspired do. I still get questions and asked for recommendations. People love to experiment with new recipes and wing it with trying to cook new and unique foods – and they love to share their experience with me.

I guess if I was a true brand evangelist or influencer, Blackstone Products would be paying me or providing me with free product to highlight. They have not offered to do that, and simply put, they don’t have to. I will continue to be this excited about my Blackstone.

Blackstone groups on Facebook have popped up with hundreds of thousands of people that believe in this product just as I do. Blackstone YouTube Channels have popped with personalities that inspire and teach others. These are the true evangelists and influencers. Those are the people getting paid to promote the Blackstone Products.

Even though I have influenced others to purchase the Blackstone line of products, I don’t consider myself an influencer. I consider myself an evangelist. There is a distinct difference.


Chris KubanChris Kuban started Chemistry PR and Multimedia with a vision to effectively formulate corporate and non-profit brands across the country. In doing so, he has become an expert in Media Relations, Event Management, Social Media implementation and video production. He engages, coordinates and oversees a diverse team of local and national suppliers, vendors, employees and consultants, allowing him to successfully coordinate over 120 national events focusing on overall logistics, media relations and his clients’ expected ROI. Follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.