I’ve noticed recently that supermarkets are jumping on the storytelling bandwagon. See this example, from Co-Op:
I have mixed feelings about it.
On the plus-side, at least they’ve tried. On the down-side, it’s a horribly dull story. I don’t feel like I really connect to Jean-Marc Brocard, the winemaker. It’s more of a happy-happy, joy-joy case study than a proper story.
(I hate happiness and joy!)
I don’t think I’m the only one who feels like this. Co-op published the video on 1st February. It’s been seen 721,000 times, and had 570 reactions. That’s a reaction rate of just 0.08%.
It’s like whoever does the marketing for Co-Op has realised that storytelling might be a good idea, but the story in this case is being used as a tactical fad. The story is being bolted on as a tactic, rather than used as a core strategy.
A story isn’t a magic marketing ingredient. There has to be a point behind the story. There has to be ups and downs, and maybe a little suspense. I don’t care if Jean-Marc Brocard makes wine and loves his wife.
As a general rule of thumb, storytelling isn’t usually an effective lead for selling commodities. Jean-Marc Brocard might view his wine as unique, but the average punter in Co-Op just wants to know whether it’s on offer.
If your business is unique and you sell high value products, storytelling should be a central part of your marketing. If you’re selling known commodities, I’d probably lead with your offer instead.
P.S. The best book on this is Great Leads: The Six Easiest Ways to Start Any Sales Message, by Michael Masterson and John Forde. It’s a short read, and well worth picking up.