In a recent Business Week story about her new frozen yogurt brand, owner Chloe Epstein offered the following advice:
“There should be a story attached to everything you serve. It makes the entire package more personal, honest, and irresistible. You need to love, trust, and feel good about every item. Every morsel counts.”
Sorry, Chloe, I don't. Tell me about the flavors and toppings, the number of calories in a serving, and how much the whole package costs. That's all I need to know. And I feel similarly about comparable efforts of marketers to "tell me their story" with self-centered narrative for a product that at best is a commodity, or at worst is a minor purchase.
Yes, I know, story telling is a way to differentiate a product and "build brand loyalty." But let's consider the product, the context within which the purchase takes place, and the relationship (for lack of a better term) between buyer and seller. In many instances those variables don't, in my opinion, merit a story.
So please just give me the yogurt, and save your story for someone else.