Storytelling Weekly – #003 Last Crumb

I used to live in the SF Bay Area.

Now, because I’m a nerd…

So, I didn’t go out much.

But every weekend, I would drive around the city hunting for my three favorite desserts – chocolate, brownie, and soft chocolate cookies.

🤤

Looking back…

It was unfortunate that Last Crumb hadn’t been created yet.

(or maybe it’s a good thing… because I’ll probably order too many)

Recap of Storytelling Weekly

Before diving in, here’s a quick recap for newcomers just tuning in to my One Story A Week Series. 

  • Once a week, I’ll find an interesting brand to study.
  • I’ll break down what I like about their storytelling techniques.
  • Then, I’ll show you how to utilize these stories in email campaigns.
Full Disclaimer

I don’t have any insider info or access to their account. So, I’m writing based on studying their website, interviews, and emails. However, I don’t have proof of earning claims or results of specific campaigns.

Now, there won’t be any “hard selling” in this series, but – 

If you enjoyed this content… or you’ve read more than two of my content… you’ll want to subscribe to my newsletter, where I share how to build an eCommerce Profit Engine with just 1 Email a Day(ish):

👉 Click Here to get notified of future issues

BTW – A quick shout out to Daniel Throssell’s AiC Newsletter, where I picked up a lot of the ideas for this case study.

Brand Introduction

Ecommmerce Email Marketing

Last Crumb isn’t your Safeway cookie.

It’s the opposite…

Luxurious. Expensive. Premium of a kind.

Founded in August 2020, Last Crumb’s mission is to offer Michelin-level cookies. Their goal is to become the last cookie you’ll ever want to buy.

I know. 

Sounds like a lot of hype, right?

I’m skeptical, too. But…

My friends told me, “I can confirm Last Crumb cookies are incredible… I ate one on my way home, and it was exceptional. Definitely worth trying…”

Storytelling Tactics

When discussing Last Crumb, we have to ask one question:

How can you sell a dozen cookies for $140+ (USD)? 🤯

(especially when you can buy a dozen for $3.99 at your local grocery)

Is it the quality? 

Ingredients? 

Or world-class persuasion techniques?

Actually…

None of the above.

In fact, I’ll argue – 

If Last Crumb focuses too much on the quality of their products (features + benefits), their campaigns will bomb.

Here’s why:

You can never “justify” a $12 cookie with logical thinking.

(no matter how good it tastes)

So, what’s the secret to Last Crumb’s success?

The answer: Positioning.

(aka Brand Voice Creation)

You can see their positioning throughout all their marketing:

From the black and white website design…

Ecommmerce Email Marketing

(source: Last Crumb’s website)

To the intentionally mystified “Head Baker”…

(who’s never revealed on their website)

To their eye-catching graphics…

Ecommmerce Email Marketing

(source: Last Crumb’s Email)

To their bold messages:

Believe us, we’re the first to say that your grandmother is a lovely lady. But we can’t say that her cut & bake cookies would make the cut around here.
(the brilliant use of controversial)

BETTER THAN S*X

A CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE SO GOOD YOUR GRANDMOTHER WILL DISOWN YOU
(how’s that for a product name/headline?)

Do not (we repeat, do not) let your grandmother try this cookie. She’s a good woman and a good baker. We, personally, think the world of her. But, let’s face it… she’s also as prideful as Prized Shih Tzu. And, she has a temper, too. You saw what she did to your grandfather a few Thanksgivings ago. The way she lurched across the table like a Tiger and ran a fork through his forearm, for adding a bit of salt to his stuffing. The poor fool should have known better.
(a product description that tells you NOTHING about the product)

TASTING NOTES

Three variations of chocolate: dark chocolate, rich chocolate and milk chocolate. A mix of both chips and chunks for textural variation. Caramelized butter based dough with the slightest hint of coffee to leave your taste buds guessing. Maldon sea salt, just a pinch, to make you salivate and balance the sweetness.
(Last Crumb’s copy is littered with top-level word painting)

Other brands might send you best wishes filled with platitudes, cliche warm fuzzies, and humblebrag stats for the year that “we couldn’t have done without you!”… but us? We just ship you the best damn cookies on the planet
(making fun of competitors)

Everything in their marketing screams:

“We are different!”

Take their product description, for example:

BETTER THAN S*X

A CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE SO GOOD YOUR GRANDMOTHER WILL DISOWN YOU

Do not (we repeat, do not) let your grandmother try this cookie. She’s a good woman and a good baker. We, personally, think the world of her. But, let’s face it… she’s also as prideful as Prized Shih Tzu. And, she has a temper, too. You saw what she did to your grandfather a few Thanksgivings ago. The way she lurched across the table like a Tiger and ran a fork through his forearm, for adding a bit of salt to his stuffing. The poor fool should have known better.

TASTING NOTES

Three variations of chocolate: dark chocolate, rich chocolate and milk chocolate. A mix of both chips and chunks for textural variation. Caramelized butter based dough with the slightest hint of coffee to leave your taste buds guessing. Maldon sea salt, just a pinch, to make you salivate and balance the sweetness.
  • The headline, “Better Than S*x,” immediately removes them from the competition with other cookies.

“We’re not baked goods. We’re above that!”

  • The subhead challenges a long-standing belief…

“No, your meemaw does NOT make the best cookies, we do!”

  • The product description doesn’t even talk about cookies! Instead, they used a funny story to entertain and make you laugh. The goal is to tie the emotion to the purchase.

Notice how they’re positioning themselves as “not your granny’s cookie” yet…

…build an emotional connection between their products and your grandma. Super smart!

  • The tasting note is where they talk about the ingredients. But instead of a boring list of ingredients, they use word painting to stimulate your five senses.

Then, use details – like “Maldon” sea salt – to elevate to level 11. 

To conclude, if you’re selling a premium product, Last Crumb’s marketing is a textbook example to study.

Email Tip of The Week

So, how do you use Positioning in your email marketing?

The best place to start is by identifying what your brands stand for:

(I call this Email World Building because it’s much like the world-building in creative writing.)

* Quest – what’s your mission?

* Law – what are 3 words that best describe your brand?

* Culture – what are 5 to 7 core values/beliefs you stand for?

Last Crumb Example:

* Quest: We want to create Michelin Star cookies that’ll become the last cookie you want to eat.

* Law: Luxurious. Mysterious. Premium.

* Culture: 
– Each cookie is handcrafted and designed to be shared.
– etc

Now, identifying the principles is the easy part…

What matters most is sticking to these principles rigorously.

Like a religion.

Make sure every email you send aligns with the world you create.

This strategy is the perfect example of “playing the long game.”

A Word of Warning…

Positioning is one of the most complicated strategies when it comes to storytelling/copywriting.

(I would not recommend it without professional help.)

Because it – 

  1. Depends highly on the context;
  2. Requires consistency.

You cannot copy the positioning of Last Crumb (or a competitor), and expect it to work for your brand.

To give you an example – 

Identity storytelling in product descriptions (like Last Crumb) can backfire if you sell an inexpensive product.

In addition…

If you want to create a “premium” positioning, you have to restrict the urge to “slap a discount” on your campaign to make some easy sales.

On the other hand, if you’re selling with a “friendly” positioning, you can’t be too aggressive.

With that being said, if you do story positioning correctly –

It can create a blue ocean for your business regardless of how competitive the market is.

One final note: 

You should only consider this strategy if you work with a freelancer/agency as a long-term partnership. Or with an in-house team member.

Avoid the strategy for one-off projects.

(because it’s almost guaranteed to flop)