Hey y’all.
•••
Welcome to
Little Desk Letters.

My name is Kristen, and I’m a strategist and writer helping brands tell stories that people want to hear.

Little Desk Letters is the digital home where I share helpful resources for creating great content and my personal writing projects. I hope you enjoy it.

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Written with a fresh batch
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Kristen

Pour yourself a bowl of Magic Spoon and read about the milkman reimagined {Friday High-Fives}

Pour yourself a bowl of Magic Spoon and read about the milkman reimagined {Friday High-Fives}

1.
Being fancy is optional.

So many folks just getting started with their business idea, go to the Googles. They search. They click. They research some more. They dig. They try and cobble together a group of resources that can help them get from point A to point B while making as few mistakes as possible. Because mistakes are risky, and too many risks means you're no longer in business. As we continue to build out knowledge and resources for our own customers, I've been keeping an eye out for good examples in the wild. Techstars has launched an Entrepreneur's Toolkit that is super useful. It's not overly fancy or produced, but neither is most of the stuff that you'll find on YouTube. According to Google, "When people are deciding what to watch, relating to their passions is 1.6X more important than whether it has high production quality." Plus, we know from our own research that customers want to know the latest trends but don't have the time to keep up. Inside does a great job with their #JargonWatch. It's snippets of content on a focused subject to keep you smart. Great examples we can look to as we keep our Ethan & Danielles savvy and in-the-know.
 

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2.
Move over, Captain Crunch.

Positioning is a powerful thing, y'all. The proof is in the cereal (and the garden). If you're looking for the latest in super-cool-to-look-at-but-also-very-healthy breakfast options, enter Magic Spoon. It's a new take on a classic by two guys that call themselves – wait for it – cereal entrepreneurs. They're also the duo that introduced crickets as cool kid food in the U.S.  But if you'd rather be outdoorsy and grow your own lettuce, then Zooey Deschanel has you covered. She's just launched, Lettuce Grow. Great name, right? It's digital meets farming on your back patio. If anyone tries it out, I'd love to hear about it! (I'm also game to split an order of Magic Spoon too.)


3.
From QVC to Down to Shop – what's old is new again (and again). 

The consumer industry is made of ebb and flow. Sometimes a new idea latches on (#BirdLimeJump), and sometimes what's old is new... again. While Airbnb has turned themselves into a household name, they've just invested in someone playing their same game – Lyric. Meanwhile, Selina is currently in Central America with a more local-vibe mashup of Airbnb and WeWork. But if you're more prone to sit on your chaise lounge while perusing QVC, you're in luck. It, too, has been reinvented. In 2015, it was MikMak stealing the scene with quirky videos to shill their wares. But they've since pivoted from a content producer to be an enterprise-player with customers like General Mills and Clorox. But fear not, another new kid is on the scene in 2019 – Down to Shop. It's a new app (warning: it's crass) that the creators call, "a hypermedia commerce platform." That's the fun thing about marketing, there's always a path to reinvention. I mean, hey, even Angela and Kevin are still repping for The Office after all these years. 
 

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4.
Sometimes, predictability works.

Although I completely agree that you don't want your brand to get lost in a sea of sameness, there's something to be said for narrative formulas that work. Since we're living in a world of constant startup disruption, there's a few new players to the game that are doing it well. Airbase makes a concise, compelling case (it's a similar all-in-one narrative) for an integrated system to handle your startup finances. Pilot wants to be your one-stop bookkeeping shop. While, Lola does a great job selling their corporate travel tool to three core audiences on their homepage. Meanwhile, Lemonade, an AI-driven insurance concept, is upending what we've known from the stodgy, buttoned-up insurance companies of the past. With a quick scroll of their homepage, I get it. Clear, simple, compelling. When in doubt about what to communicate, Donald Miller conveys it best, "How are we helping our customers survive and thrive?"  

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5.
There's gotta be a better way!

I was standing in my kitchen on Saturday feeling guilty as I looked at the stack of cardboard and plastic sitting in the corner waiting to be recycled. In a very infomercial-esque moment – there's gotta be a better way! – I daydreamed about a reimagined milkman scenario. Why can't we just have reusable household bottles and containers, return them and repeat? Then poof! I discovered Loop 48 hours later. It was like internet magic mixed with my Alexa possibly spying on me (they even used the line, "Loop is the milkman reimagined." But, I digress). There's also a new cleaning brand in town to rival the look & feel for you Method lovers out there – Blueland. They use a "forever bottle" model that eliminates a lot of unnecessary household waste. While I love 2-day Prime shipping and the ease of our on-demand culture, I've gotta balance it out somewhere, right? 

All the feels, stocks & IPOs {Friday High-Fives}

All the feels, stocks & IPOs {Friday High-Fives}

How to KonMari your Twitter while watching Food Network and prepping for your next cocktail party {Friday High-Fives}

How to KonMari your Twitter while watching Food Network and prepping for your next cocktail party {Friday High-Fives}