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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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Data, Dollars, Dad Jokes & A Side of Personalization {Friday High-Fives}

Data, Dollars, Dad Jokes & A Side of Personalization {Friday High-Fives}

How do you craft a message when you’re a tech company trying to be a bank of the future?

Apple launched their Apple Card (they’re known for great products not great product names) this week. It’s Apple in its truest form. Their beautiful narrative makes you think that they invented the credit card, and they always tie the story back to their product offering – “The power of iPhone. In a credit card.” And their messaging is completely about y-o-u. “You’ll know so much more about your spending. At a glance.” And look at that clear payoff. It ties back to their premise of always being pervasive in your life from your wrist to your phone and now your credit card. Plus, they are strongly positioning themselves as the anti-card-card, “Daily Cash. No points. No gimmicks.” The positioning is reminiscent of their “Think Different.” or 1984 days. They are the outsider coming to rescue you from the mundane and status quo. Take the time to do a slow-scroll down their epic-as-ever product page. If you give their card a whirl, let me know. I’d love to hear about your experience.

A Millennial Walks Into a Bank...

With so many Millennial-friendly banks and finance solutions popping up in the last 5 years, they’re all currently trying to find their voice and niche. Robinhood, an investment app, just acquired a company which they’ve rebranded as Robinhood Snacks. It’s their attempt at being a more approachable investment brand (#MillennialsLikeJokesAndHashtags). The tone of their briefings are quite entertaining and very unexpected from a financial institution. Everything from the pop culture photo references to headlines like, “Qualcomm patent-trolls Apple hard,” it’s a unique voice amongst the blah blah blah of typical investing. It reminds me of the tone that TheSkimmstruck a few years back to buck the norms of bigs news' stodgy style. From a messaging lens, it’s also a reminder that how you speak is just as important as what you say. But when making bold voice moves like this, it has to be an intentional and ownable brand decision.


Getting bang for your buck with every word.

I recently stumbled across Baremetrics. The simplest way I can describe them is data-crunchers. I’m sharing because they have some strong product messaging. They are definitely leaning into a “grow” direction like we are with statements like, “Grow your startup right.” “Grow with confidence.” “Equipping businesses with the tools they need to grow.” Take some time to hover over “Features” in their nav for some quippy and powerful product descriptions. For example, “Recover – Get help with failing charges.” “Forecasting – Plan for the future, easily.” Concise and compelling stuff.

Would You Like Big Mac Special Sauce with your LinkedIn Profile?

Personalization is here, y’all. From McDonalds to LinkedIn, the big players are wanting big data to mean something for each and every customer. Like Sasha shared earlier this week, McDonald's acquired Dynamic Yield, an AI-powered omni-channel personalization platform based in Tel Aviv for $300 million. LinkedIn is introducing, lookalike audience targeting while Microsoft and Adobe team up to take on Salesforce with LinkedIn as their weapon of choice. So, what does all of this mean for messaging? It’s about to get custom. Personalization is awesome when done well, but we’ve seen what happens when it doesn’t go as planned. Just like we’re teaching our customers to personalize to their audience, it has to be a thoughtful endeavor. It’ll be interesting to see how these big companies use this personalization to inform their messaging vs. create the messaging. In the meantime, I’ll be hoping that Equifax doesn’t have another data breach with their new personalization efforts with FICO.


Stats & Social Proof.

Gusto is the marriage of beautiful messaging and design. They offer HR, payroll and benefits services, but their messaging feels like anything but B2B. They combine headlines and stats that are compelling, “Find your zen – 77% of customers say that Gusto takes tedious tasks off their plates.” Plus, the narrative flows down the page so well and is accompanied by compelling UI vignettes. By the time you hit the bottom of the page, they’ve allayed so many potential concerns that users may have. Then even end on a strong CTA of, “Ready to dive in? 9 out of 10 customers say it’s easy to set up Gusto.” They use a lot of social proof in their messaging which can be compelling to customers that are trepidatious about switching (especially when the subject is as important as payroll).

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}

Podcasting into the new year with these 5 ladies {Friday High-Fives}

Podcasting into the new year with these 5 ladies {Friday High-Fives}