Brand Crush: theSkimm

  "The Skimm has an absolutely pitch-perfect voice that blends information, sense of humor, and readability in a great way."

This is how JPMorgan Chase Chief Marketing Officer Kristin Lemkau introduced the founders of theSkimm at a recent JPMorgan Chase Marketing & Communications Team event, and I couldn't agree more.

For those that have never heard of or read theSkimm, it is a daily e-newsletter aimed at millennial women that gives them "cliff notes" of every important thing going on in the world - politics, foreign policy, business, celebrity, novelty,  etc. - so that they can stay informed and participate in water cooler talk every day.


I'm an avid reader of theSkimm, and it is one of the few brands that I actively evangelize.  Whenever I fall hard for a brand, I try to get to the bottom of why.

I came across this awesome video and Q & A with theSkimm's founders a couple of weeks ago as I was logging out of my account after an online banking session.  [Sidenote, but kudos to the Chase digital marketing team for hooking me with this extremely valuable piece of content.]

In the piece, founders Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin discuss how they were able to turn a news and information site into a lifestyle brand.  Here are my two takeaways:

1. They got specific

"We decided we didn't want to be everything to everyone. So we chose a really specific audience and wanted to create a product which was meant for them."

As female millennials themselves, Danielle and Carly started by meeting the needs of the market segment that they knew most intimately - their own.  As broadcast news producers, the two business partners noticed that their young, ambitious, professional girlfriends weren't watching TV news.  Weisberg said:

"… we took a step back and started thinking about the habits of this audience. There wasn't anyone giving them real news in a way that fit in with their lifestyle."

Enter theSkimm.

2. They crafted a unique "voice"

"We created a voice that is that friend that you have that is your no B.S. friend, that tells it like it is and they are a little bit sarcastic and they always seem to have a comment on everything that is going on."

On the back of their laser-focused targeting, theSkimm was able to craft a tone of voice that completely delights their audience.  This sarcastic, edgy, witty voice is what sets them apart.  Though they deal with real issues they manage to present the news in a way that completely sets them apart.


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I got a lot out of the video and Q&A and hope you do as well.  To view and read both, go to the Chase website's new section here.