How to make us talk smoooth

We have spent more than a decade getting to know how people shop. And even though we're still only beginning, we feel like we've learned some things along the way. So if we know people, and we talk to people, we need to talk like people. So start with this: Klarna is creating the world's smooothest buying experience, so let's speak like we are.

Banking, payments, zzz… We give the world an emotional buying experience, so let's add the same thing - something human - in our language. We do this by being simple, projecting confidence and mixing in a bit of quirkiness.

Still want to write things that thrive in the Klarna world? Good! Keep reading.

Smooth or smoooth?

First things first. Smoooth is with three o's. Always. Three (3) o's. If you feel you're not sure about how to use it confidently then go with another word. Easy, simple or effortless are some examples. And we only do this with smoooth. Entertaining as it may be, we never write "hellooo" or "shooopping" or "invoooice", which brings us to our next point: Don't overuse it. Smoooth is a feeling, and the full Klarna experience, but not usually how we describe a single feature or product in isolation. And it's ok to turn smoooth into smooother or smooothest. But if you're not sure how to work it, then stay with just smoooth.

If you read only one part, make sure it's this.
Be to-the-point: No one likes words as much as us writers.
Be simple: Don't use a longer word if there's a shorter word for it.
Be human: There is probably a human being reading what you write. So be human.
No hassle: Don't use industry jargon, unless it's needed for credibility.
Double-check: Being confident and wrong is just arrogant.
Tug the emotional strings: Remember, shopping is fun, so paying should be too.
Simple, confident, quirky: Use the three with sound judgment. If you have to choose one, go with simple. And act trustworthy.

You said simple, confident, quirky. What is that?

Simple means that we speak the way people speak. That means no unnecessary banking-lingo, if we can help it.

Confident means that we can afford to be a little bold. After all, we do have the products and features to back it up.

Quirky is an odd one. Humans aren't always the most rational creatures, so we should be able to switch on some non-rational quirkiness when needed.

This, mixed together, creates a palette that makes us socially skilled and human.

Sometimes simple, sometimes quirky. Always smoooth.
Do you want to disrupt? Pitch something? Inform? Convert? A text has different parts, and different texts have different objectives. So when writing for Klarna, remember that different parts of a text can be simple, some can be confident and some can be quirky. It depends on what we want to achieve. But let's have a good mix that makes us smoooth.

Language.

Our global language is British English. Now that doesn't mean we have to talk like the Queen, we can still be conversational and start a sentence with a but. But it means we spell like the British - summarise instead of summarize and colour instead of color. Our stance on the Oxford comma? Whatever gets the job done. (America, don't be weird. Go with American English.) If English is not your first language, and you're not sure about how to use it - keep it simple. But let's try to stick with local languages where it matters. Let's look at a system for choosing languages, below.

When disrupting: This is pure brand communication. Here we go with English.
When pitching: This can be mixed - local language and English.
When informing: Local language.
When converting: Local language.
Post-purchase: Local language.

With merchants.
We are simple, confident and quirky. But we are a little less quirky when speaking with merchants than with consumers. It's nothing personal, just business. But remember - merchants are also humans. Most of them enjoy a good chitchat.

In customer support.
If you are in customer support, remember that people probably need help with something. A joke is probably the last thing they need. So we are more simple and conversational here. Human and understanding, with a light touch.

On social.
Put simply: Keep it short. Other than that, we just like to keep to what we do best - simple, confident and quirky. Although, we have some pointers for the different platforms.

Instagram is very much a now-platform, so let's really try to be here, now. It's a lifestyle platform, where we want to disrupt. But watch out. We don't want to end up like grandad with the cap on backwards. Either we're in the zone, or we stay simple. Usually we don't link to products and features here, but instead just try to create a nice feeling and a brand you want to hang out with. Confident and quirky is key here.
Facebook is a great platform for linking. Here we can publish smoooth posts about our products, new merchants and things like that. It's also a place for customer support. Simple and confident are the strings we strum here, pitching and informing.
Twitter is a mixture of many things. It's an opportunity for us to be smoooth, but it's also customer support and news. Here we will probably have to span the whole length of the simply - confident - quirky spectrum, to disrupt, pitch and inform.

How do we talk about our products?

Pay now.
Pay later.
Slice it.
Names have capital letters. Our products have names. Our products have capital letters. Even in sentences. That means that if you are to write about Slice it, it's written like that. Slice it.

One last thing. Periods.

The period is a key element in our design. Wait, design? I'm just gonna write some stuff, what do I care? That's not how we think around here. The truth is that the period is in our logo, in our K. symbol and how we end our headlines. It might feel irrational, but hey - we're not in the business of building something rational.

To sum it up.

You made it! You're now Level 1 Writer for Klarna (no, there's no diploma, this is kept in your own heart, forever). Let's summarise: We say things the way people talk, we say it like we believe it and we make shopping emotional and fun. No hassle, no hesitation and no unnecessary lingo. There are many examples of how Klarna speaks in all the different HQ assets, should you need some inspiration. But you have common sense. You get it. Now go and bring smooth into the world.


About Klarna

Klarna was founded in Stockholm in 2005 with the idea to simplify buying. Today, we're one of Europe’s fastest growing companies. In 2014 we joined forces with SOFORT and formed Klarna Group, the leading European payment provider.

Klarna Group has more than 1,200 employees and is active on 18 markets. We serve 35 million consumers and work with 50,000 merchants. Our goal is to become the world’s favorite way to buy.

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