Cleo: The Budget Assistant App That Operates by ‘Roasting’ You

Being a fintech company trying to communicate with Generation Z is not easy. Cleo, however, has a unique approach that enables it to do exceptionally well.

Some background on Cleo

Cleo is a budget assistant app like Dave or Earnin or MoneyLion that has been downloaded by four million millennial and Gen Z customers.

And they’ve established a distinct voice in the fintech industry. They are daring, irreverent, and purposeful. They also “roast” their customers by giving a good-natured ribbing in response to their budgeting behavior. It’s unique and it works incredibly well.

But roasting is just one of the elements that make their voice unique, and here are all of them:

  • Cleo comes with a ‘roast mode’. Their chatbot is not dull like Siri. It shames you by using GIFs and harsh burns about how much you’ve spent and how little you’ve saved. Beyond roast mode, Cleo maintains a sarcastic voice across all their messages.
  • Never be boring: Their FAQ section is made of clear and concise articles. But the personality is bold.
  • Taking a stand on hot button issues: It’s risky to take stances on social and political topics, as it’s polarizing, but can also be beneficial. Cleo doesn’t stop at publishing posts. They created a campaign called Random Acts of Relief. It allows financially stable users to donate cash to the ones struggling with their balances.

These are the traits of Cleo’s unique voice. Let’s see how their team creates it.

Can you borrow money from Cleo app?

Cleo Cover lets you borrow up to $100 as a cash advance. This is helpful if you need a bit of cash to get by or if you’re in danger of overdrafting on your checking account.

No interest is charged on the loan amount. Accordingly, you just have to repay what you borrowed within three to 28 days later.

A look under the hood

  • Cleo’s team spends a lot of time developing rules around their personality and sense of humor. One of them is that Roast Mode is not the default setting. Some might like the humor and some don’t. Users must give the chatbot permission to bash on them.
  • Empathic approach: Cleo aims at delivering relevant messages, without being pushy.
  • Creating content to feed the AI is a new discipline. And Cleo’s decentralized system allows them to remove engineering bottlenecks when feeding the AI.
  • They hire writers that can live and breathe Cleo’s brand essence.

Cleo is an example of how a unique tone of voice can turn into a USP (Unique Selling Point).

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